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September 22, 2019

Sunday Morning Book Thread 09-22-2019

National Library of Finland 05a.jpg
National Library, Helsinki, Finland

Good morning to all you 'rons, 'ettes, lurkers, and lurkettes, wine moms, frat bros, crétins sans pantalon (who are technically breaking the rules), crackpots, crockpots, despots, tosspots, sexpots, and stinkpots. Welcome once again to the stately, prestigious, internationally acclaimed and high-class Sunday Morning Book Thread, a weekly compendium of reviews, observations, snark, witty repartee, hilarious bon mots, and a continuing conversation on books, reading, spending way too much money on books, writing books, and publishing books by escaped oafs and oafettes who follow words with their fingers and whose lips move as they read. Unlike other AoSHQ comment threads, the Sunday Morning Book Thread is so hoity-toity, pants are required. Even if it's these pants, which I would totally wear to Andy Warhol's barbecue.

Pic Note

Today's library is a repeat from 2017, but I thought it worth revisiting because I found some better pics. For example, this one. That ceiling is spectacular.

It Pays To Increase Your Word Power®

HAPPEN, MISHAP and HAPHAZARD all derive from ‘hap’—an old word for chance or fortune, borrowed into English from Old Norse sometime in the 12th century. ‘Hap’ is also the origin of HAPPY, which originally referred to people or events that appeared to be blessed with good fortune.

Mayhap he's right. Perhaps.

And speaking of words, 'ette Miley the Duchess e-mailed in a bleg a couple three days ago:

Some time ago, there was a word that appeared on the book thread. I can't for the life of me remember it, but it's a very useful word that means someone who gets outraged on behalf of someone else who has not asked for support. It may be a verb, the act of doing this. May have been of French origin. I was hoping you might recall it.

Also, a decade ago, my stepdaughter emailed a word to me that was especially delightful. It means "requited love." I've completely forgotten what it was, and so has she. I've bingled without any luck. Any idea what it is?

My memory is so poor, I am drawing a complete blank on the first one. And on the second, I Googled for the question 'what is the opposite of unrequited love' and 'synonyms for requited love', but I doubt any of the results were the word she's looking for. So I'm hoping the Horde can help out here.

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(click to better see the titles)

The 1519 Project

Last months, the progressive advocates masquerading as journalists announced a new program to try to drag Democrats across the finish line ahead of the Republicans in 2020. It's called the 1619 Project, and what it does is attempt to rewrite history to portray slavery is pretty much a white-on-black affair that was invented on U.S. soil in 1619, rather than endemic to almost every human culture that has ever existed. Therefore, we're all a bunch of white supremacist scum, especially Donald Trump, so vote for all of the Democrats in 2020. Because racism.

Here is an excellent article that pretty much blows the tendentious history promulgated by the 1619 Project to smithereens. Also this one.

What you won't learn from the 1619 Project is that one of the things the Europeans did in the New World was to exterminate a cannabalistic, mass murdering cult, starting a century earlier, in 1519.

I'm talking about the Aztecs, of course, and whatever you think about Hernando Cortez, he did the world a favor by eliminating them as a regional threat. Personally, I believe that God frequently uses evil men to stop other men who are even more evil, so the end result is a net increase in human happiness:

Cortez will never satisfy a 21st century standard of human rights, and may not even be an exemplary leader. Nor did he set out to liberate anyone. Yet, regardless of his motives in Mexico, the outcome must be conceded: Cortez toppled a mass-murdering cult with the assistance of the oppressed.

God draws straight with crooked lines.

I've heard that in the final assault on Tenochtitlan, the Aztec capital, Cortez' forces constituted a tiny fraction of the assembled armies. It wasn't just some evil white guys murdering a bunch of brown people. The Aztecs were hated by pretty much everyone else in the region, and they wanted them gone as much as Cortez did.

You can read about Cortez in a book written in 1855, Hernando Cortez: Makers of History, available for free on Gutenberg. Also Amazon. And another moron mentioned The Memoirs of the Conquistador Bernal Diaz del Castillo, Written by Himself Containing a True and Full Account of the Discovery and Conquest of Mexico and New Spain (in 2 volumes), also available for free.


Who Dis:

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(click to enlarge)

Moron Recommendations

63 Reading Nothing Lost, by John Gregory Dunne, who wrote True Confessions. It's sort of a John Grisham courtroom novel, told from several viewpoints. One of his narrators, Max Cline (a self-described "queer Jew"), even mentions Grisham's novels at one point.

I was really bored by True Confessions -- maybe the movie with DeNiro was better -- but this is at least entertaining.

Posted by: Wolfus Aurelius at August 18, 2019 09:36 AM (4c+5M)

According to the Amazon blurb, Nothing Lost plots the course of:

A grisly racial murder in what news commentators insist on calling “the heartland.” A feeding frenzy of mass media and seamy politics. An illicit love affair with the potential to wreck lives. In his grandly inventive last novel, John Gregory Dunne orchestrated these elements into a symphony of American violence, chicanery, and sadness.In the aftermath of Edgar Parlance’s killing, the small prairie town of Regent becomes a destination for everyone from a sociopathic teenaged supermodel to an enigmatic attorney with secret familial links to the worlds of Hollywood and organized crime. Out of their manifold convergences, their jockeying for power, publicity or love, Nothing Lost creates a drama of magnificent scope and acidity.

I remember seeing the movie adaption of True Confessions when it first came out (1981?). I hated it, but now I think that was because I didn't really understand the story. It's not about the murder so much as it's about the relationship between the two brothers. Anyway, TC was inspired, at least in part, by the gruesome Black Dahlia murder case, which is one of Los Angeles' oldest unsolved murders.


In my kid's High School English class, they were assigned the book "102 Minutes." Knowing the bent of public school instruction, I was leery and skeptical of what the book might conclude. In fact, it turned out to be a decent recounting of the unfolding tragedy-cum-murder, written very much in the form of the post-analysis investigations presented as a novel.

It pulled no punches about people still escaping the building having to dodge those poor unfortunates from above the flames who chose something besides a fiery death. I hadn't realized that there were so many....

Posted by: LCMS Rulz! at September 11, 2019 11:08 AM (/2X2F)

I can't imagine what it must be like to actually want to jump out of a building knowing you're going to die when you hit the pavement -- because if you don't, you'll be roasted alive.

102 Minutes: The Unforgettable Story of the Fight to Survive Inside the Twin Towers is history told by the eyewitnesses:

Of the millions of words written about this wrenching day, most were told from the outside looking in. New York Times reporters Jim Dwyer and Kevin Flynn draw on hundreds of interviews with rescuers and survivors, thousands of pages of oral histories, and countless phone, e-mail, and emergency radio transcripts to tell the story of September 11 from the inside looking out.

$11.99 on Kindle.


60 I'm currently reading David Price's Love and Hate in Jamestown: John Smith, Pocahontas and the Start of a New Nation. I'm only about 5 chapters in, but so far, this has been an exceedingly page-turning book. It reads as an unbelievable action novel as it chronicles John Smith's 1606/1607 expedition to the New World, as commissioned by a London company. It's especially interesting the internal politics, if you will, of the various friendly and not-friendly tribes in the VA area. Indians were not at all "the earth belongs to everyone and no one owns it," peaceful go-alongs. They were vicious, barbaric and territorial. It's very interesting to read how Smith was trying to outthink them, as they were trying to outthink him on strategic matters. So far, it has been very intriguing.

Posted by: Lady in Black - Death to the Man Bun at September 15, 2019 09:35 AM (JoUsr)

This story starts in 1606, when

...appproximately 105 British colonists sailed to America, seeking gold and a trade route to the Pacific. Instead, they found disease, hunger, and hostile natives. Ill prepared for such hardship, the men responded with incompetence and infighting; only the leadership of Captain John Smith averted doom for the first permanent English settlement in the New World.The Jamestown colony is one of the great survival stories of American history, and this book brings it fully to life for the first time. Drawing on extensive original documents, David A. Price paints intimate portraits of the major figures from the formidable monarch Chief Powhatan, to the resourceful but unpopular leader John Smith, to the spirited Pocahontas, who twice saved Smith’s life. He also gives a rare balanced view of relations between the settlers and the natives and debunks popular myths about the colony. This is a superb work of history, reminding us of the horrors and heroism that marked the dawning of our nation.

$13.99 on Kindle, but there are some used hardcover copies for as low as $5.18 and the shipping is free.


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Books By Morons

Moron author A.H. Lloyd discreetly pimped one of his own books in the thread last week (see below). It's his first novel, and it actually sounds kind of interesting:

For a more accessible version of Beowulf, allow me to suggest Battle Office Wolf, by yours truly.

Unlike other adaptations, this one is scrupulously true to the source material, though I do truncate the story somewhat by focusing the tale on Heorot.

I wrote it following the Seamus Haney verse translation (annotated edition) so there are references to Geats, Franks, etc. I think putting the story in a sci-fi/horror setting captures the original spirit of the tale and allows modern readers to better relate to the sense of fear and isolation the characters felt.

Posted by: Ace-Endorsed Author A.H. Lloyd at September 15, 2019 10:11 AM (cfSRQ)

Amazon says:

Hart Station [see what he did there? -OM] was designed to be the galaxy’s premier research facility, an idyllic community focused on innovation and dedicated to improving humanity. Yet within days of becoming operational, its promise was destroyed. A series of grisly attacks has left the station’s survivors paralyzed with fear, trapped far from home and wondering who – or what – is methodically hunting them down. Just when hope is lost, when it seems their forlorn distress signal will never be answered, a ship will arrive to save them – a ship carrying Battle Officer Wolf [see what he did there? -OM].

Battle Officer Wolf is a bold retelling of the Beowulf epic. Inspired by the criticisms of legendary author and scholar J.R.R. Tolkien, Battle Officer Wolf brings readers a fresh perspective on the the elemental horror and shining heroism of this timeless story.

Considering that Battle Officer Wolf is only $2.99, why are you all not buying yourselves copies?


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Moron author Alexander Hellene has just come out with a new novel, the first in a new series. He tells me:

It’s a sword-and-planet [adventure] in the vein of Edgar Rice Burroughs and Jack Vance crossed with Thundercats and Masters of the Universe with a non-preachy faith-based element.

The Amazon blurb says:

They killed his father, oppress his people, and threaten them with extinction... and one of them is his best friend.

The Growlers rule their corner of the planet Yxakh with an iron fist, intent on driving the human refugees from their land. They almost did eight years ago, killing Garrett’s father in the process. Only their guns, and lots of them, keep the Growlers at bay. Now a young man, Garrett burns for revenge, but finds it hard to reconcile this hatred given that his best friend is a Growler youth named Ghryxa.

Desperate to cleanse his land of the invaders, the Growlers’ High Lord dispatches his trusted heir on a mission to acquire the humans’ superior weaponry. The Earthlings barely won the last war... but this time the High Lord will leave nothing up to chance.

The Last Ancestor: The Swordbringer Book 1 is available on Kindle for $3.99.


'Ette author 'artemis' has released her 10th Doyle & Acton Murder Myster, Murder in the Blood:

This homicide case featured aristocrats as far as the eye could see, between the Russians and the Spaniards—and Acton, of course, who was supposedly investigating the others but seemed a little too deferential, for Doyle’s taste. Why wasn’t her husband moving in on the killer? And why did she have the sense that she was standing on the outside, peering into a world where there were no laws and no explanations—only birthrights, forged in ancient blood.

The Kindle edition of Murder in the Blood ia $4.99. Also in paperback.


Moron author Declan Finn is in the process of releasing a 3-part series, Too Secret Service:

Wayne Williams is a Secret Service agent sentenced to the outer darkness because his family pissed off the wrong president.

Catherine Miller is a CIA assassin who specializes in becoming anyone.

When terrorists threaten to nuke every spot on the President's world tour, they are both called in to handle the threat.

To stop World War Three, they must travel from Ireland to Rome to Israel. They will have to face terrorist gunmen, professional assassins and nuclear suicide bombers... and perhaps even a threat from within.

But first, they must survive each other.

The first installment of the series will be released on Sept. 24th. Part 2 will be released on Oct. 1st, followed by the third part on Oct. 8th.


So that's all for this week. As always, book thread tips, suggestions, bribes, insults, threats, ugly pants pics and moron library submissions may be sent to OregonMuse, Proprietor, AoSHQ Book Thread, at the book thread e-mail address: aoshqbookthread, followed by the 'at' sign, and then 'G' mail, and then dot cee oh emm.

What have you all been reading this week? Hopefully something good, because, as you all know, life is too short to be reading lousy books.

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posted by OregonMuse at 09:00 AM

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