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June 14, 2020

Sunday Morning Book Thread 06-14-2020

Library of Sir Walter Scott 01.jpg
Library of Sir Walter Scott


Good morning to all you 'rons, 'ettes, lurkers, and lurkettes, wine moms, frat bros, crétins sans pantalon (who are technically breaking the rules), the bewildered, the bedazzled, the benumbed, and those of who just want to know what the f* is going on. 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, and the standard warning concerning the inability of most humans to unsee things applies. Again. Yeah, I've had some real beauts lined up here lately. No, I don't know what this guy's problem is, but I think maybe Raz Simone booted him out of the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone because he was creeping everyone else out.



Pic Note:

A magnificent private library:

This is the magnificent library of Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832) inside his family home of Abbotsford House near Melrose in the Scottish Borders. It leads off Scott's private study and is home to several thousands of his collected books.

Scott is probably the best known and most loved of all Scottish writers, being a historical novelist, playwright, and poet, popular throughout much of the world in the 19th century.


It Pays To Increase Your Word Power®

20200614 book pic 01.jpg

I at first thought this might be one of those fake non-English words that occasionally get circulated around the internet. But even though baizuo is a neologism, it's apparently real.





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Colonization Bad

Thanks to the several morons for tipping me to this NPR piece, Your Bookshelf May Be Part Of The Problem, has been making the rounds on social media, and much of the discussion is over what, exactly, is the author saying? The answers ranged from "oh, he's just saying you should read more broadly" to "he thinks you should throw out all of your books written by white authors" and there's a lot of motte-and-baileying going on.

The problem is that it's written in progressive gobbledygook which means that you need to share a lot of the same basic assumptions as the author in order to understand his point.

Get a load of this:

Have you considered that, if you identify as white and read only the work of white authors, you are in some ways listening to an extension of your own voice on repeat? While the details and depth of experience may differ, white voices have dominated what has been considered canon for eons. That means non-white readers have had to process stories and historical events through a white author's lens.

If he thinks that the books in the so-called "western canon" all speak with one (white) voice, he either has very deficient reading skills or the racialist lens that he insists on looking at the world through is blinding him. Insisting that Homer and Augustine and Rousseau and Jsne Austen all look at the world in the same way because they're "white" is the heighth of ignorance. It's also pretty much straight-up racist, too. Which makes Juan Vidal, the author of this piece, a left-wing version of Archie Bunker.

For what it's worth, this is what I think he's saying: Everybody needs to look at everything in the world around you through a racial prism. And the prism has to be set at angle such that the predominant narrative spilling out is the one where people with brown skin are cruelly oppressed by white overlords. The subject matter can range widely, but the central, undeniable narrative has to be the racial one.

And therefore, your book choices must be subsumed under this particular totalizing metanarrative. You can read other books, but only if you keep in mind that every knee must bow and every tongue confess that the god of 'woke' is lord.

The article doesn't really call for 'de-colonization' so much as it advocates the replacement of one type of colonization with another. I can't imagine Vidal endorsing a book such as, say, My Grandfather's Son by Clarence Thomas, or What's Race Got to Do with It?: Why It's Time to Stop the Stupidest Argument in America by Larry Elder. I suspect these books aren't on Vidal's approved list. He's probably also not interested in reading Candace Owens' new book, Blackout: How Black America Can Make Its Second Escape from the Democrat Plantation, either.

Why? Because they say things that he doesn't want to hear. Which is exactly the kind of wrongthink he's accusing white people of. Imagine that.

And speaking of colonization, there is more colonization going on than Vidal is aware of. Namely ideological colonization. In her book Target Africa: Ideological Neocolonialism in the Twenty-First Century: Ideological Neo-Colonialism Of The Twenty-First Century, Nigerian human rights activist Obianuju Ekeocha

...casts a spotlight on the new colonialism and subjects it to searching critical scrutiny. She shows, for example, how in the name of "human rights" the basic right to life of the unborn child is being daily undermined by Western governments and by..."nongovernmental organizations", such as Planned Parenthood, who push abortions. Similarly, the pro-fertility and pro-marriage and pro-family beliefs of vast numbers of Africans and others are being undermined in the name of "human rights", as that term is (mis)used by advocates of population control, sexual permissiveness, certain forms of self-styled feminism, and the redefinition of marriage to eliminate the norm of sexual complementarity [and]...if necessary, they are prepared to use international legal institutions to attempt to coerce the "backward" into compliance.

I'm thinking that this book isn't on Juan Vidal's TBR list.



Who Dis:

who dis 20200614.jpg


(Last week's 'who dis' was actor G. Peck.)



Misc. Book Notes

CBD tipped me to this humorous piece on Sarah Hoyt's blog wherein internet wisenheimer Frank Fleming explains that the purpose for writing fiction is to get people to believe what you believe. He also provides helpful tip for writers on how to do this. For example:

Use names to manipulate. One easy way to manipulate your reader is with the names you choose. For the characters who disagree with you, give them names people naturally dislike, like Chad. No one wants to be on the same side as someone named Chad. Another name people naturally dislike: Hitler. So for a character representing the side you disagree with, the best name is Chad Hitler.

So it's totes easy to do. If you put Mr. Fleming's suggestions into practice, you'll be the envy of the smart set in no time.

Frank writes for the Babylon Bee, so you can trust him to be right about everything. He also writes novels, such as the recently released Superego: Fathom.

There are two ways to be a hero.

One is more violent than the other. And the universe needs a hero, because a mysterious entity known as the Fathom is terrorizing the known universe and seizing control. But they’ve made one mistake: They woke Rico, the universe's greatest killer, from a coma. And he’s decided he might be the good guy this time...Once again, it looks like Rico is going to destroy a lot of things and kill a lot of people.

But hopefully this time in a good way.

To fully understand what's going on here, you're probably going to need some backstory, and so Fleming has written the first book in this series, called Superego wherein he introduces his audience to Rico, his psychopathic nutjob hero.

Both are available on Kindle for $4.99. Update: The first Superego is on sale for $1.99 right now.




20200614 book pic 03.jpg



Moron Recommendations

I also read The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu, trans. by Ken Liu. Liu is touted as China's most prolific and popular SF writer. This first contact book lives up to the billing. It is the first of a trilogy along with The Dark Forest and Death's End. Along with the first contact story, one also learns a bit about China's society during the Cultural Revolution. An intriguing computer game plays a part in the first contact with an alien civilization. An imaginative, interesting book.

Posted by: Zoltan at June 07, 2020 09:10 AM (3ugDL)

Not everyone is thrilled with contacting the aliens:

An alien civilization on the brink of destruction captures the signal and plans to invade Earth. Meanwhile, on Earth, different camps start forming, planning to either welcome the superior beings and help them take over a world seen as corrupt, or to fight against the invasion. The result is a science fiction masterpiece of enormous scope and vision.

This first installment of The Remembrance of Earth Past series is followed up by The Dark Forest and then Death's End.

___________

61 So at the stray recommendation in a non book thread, I am reading Travelers in the Third Reich. It is a compilation of stories of foreigners observations in Germany. It takes you thru the end of WWI thru the rise of Hitler. It is very interesting how the perfect storm evolved and completely enveloped Germany. It reminded me that the Nazis and Hitler were ELECTED into parliament, that Hitler was elected president and that he then made himself dictator.

I know! It's just like Trump! Just like Trump! Orange Man Bad! Orange Man BAAAAADDD!!!

Ahem. Sorry. Got a bit carried away, there. Let's continue:

It's an interesting read. I'm digitally borrowing from our local library that has excellent digital access and selections.

You know reading this combined with the recent threads by krak and J.J. It drives home the position "stand your ground, no one else is going to save you"

Posted by: Cheriebebe at June 07, 2020 09:25 AM (w6A0l)

Travelers in the Third Reich by Julia Boyd is a compendium of first-hand accounts of Nazi Germany

...drawing together a multitude of voices and stories, including politicians, musicians, diplomats, schoolchildren, communists, scholars, athletes, poets, fascists, artists, tourists, and even celebrities like Charles Lindbergh and Samuel Beckett. Their experiences create a remarkable three-dimensional picture of Germany under Hitler—one so palpable that the reader will feel, hear, even breathe the atmosphere.These are the accidental eyewitnesses to history. Disturbing, absurd, moving, and ranging from the deeply trivial to the deeply tragic, their tales give a fresh insight into the complexities of the Third Reich, its paradoxes, and its ultimate destruction.

The Kindle edition is kinda spendy at $13.99, a bit over the Vic limit. So check your local library.

___________


___________

65 Good morning, all - I finished two books this week, one of which I thought looked interesting when I followed a link on the Book Thread last week: Cate Ruane's "Telegram for Mrs. Moody", which was a light and amusing read about a teenaged boy who goes on a massive adventure during WWII, searching for his older brother, who has been shot down over Belgium. Charm, pluck and lashings of luck and amazing coincidences and a lot of chance-met allies along the way, as our hero stows away on an England-bound yacht. It's escapist, basically improbable, but still a nice read. I'd say it's a perfect read if you are looking for a non-woke adventure for a young teen reader.

Posted by: Sgt. Mom at June 07, 2020 09:26 AM (xnmPy)

The book thread gets requests periodically for literature suitable for a YA audience, so I am pleased to highlight Telegram For Mrs. Mooney, which incidentally is available for free right now, so I snapped it up. There are a couple of sequels, Message For Hitler and Letter Via Paris.

___________

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.



20200614 book pic 04.jpg

digg this
posted by OregonMuse at 09:00 AM

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