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January 10, 2021

Sunday Morning Book Thread 01-10-2021

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Milwaukee Central Public Library

Good morning to all you 'rons, 'ettes, lurkers, and lurkettes, wine moms, frat bros, crétins sans pantalon (who are technically breaking the rules). 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 need someone to tell me why they're called 'Broomsticks', but, whatever their name is, it looks like you get a kneeling hottie included with each pair, so what's not to like about that?

Pic Note

Another example of a municipal library with fantastic traditional architecture, not some brutalist monstrosity.

The ceiling view looks pretty impressive, too.

It Pays To Increase Your Word Power®

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This sounds like something we're going to see a lot more of in the coming years.

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The Yuuge, Classy, and Luxurious Presidency of Donald John Trump

Last week, moron author Hans Schantz dropped this little tidbit:

49 Not quite in time for this week's thread, but my short story, Uncle John's Legacy, will appear in the anthology, Ending Bigly: The Many Fates of Donald Trump, later this week.

I think it's strangely fitting that this book has been released during the previous hell-week:

Donald Trump. Whether you love him or loathe him, there's no denying that Trump's presidency has profoundly changed America—and the world—in every conceivable way. But Trump's term in office, like all things, will eventually be over. Will he retire quietly? Go out in a blaze of glory? Get a second term? (no, apparently -OM) How will Trump end?

Ending Bigly: The Many Fates of Donald Trump is a literary anthology that attempts to answer that question. Edited by Canadian author Bill Marchant and featuring over two dozen short stories, poems, essays, and more, Ending Bigly is a comedic and incisive work that offers a glimpse at the post-Trump future. The book includes contributions from some of the finest literary minds of our age, including Bronze Age Pervert, Nick B. Steves, Gio Penn, Faisal Marzipan, Mencius Moldbugman, and many others.

I especially liked this quote from a reviewer:

"This collection is a surprise, and a welcome one, much like Trump's presidency itself. In our social media goldfish minds, we may soon find ourselves wondering if Trump was ever president at all. That's been debunked, they'll say. Hillary was president from 2016 to 2020, then Biden. The stories in this collection are all true, as true as anything, truer than true. But no matter what fake news they publish, I won't forget you, Donny, the first and last president of online."

The Kindle edition of Ending Bigly: The Many Fates of Donald Trump is $7.49.


The Fourth Turning is worth checking out. Recommended by Stephen K. Bannon, it describes an eighty-year cycle in history that culminates in a massive transformation. Previous such transformations have included the American Revolution, the Civil War, and World War II. We're just about due for another one.

Posted by: Hans G. Schantz at January 03, 2021 09:23 AM (6hzPX)

Or perhaps we've been in one for the past couple of years. In their book The Fourth Turning: An American Prophecy - What the Cycles of History Tell Us About America's Next Rendezvous with Destiny, authors William Strauss and Neil Howe outline

...a provocative theory of American history. The authors look back five hundred years and uncover a distinct pattern: Modern history moves in cycles, each one lasting about the length of a long human life, each composed of four eras—or "turnings"—that last about twenty years and that always arrive in the same order.

The Amazon blurb goes into this a bit more, but if I'm understanding the theory correctly, what we're going through now is called an "unraveling" and we're fast approaching the "crisis" phase (or perhaps the crisis is now here).

As Hans mentioned, Stephen Bannon is a big fan of this book and he was one of Trump's close advisors during the early days of his administration, so you have to wonder how much of this he took to heart.

Who Dis:

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(Last week's 'who dis' was silent film legend Kuster Beaton.

They Don't Publish Books Like This Any More:

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I have been corresponding with a lurking moron who has the 100th Anniversary Edition of Mark Twain's classic travelogue Innocents Abroad. The book contains the original illustrations from the first edition that was published in 1869, and my correspondent is keen to know the identity of the illustrator.

The SeaWolf Press edition is not hard to come by. Paperback editions are readily available. There's even a Kindle edition. There's also a facsimile of the first edition with the original illustrations on archive.org. But I guess back in 1869 it wasn't customary for the publisher to credit the illustrator as I could find no record anywhere of his (or her) identity.

So if any of you morons happen to have an edition that lists the illustrator's name, please let me know. Thanks.

How To Pick Up Girls:

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Books By Morons

Moron author Vince Milam is back with his sevenths Case Lee adventure, The Nevada Job, a thriller full of espionage, treachery, and payback:

It was a low-key investigation. Until signals flared that danger lay ahead with people’s lives a throw-away commodity. It started in Bolivia’s Chaco region. A vast lawless area where life is cheap and raw power rules the roost. As the search for rare elements heats up, Case runs into spies and mercenaries and a village living in terror. While he’s no superhero, no caped crusader, Case Lee knows he can’t walk away...

The trail leads back to the Nevada wildlands. The billionaire tycoon now knows the individual responsible for disrupting his global operations and paints a target on Case’s back, aided by corrupt politicians and dirty cops. Meanwhile, spies lurk in the background. Whose side are they on?

All this action, and more, for the introductory price of only 99 cents.


And speaking of new novels in a continuing series, Declan Finn's latest urban fantasy (he calls it a "Catholic Action Horror Novel") is available for pre-order on Amazon. Hussar is the 8th in his Saint Tommy, NYPD series:

Lt. Tommy Nolan has enjoyed a relatively quiet life for the past three years. His promotion has taken him away from the streets and away from the line of fire.

But when a training camp for terrorists threatens his city, he's dragged back into the sulfur. Creatures of the damned are rising, and he's the only man who can stop them.

Because the heir of Tommy's ultimate enemy has returned, and he's bringing with him all the forces of Hell.

I have to admit I've fallen a bit behind on this series, having only just started on the 3rd installment (Infernal Affairs). I must say I'm a little disappointed to see, from the description of this latest entry, that Tommy Nolan is still only a Lieutenant. With all of the experience he has acquired fighting supernatural, demonic forces, you'd think he would've made captain by now.

And you have to like this warning label included in the AMazon blurb:

WARNING: This novel involves human trafficking, child abuse, Big Tech, an accurate portrayal of Child Protection Services, Anti-Fa thugs and other Socialists.

The pre-order price for Hussar is $4.99.


Shane, a lurking moron, e-mailed a request for a mention of his debut novel, a space opera/military science fiction adventure based far in the future. He described it to me as "if Battlestar Galactica and Hamburger Hill had a love child, it would be this book." Eric Flint's Ring of Fire Press is publishing it and it's titled From the Ashes of a Dead World:

The defeated survivors of an interstellar war seek refuge on a long-forgotten planet, only to discover a human civilization with the industrial development of mid-20th century Earth—and which itself is embroiled in a brutal world war. Should they strive for peaceful coexistence or domination?

The Amazon blurb is a bit more extensive. Shane also says "I drew much of the inspiration for the novel from my 31 years of military experience, and my fascination with military history."

It is also available in paperback. The Kindle edition is $4.99.


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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