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Daily Tech News 3 December 2023 | Main | "Restorative Practices" Is Another Term For Race-Based Rules: The Rush Back To Segregation Is Picking Up Steam In Portland!
December 03, 2023

Sunday Morning Book Thread - 12-03-2023 ["Perfessor" Squirrel]

231203-Library.jpg

Welcome to the prestigious, internationally acclaimed, stately, and illustrious Sunday Morning Book Thread! The place where all readers are welcome, regardless of whatever guilty pleasure we feel like reading (Remember: Santa's watching!). Here is where we can discuss, argue, bicker, quibble, consider, debate, confabulate, converse, and jaw about our latest fancy in reading material. As always, pants are required, unless you are wearing these pants...

So relax, find yourself a warm kitty (or warm puppy--I won't judge) to curl up in your lap, fix yourself a plate of leftover turkey and pie, and dive into a new book. What are YOU reading this fine morning?

NOTE: I will not be around on today's Sunday Morning Book Thread as I volunteered to assist at church this morning, which means I need to get there early. Please be nice to one another!


PIC NOTE

Need something book-related for your favorite biblio- and puzzle-phile this holiday season? Why not a lovely mosaic jigsaw puzzle of The Christmas Library? You can order it in a variety of piece counts (from 250 up to 2000). If you want to preserve it, you can also order an adhesive kit and puzzle frames (for sizes up to 1000 pieces). Unlike most jigsaw puzzles the pieces are made of wood. The pieces are NOT the "traditional" jigsaw puzzle shapes, but are an interesting blend of animals, people, and other shapes that all fit together neatly, adding to the challenge of assembling one of these puzzles. Made in Atlanta, Georgia.

PEEK BEHIND THE CURTAIN - BOOK BY "MORONS"

Last week, there was some rather pointed commentary about the selections for the Books By Morons sections, as one of the "Moronettes" is apparently just a woman seeking to promote her book via any and every means available to her. Well, I thought I'd respond to that criticism in my own way.

Let's take a peek behind the curtain to see how a Book By Morons makes it to the Sunday Morning Book Thread:

I receive a polite email from someone claiming to be a "longtime lurker" who has a new book out. Sometimes they include a lot of details. Often times they don't include much detail at all. The latter group are the ones who are really struggling with the idea of self-promotion of their book. Sure they have written it and have it published through Amazon or wherever, but they are not marketing folks. They know they can use the Sunday Morning Book Thread as an outlet to promote their book. I'm not too concerned with this group.

The other group--the ones who send me complete synopses and covers and whatnot--are usually the more "professional" writers--or at least those who are attempting to turn their writing into a true profession for them. They've read all the books on how to get promoted. They've watched countless YouTube videos on how to market their book. They are following the blueprint, so to speak, on how to become successful as an independent author in today's hypercompetitive publishing marketplace. Most of them will fail. That doesn't mean they shouldn't try. Maybe Moron Authors should promote their books on Democratic Underground and Daily Kos, focusing on STORY rather than the political bent of the content. You just might find some converts.

Honestly, I don't have a problem with this group either. So what if they reach out to me (politely) and inquire if I'd be interested in sharing their work? I do a cursory review of their book to at least see if the subject matter is not overtly offensive in some way (e.g., glorifying the LGBTQ+ lifestyle). I prefer to let the "marketplace" of AoSHQ decide if the author has any merit or not. It's up to YOU to do your homework to vet a book that you want to read. No one is forcing anyone here to purchase any Books By Morons or any Moron-Recommended books.

I've been very pleasantly surprised by a few folks who have delurked to promote their books. Vince Milam's Case Lee series is good action thriller material to while away a lazy Sunday afternoon. Patrick Chiles' Frozen Orbit is high-quality hard science fiction with a Moron edge.

If the Sunday Morning Book Thread should have a higher standard for what books are shared in the Books By Morons section, what should those standards be? I'm genuinely curious. How does one go about providing their official "AoSHQ" credentials? For every regular commentor, there are THOUSANDS of lurkers (Weasel once told me that the blog has a couple of million unique visitors every month), so does the lack of commenting automatically disqualify one as a Moron Author?

Lurkers--feel free to delurk if only to say "Hello!"

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THE ULTIMATE OMNIBUS

In the book world, an "omnibus" is a collection of an author's novels packaged into a single volume. One of the books I read, Riverworld by Philip José Farmer, is such a volume, as it contains the first two books of the Riverworld saga: To Your Scattered Bodies Go and The Fabulous Riverboat (more on these later). Omnibuses are quite convenient for short novels by a single author.

Well, what if you have a series that's 14 books long, each book is several hundred pages long, and you are just too darned lazy to keep going back to the shelf to read the next book in the series? Then you might have to CREATE your own omnibus edition, as shown in video below:



NOTE: She says it's 12,000 pages, but I have all 14 hardcover books shown in the video above. Her page count may be a slight exaggeration, but not by much. She should have gone for bonus points and included New Spring (prequel) and The Wheel of Time Companion (extended glossary/codex).

BRING OUT THE COMFY CHAIR!


comfy-chair.jpg

(The dog looks very comfy!)

(HT: Castlemoyle)

I'm sure I've mentioned this before, but it's important to have a very comfortable reading spot in your house. The place where you can curl up with a good book when you are in the mood to just read. As for me, well, I have a comfortable reading spot in virtually every room of my house. The bathrooms, unfortunately, are the exception. In the bedroom I have my bed (naturally). In my library I have a recliner. In my office I have my office chair which is quite comfy except when I have a lap kitty. My living room has a very comfy couch. My sunroom has a fairly comfy sofa and I can even stretch out on a hammock in there if I want. Even my kitchen and dining area has a comfy chair: an alternate office chair I got for a very, very good deal from the university where I work. Retail value is around $1200. Slightly used, it was only $20.

MORON RECOMMENDATIONS

On a late August day in 1883, the loudest naturally made sound ever heard on the earth was generated when the island of Krakatoa was vaporized in a volcanic explosion. To this day, the exact number of people killed is unknown, but it is in the tens of thousands. My recommendation for this week is Simon Winchester's Krakatoa - The Day the World Exploded. Winchester is a very good storyteller, weaving various facts together in an entertaining way. This book was my introduction to his stories, and a good one. He sets the scene by reviewing the history of the region, and highlighting some of the individuals at the scene. He also discusses the plate tectonics that created this unique, dangerous island. Krakatoa has exploded multiple times in the past, but this time the population was much higher and we had devices to measure the impact and the ability to report on it. The explosion killed thousands, and the resulting tsunami killed many thousands more. From ships being flung miles inland, to measuring stations around the world recording the blast wave, to the stories of survivors, Winchester traces the force and impact of the disaster.

Posted by: Thomas Paine at November 26, 2023 09:18 AM (T02Iq)

Comment: This event should be a lesson to everyone that Mother Earth doesn't mess around when she blows her top. Natural disasters galore emerged from this one event. I currently live near the New Madrid fault in south central MO. We are all waiting around until "the big one." There's also a possible supervolcano in Yellowstone Park that will just wreck the United States of America(and probably Canada and Mexico) if it ever goes. And of course, SMOD is just hovering out there in space, and can strike us at any time, completely at random. Sleep tight!

+++++

I'm 75% through Rand Paul's new booked called the Covid Deception [NOTE: It's actually called Deception: The Great Covid Coverup -- PS]. There is a pic of masked up Fauci on the cover. I'm a little surprised at how much new information I am learning. I'm plugged in and paying attention, so I didn't expect this.

Paul writes well. Throughout the book, he avoids going beyond where the existing evidence can support him. He never says that it's 100% certain Covid-19 came from a lab leak but he lays out the case that it is very likely it did. Then he makes the unassailable case that given the evidence, wouldn't at least 1 Democrat think this is worth investigating?

The second big takeaway is how big a weasel Fauci is whenever someone tries to pin him down on anything. For example, when confronted with the fact the gain of function research is not allowed to be funded by US taxpayers, he points out the the examples given aren't gain of function according to the new definition supplied by an organization he controls.

Strongly recommend this book. Full disclosure: it is rage stroke inducing. But everyone needs to know what is in the book.

Posted by: Muad'dib at November 26, 2023 09:19 AM (ER9HB)

Comment: There were VAST sums of money at stake with this deception on the American people. EVERYONE (including ordinary Democrat voters) should be outraged by the evils that were perpetrated in the name of "public safety." There have been rumors of a new form of pneumonia striking down Chinese children. Knowing what we know now about COVID-19, will the world react the same should this pneumonia hit our shores in October 2024 (if not sooner)?

+++++

I wanted to recommend a beautiful book for those who pray and like prayer, The HarperCollins Book of Prayers: A Treasury of Prayers Through The Ages. It contains prayers from the Old Testament and Christian prayers from the New Testament as well As from from both the Roman Catholic. Eastern Orthodox Church and various Protestant traditions as well as one Muslim and a few Hindu and Native American prayers. It addresses prayer for church seasons as well as various conditions of life. I found it very honest as to feelings as well and beautiful. I found it in a Thrift shop supporting a ministry to addicts, and my finding it I call a "God incident" not a coincidence because it has been such a blessing to me:

https://tinyurl.com/mvuwpnxp

Posted by: FenelonSpoke at November 26, 2023 09:39 AM (DLxWT)

Comment: "God incidents" seem to be happening fairly regularly in my own life these days, now that I've somehow become "attuned" to them. The idea that a book is placed in one's path by divine inspiration is not the least bit surprising to me. I've been surprised more than once when I'm reading along and I come across a passage in a book (just a regular, everyday novel) that aligns with scriptures that I've also been reading lately. It's a signal to me from God: "PAY ATTENTION!"

+++++

I'm in the last couple dozen pages of Ace Atkins' Infamous, the story of the crowd of bank robbers that were involved in the Kansas City Massacre of 1933 in which cops and FBI agents plus a prisoner in transport were all murdered by bad guys using tommy guns, and a kidnapping that happens not long after.

There's the handsome George Kelly, called Machine Gun Kelly by the newsboys, and his striking wife, Kathryn Thorne, who conspired to kidnap Charles Urschel, a wealthy Oke City oilman.

It's a great depiction of a time when bank robbers were losing their Robin Hood glamour, the new FBI ascending to hunt down all hoods crossing state lines, and the fashions and cars of the day.

Posted by: Mr Gaga at November 26, 2023 10:44 AM (gARtr)

Comment: It seems like gangsters and criminals have been glamorized and romanticized for as long as they've been around preying on the innocent. The media of the time tends to be a bit complicit (or a lot complicit) in glamorizing their activities. As we've seen from the media's treatment of Hamas in recent days, there are apparently NO depths of depravity that would cause them to turn against certain criminal, evil elements.

More Moron-recommended reading material can be found HERE! (1000+ Moron-recommended books!)

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WHAT I'VE BEEN READING THIS PAST WEEK:

After reviewing some of OregonMuse's old Book Threads, I thought I'd try something a bit different. Instead of just listing WHAT I'm reading, I'll include commentary as well. Unless otherwise specified, you can interpret this as an implied recommendation, though as always your mileage may vary.


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The Man God Uses: 14 Characteristics of a Godly Man by Pastor Chuck Smith

I've been going to a weekly men's group at a local church for the past several weeks. One of the men there handed out copies of this book to everyone. He had a "God Incident" with a fellow Christian traveler on an airplane who gave my new friend this book. My new friend was so impressed with it he decided to purchase copies for all of the men in our group. Although it should really be titled The Man or Woman God Uses as everything in this book applies equally across genders. It's mostly a short summary of how men (and women) can lead a life in tune with God based on the 14 characteristics, such as being born-again, being bold in the face of persecution, living God's Word, and so forth. It's a simple blueprint for a spiritually fulfilling life.


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(HT: StewBurner)

Christmas: The Rest of the Story by Rick Renner

This is a Moron Recommendation from StewBurner from several weeks ago. It sounded interesting so I went ahead and purchased a copy. It's fascinating, as the author provides a lot of historical context and background of Judea and Rome before and during the life of Jesus Christ. He gives an excellent description of how and why both Mary and Joseph were selected to be Jesus' earthly parents, among many other intriguing details. Like a lot of people, I've been familiar with the story of Jesus for most of my life. But now I can see it with a different mindset.


riverworld.jpg

Riverworld by Philip José Farmer

Many moons ago I mentioned a series of books that were inspired by the works of Philp José Farmer called The Dungeon, which was written by several different authors. Now that I'm reading one of Farmer's most famous works, I can easily see how the authors of The Dungeon attempted to capture the spirit of Farmer's other crafted worlds.

The first book has an interesting subplot about anti-Semitism. Richard Francis Burton, the famous 19th-century explorer has been resurrected in the Riverworld, along with 37 billion people from throughout all of Earth's history. He's confronted by a Jewish man who accuses Burton of being a rabid anti-Semite. The real-life Burton did write a book about his experiences in Damascus--The Jew The Gypsy and El Islam that has been highly criticized for its treatment of the Jews who had power and influence in Damascus at that time. The fictional Burton in Farmer's Riverworld vehemently denies that he's an anti-Semite and strives to provide additional context. Burton and the Jew he encountered eventually become fast friends. Meanwhile, Burton has encountered a different sort of anti-Semite: Hermann Göring, who has also been resurrected. Upon being revived again, the fictional Göring attempts to establish a Jew-free Riverworld, with himself as the new Führer, of course. I have no idea if Farmer was an anti-Semite or not, but it's clear he wanted to tackle this issue by using two characters, one of whom MAY have been an anti-Semite (probably) and another who DEFINITELY was an anti-Semite. Burton attempts to lose Göring, but keeps encountering him over and over again, as they appear to be linked in some way.

The second book in this omnibus edition focuses on Samuel "Mark Twain" Clemens and his dream of building a riverboat that will take him to the headwaters of the Riverworld, where he hoped to confront the Mysterious Strangers who have resurrected all of mankind. The is a rather important subplot involving racial tensions between his own fiefdom--which is co-rules with King John of England--and a Black segregationist leader upriver that is attempting to create an all-black community with no whites allowed. Wahhabi Arabs (fundamentalist Muslims) are also part of the mix...This eventually leads to all out warfare between the two burgeoning nations.

That's about all I have for this week. Thank you for all of your kind words regarding the Sunday Morning Book Thread. This is a very special place. You are very special people (in all the best ways!). The kindness, generosity, and wisdom of the Moron Horde knows no bounds. Let's keep reading!

If you have any suggestions for improvement, reading recommendations, or discussion topics that you'd like to see on the Sunday Morning Book Thread, you can send them to perfessor dot squirrel at-sign gmail dot com. Your feedback is always appreciated! You can also take a virtual tour of OUR library at libib.com/u/perfessorsquirrel. Since I added sections for AoSHQ, I now consider it OUR library, rather than my own personal fiefdom...

PREVIOUS SUNDAY MORNING BOOK THREAD - 11-26-23 (NOTE: Do NOT comment on old threads!)

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(Huggy Squirrel yearns for the hat of a riverboat captain...)

Disclaimer: No Morons were harmed in the making of this Sunday Morning Book Thread. Reading the Sunday Morning Book Thread may be hazardous to your mental, physical, or spiritual health.

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