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EMT 18 Feb 25 | Main | Do You Believe In Miracles? The 1980 U.S. Olympic Hockey Team And The Future Of Patriotism
February 25, 2024

Sunday Morning Book Thread - 02-25-2024 ["Perfessor" Squirrel]


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(Click image for larger version)

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 (Admit it--we've all been there!). 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...(warm and fuzzy kittens not included!)

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


PIC NOTE

This is another one of those pics I swiped from Adobe. At first glance it looks innocuous enough--just a bunch of woodland critters gathered around a blazing fire to read books together. Then you look a bit closer and see that they are *burning* books. Definitely a sinister undertone... In a moment their eyes will start to glow red as they begin preparations to summon their Dark Lord...

READING A BOOK A WEEK (or MONTH)



Reading a book a week may not be within everyone's capability, of course. It takes a lot of time and discipline to work up to reading that much in a week. Now, reading at least one book a month should definitely be possible for most people if they choose to devote that time to reading. You may not get quite the same benefits as reading a book a week, but you'll definitely see steady improvement in your reading habits over time. I note in the video above that a lot of the examples of "celebrity" readers included quite a few lefties...

Reading at least one book a week has helped me, I think. I don't watch much television at all any more. Even movies are a bit of a stretch as I find it hard to sit still for that long and I want to fall asleep. With a book, I can read a chapter here or there and I can set it down whenever my brain gets tired. I find myself far more interested in the stories happening between the pages of a book than I do in the stories broadcast on various television shows or movies. I look around at all of the entertainment at my fingertips and my hands almost immediately reach for a book over a DVD of a television show.

I also get an immense satisfaction from completing series that I have not read before, such as Riverland or the soon-to-be-completed Malazan Books of the Fallen. I love going to my spreadsheet of reading and crossing them off my TBR pile. Read more. You'll soon find yourself reading better...

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HOW TO WRITE A BOOK - Critical Drinker Style

You may or may not know this, but everyone's favorite alcoholic Scottish movie critic and commentator--The Critical Drinker--is also an author of modest accomplishment, having written about a dozen or so novels under his real name, Will Jordan. Naturally, he's been questioned about his process, and because he likes to cater to his fans, he's answered this question as only he can:



Of all of the advice he gives, the two points that stand out to me are the following:

  1. Time Management
  2. Self-Discipline

Together, these help you develop the work ethic needed to successfully write a book from start to finish. If you cannot master these two principles, it's unlikely you will ever become the writer you would like to be. That does mean you may have to sacrifice other things in your life in favor of writing. This is especially true if you have family or social obligations. At a minimum, you will need to devote AT LEAST 10 hours a week to writing and probably many more if you can squeeze them in, depending on the complexity of the project. Once your book takes off and sells a million copies, then you can think about luxury time and how you can turn your writing into a full-time career. Until then, you may as well consider writing as an unpaid part-time job with its own deadlines and responsibilities that need to be met. Almost like writing a blog post once a week...

BOOKS BY MORONS

TheJamesMadison has taken time from his busy schedule researching and writing awesome Movie Thread posts to write another story for y'all's enjoyment:

corstae.jpg In a time of dragons and conflict, one smalle, remote country, Corstae, is pulled into a larger war that it has no means to fight. It's king, James, must go headlong into a battle that he knows he knows he cannot win, involving his queen and young prince.

In this history-changing endeavor, Ioyalties will be tested, strength measured, sorcery reborn, and dragons let loose to rain savag fire down from the skies.

This follow up to David Vining's Crystal Embers is an epic journey and detailed account of war both sudden and terrifying.

Corstae by David Vining

MORON RECOMMENDATIONS

Even though we had an interesting and engaging conversation about typing last week, there were also several excellent recommendations:

I missed last week so I've got a bumper crop of recommendations and comments. First off, a nonfiction work: Skunk Works by Ben R. Rich and Leo Janos. Rich was an engineer at Lockheed under the legendary Kelly Johnson (I think there's a law or something that you have to call him that), and then took over as head of the Skunk Works after Johnson retired.

As one might expect, Rich focuses heavily on projects he was involved with -- the U-2, the SR-71, and the Stealth fighter. Lots of "now it can be told" about the secret stuff. The authors pad out Rich's reminiscences with short pieces by others involved, especially pilots who flew the planes.

Great stuff if you're a plane buff. The SR-71 section is really amazing: CIA gave Johnson a ridiculous set of requirements, he turned that into a design full of unobtanium, and the engineers made it real.

Posted by: Trimegistus at February 18, 2024 09:15 AM (78a2H)

Comment: I'm not a plane buff, but I've always had an appreciation for the SR-71. I just think it's a gorgeous piece of aeronautical engineering. It *looks* like it flies at Mach 3 while it's just sitting on the tarmac. The engineers who made that bird clearly put their hearts and souls into it to make it the fastest thing in the skies with no competition.

+++++

Finished Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. Somehow, I escaped high school and college literature classes without being assigned this classic tale, for which I am grateful because I believe the story was more appreciated now than it would have been earlier.

A morality tale set in Yorkshire, England at the turn of the 19th century; it follows three generations of two neighboring families of the landed gentry. Love, hate, envy, scorn, faith, violence, revenge, and education are all featured in a story I found (surprisingly) gripping. Much easier to read than Jane Eyre although it does feature the never-ending sentence strung together with commas and semicolons that was popular at the time. Still, not difficult to read and comprehend. Recommended.

Posted by: Legally Sufficient at February 18, 2024 09:38 AM (KglbO)

Comment: I admit that I've never read this book, though it is highly rated among the "classics." I understand that there is quite a bit of gothicness going on in this book, which helps establish the mood and overall dark tone of the story. That's one of the reasons why I enjoyed Jane Austen's Mansfield Park more than I expected to. Lots of gothic elements to enhance the storytelling.

+++++

I'm reading the second book in Cixin Liu's 3 Body trilogy, The Dark Forest. It was a little difficult to get into because the Chinese names make it hard to remember which character is attached to the name. It is also difficult to do a synopsis of the book if you haven't read the first one because his writing totally out of the box.

So trying not to give any spoilers: How do you think humanity would react if we knew that an alien fleet was on the way but wouldn't arrive for 400 years. That their technology was vastly superior. That they had a way to spy on everything we were doing and interfering with our technology to keep us from making great leaps. They have a single flaw however. They can't read our minds and in their culture everyone can read everyone else's mind so they cannot lie. They do not understand subterfuge. They do not understand strategic planning that uses false premises to fool the enemy.

How will humanity exploit this?

This is an amazing book and I'm only a couple of hundred pages in.

Posted by: Sharon(willow's apprentice) at February 18, 2024 10:26 AM (t/2Uw)

Comment: I've heard a lot of good things about Cixin Liu's trilogy, though I've also heard it can be a challenge because it's written from a Chinese/Asian mindset. Also, as Sharon points out, the names can be difficult to keep straight, especially if there are a lot of them. John Christopher's Tripods series has some similarities in that aliens are well on their way here, but their advance fleet has already conquered most of the Earth. The follow-up fleet will do the final terraforming of the planet to the aliens' liking. I honestly don't know how humanity would actually react to genuine aliens among us. Probably with a lot of fearmongering and violence, which seems to be our "hat" when it comes to alien invasions...

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

+-----+-----+-----+-----+

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.


dust-of-dreams.jpg

Malazan Book of the Fallen 9 - Dust of Dreams by Steven Erickson

Whew! It's been a long, grueling journey, but we are finally at the conclusion of the Malazan saga. According to Erickson, the conclusion had to be divided into two parts--Dust of Dreams and The Crippled God--because there was no way to fit it all into one volume (**Tad Williams and Zombie Robert Jordan nod sympathetically**). The Malazan Army prepares to march against an unknown foe from ancient times. Meanwhile, their allies are securing the southern portion of the continent so that the Malazans have a clear path to their destination and their destiny...Will they save the world or doom it?

PREVIOUS SUNDAY MORNING BOOK THREAD - 02-18-24 (NOTE: Do NOT comment on old threads!)


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Disclaimer: No Morons were harmed in the making of this Sunday Morning Book Thread. Unpleasant employers have increased their hiring of food tasters and bodyguards.

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