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Old 09-17-2017, 03:13 PM   #1026
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I'm working through my Niven and Pournelle downloads. Pournelle died last week, was announced yesterday. I've very mixed feelings about the influential asshole, but that's another thread. (Yeah, he was drunk on his butt at that computer con.) Anyway, I'm now on Niven's DESTINY'S ROAD, which isn't quite as fascistic as some earlier stuff.
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Old 09-18-2017, 08:19 AM   #1027
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Old 09-18-2017, 10:22 AM   #1028
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Old 09-18-2017, 12:47 PM   #1029
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The Gate of Happy Sparrows by Daniele Varè.

I collect and read literature from the Chinese innerwar period (1920s and 30s). My publisher sent me this one.
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Old 10-06-2017, 01:30 PM   #1030
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"...[Dan] De Quille's first bit of advice, which Clemens would carry with him the rest of his career, was wise, if succinct: 'Get the facts first, then you can distort them as much as you like'...

...The temple visit inspired Twain to reflect on the blessedly simpler times before the swarms of Christian missionaries had arrived in the islands to 'make the natives permanently miserable by telling them how beautiful and how blissful a place heaven is, and how nearly impossible it is to get there.' The missionaries had shown the native Hawaiian 'how in his ignorance, he had gone and fooled away all his kinfolks to no purpose; showed him what rapture it is to work all day long for fifty cents to buy food for the next day with, as compared with fishing for pastime and lolling in the shade through eternal summer, and eating of the bounty that nobody labored to provide but nature. How sad it is,' Twain concluded, 'to think of the multitudes who have gone to their graves in this beautiful island and never know there was a hell! Privately, he groused in his notebook that 'more row [has been] made about saving these 60,000 people than [it] would take to convert hell itself.'... "

-Roy Morris, Jr.
Lighting Out For The Territory: How Samuel Clemens Headed West and Became Mark Twain
New York, N.Y. 2010.



I've read a lot of Twain over the years and have a decent collection of his works (including a couple of first editions). When I saw this book on the library's shelf, it occurred to me that I really didn't know that much about Twain's youth and early years. After thumbing through the book, I realized that I'd read and greatly enjoyed Roy Morris' earlier biography of Ambrose Bierce (Ambrose Bierce: Alone and In Bad Company). Both Bierce and Twain were major influences on Mencken's prose and philosophy.

This book proved to be an engaging read and highly informative. I heartily recommend it.




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Old 10-06-2017, 01:53 PM   #1031
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Daniele Vare's The Maker of Heavenly Trousers

and C. J. Box's Stone Cold.
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Old 10-06-2017, 09:40 PM   #1032
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I'm nearly finished with "Shanghai Flame" by A.S. Fleischman. Afterward I might go to "Counterspy Express" by the same author. Or not. The author's style always leaves me a little drained. I'll probably go with something light.
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Old 10-06-2017, 10:03 PM   #1033
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Reading "A Many Splendoured Thing" by Han Suyin. It's beautifully written, autobiographical, about a one-year love affair between the author, Han Suyin, and a British war correspondent named Mark Elliot. he is killed in Korea and she only finds out from the newspaper, because their (interracial) love affair is frowned on... very sad and beautifully evocative.

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Old 10-06-2017, 10:24 PM   #1034
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Ready Player One - interesting so far, only a few chapters in.
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Old 12-02-2017, 02:06 PM   #1035
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" 'Corruption is too often the consequence of great prosperity and for the last twenty-two years we have been visited with the temptation of that state, as no people ever were before.' [said John Quincy Adams] An all too prosperous America had become an embodiment of material self-indulgence. Through the agency of parties, politics had become a vehicle of corrupt self-interest. 'That some relaxation from the virtues of our earlier age has followed cannot be denied, and party spirit the most infectious of all corruptions of a free people has undoubtedly tainted the political morality of almost all the public men now the leaders of the Union.' [Adams again] There is 'little to choose between them. To purify and refine their characters, the trial of adversity must come, as I have no doubt it will, and that will sift the wheat from the chaff and restore many of the principles of Republican virtue, proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence.'...

...The next year, in Baltimore for the Articles of Confederation debates, Adams recorded a striking difference between 'the Manners of Maryland' and the culture of New England. Maryland's agrarian society has 'but few Merchants. They are chiefly Planters and Farmers.' Most important, 'the lands are cultivated, and all Sorts of Trades are exercised by Negroes...which has occasioned the Planters and Farmers to assume the Title of Gentlemen, and they hold their Negroes and...all labouring People and Tradesmen, in such Contempt, that they think themselves a distinct order of Beings. Hence they never will suffer their Sons to labour or learn any Trade, but they bring them up in Idleness or what is worse in Horse Racing, Cock fighting, and Card Playing.' The South's slave owners, he concluded, consider themselves 'a distinct order of Beings,' superior to those who value the Puritan work ethic...Northerners were not and could never be, in Southern eyes, 'gentlemen.' A gentleman did not work for a living...

...'Any people anywhere,' Lincoln proposed to the House, 'being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up, and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better.'...

...With the responsibility of governing in a crisis, Lincoln and Seward had decided that the government had no obligation to provide justice to slaves. They were property. The Constitution protected property. It did not protect slaves as human beings. The founding document provided a legal rather than a moral blueprint, and the Declaration's clain that 'all men are created equal' was not an absolute. For Lincoln and most white Americans, it depended on one's definition of 'equal'...

...The post-assassination Lincoln took on a greatly amplified importance to much of the American public, probably the president most deeply reviled in his lifetime and most highly regarded after his death. The image of Lincoln as the Great Emancipator has contributed to both. It has flattened out our history, especially the history of slavery in American, and allowed many Americans to take refuge under the vast Lincoln umbrella: the Great Emancipator freed the slaves. He did not. He was as much a follower as a leader; a cautious politician who, when he did emancipate the slaves in the Confederacy, in fact freed no slaves at all: they were still slaves under Confederate rule...


-Fred Kaplan
Lincoln and the Abolitionists: John Quincy Adams, Slavery, and the Civil War
New York, N.Y. 2017.



I didn't realize just how much of a racist Lincoln was. He had no desire to free the slaves, did not believe a mixed race society possible and was a strong advocate of forcible expulsion/colonization of blacks to Africa or South America.

Kaplan has written an interesting book that's worth reading.


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Old 12-02-2017, 04:57 PM   #1036
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The Astral Mirror - Ben Bova
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Gwen, my love, if one tolerates bad manners, they grow worse. Our pleasant habitat could decay into the sort of slum Elli-Five is, with crowding and unmannerly behavior and unnecessary noise and impolite language. I must find the oaf who did this thing, explain to him his offense, give him a chance to apologize, and kill him. - Robert Heinlein, The Cat Who Walks Through Walls

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Old 12-02-2017, 05:41 PM   #1037
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Murakami - Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World.

Most Murakami has cats, this one has golden fleeced unicorns...
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Old 12-02-2017, 05:54 PM   #1038
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Literotica Authors

Since I started writing and hanging out in the AH, I have discovered some really great authors here. Whenever someone catches my attention in the AH, I make it a point to read at least some of their work. Many of you have really elevated my opinion of what Literotica can be. So far, I've read ChloeTzang, SimonDoom, MelissaBaby, ElectricBlue66, Exescort, NotWise, SusanJillParker, and ellen_devlin. Not in that order.

At the moment, I'm reading Oggbashan.
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Old 12-03-2017, 09:20 PM   #1039
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Originally Posted by LoquiSordidaAdMe View Post
Since I started writing and hanging out in the AH, I have discovered some really great authors here. Whenever someone catches my attention in the AH, I make it a point to read at least some of their work. Many of you have really elevated my opinion of what Literotica can be. So far, I've read ChloeTzang, SimonDoom, MelissaBaby, ElectricBlue66, Exescort, NotWise, SusanJillParker, and ellen_devlin. Not in that order.

At the moment, I'm reading Oggbashan.
Thank you, Loqui, your support for my writing has been very much appreciated.
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Old 12-05-2017, 10:24 PM   #1040
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Literotica Authors

Since I started writing and hanging out in the AH, I have discovered some really great authors here. Whenever someone catches my attention in the AH, I make it a point to read at least some of their work. Many of you have really elevated my opinion of what Literotica can be. So far, I've read ChloeTzang, ElectricBlue66, ellen_devlin, Exescort, MelissaBaby, NotWise, Oggbashan, SimonDoom, and SusanJillParker.

At the moment, I'm reading Bramblethorn.
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Old 12-05-2017, 11:09 PM   #1041
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The Wild Oats Project

It's pretty interesting, if my husband did what her husband did, I wonder if I would have to courage to do what she did..

like I said interesting..
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Old 12-07-2017, 11:08 PM   #1042
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Currently re-reading A SCANDALOUS HISTORY OF THE ROMAN EMPERORS by Anthony Blond (with a chapter on food by his wife Laura). A randy lot, they were...
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Old 12-08-2017, 01:33 AM   #1043
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J. Jefferson Farjeon, Mystery in White
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Old 12-10-2017, 11:07 AM   #1044
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I'm working my way through an 'Andre Norton' megapak that I got from 'Amaze - on' some time ago. Not sure which title I'm on. I've been buying too many books on Amazon lately so I thought I'd finish this collection before I start another.

I intersperse nearly every chapter with a Lit story. Hence my less than full attention to the Ms. Norton - who, by the way, is one of the many sci-fi authors I avidly followed back in my teens and early twenties.
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Old 12-11-2017, 09:51 PM   #1045
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Since I started writing and hanging out in the AH, I have discovered some really great authors here. Whenever someone catches my attention in the AH, I make it a point to read at least some of their work. Many of you have really elevated my opinion of what Literotica can be. So far, I've read bramblethorn, ChloeTzang, ElectricBlue66, ellen_devlin, Exescort, MelissaBaby, NotWise, Oggbashan, SimonDoom, and SusanJillParker.

At the moment, I'm reading sr71plt, whose catalog has always intimidated me, but since he named his favorites in another thread, I at least have a starting point..
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Old 12-27-2017, 11:27 AM   #1046
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"...Barely half the inhabitants [of Japan in 1946] had a roof over their heads. One in five had tuberculosis. On all sides in the capital were ruined buildings, broken water mains and sewage drains, shattered schools. There was no public transportation: all the buses were destroyed; the trolley lines and their cars had been obliterated. There were the daily degradations and humiliations of the American occupation; there was a pervasive lack of work and its kin: a want of money and widespread beggary and destitution. There was also, or so it seemed, a collapse of society's moral fiber, with gang warfare, prostitution, thievery, and black marketeering pasted onto a national sense of remorse, guilt, resentment, and a deeply felt, unfocused, and chance-directed bitterness.

Yet, for all that, as 1946 got shakily under way, something curious happened: the Japanese people began to ready themselves, though they knew it not, to rise up and display a mettle quite unimagineable in its scope, heft, and range. And the Pacific Ocean was the theater in which this display was to be most vigorously mounted.

In those first few months after the surrender, the country was gripped by a spasm of self-repair, of make-do and mending, of precipitous institutional about-faces and adaptations. Factories that had weeks before been making war materials switched their production lines to start making items needed not by generals and admirals, but by the bone-tired civilians and by the ragged menfolk returning from the battlefields. So bomb casings became charcoal burners, sitting neatly upright on their tail fins and helping households get through that first bitter winter. Large-caliber brass shell cases were modified as rice containers, while tea caddies were fashioned from their smaller shiny cousins. A searchlight mirror maker turned out flat glass panes to repair thousands of Tokyo windows; and for country dwellers, a fighter plane engine piston maker turned his factory to building water pumps. A piston ring fabricator named Soichiro Honda took small engines used during the war as radio generators and strapped them onto the frames of Tokyo's bicycles...

...In a series of secret U.S. Navy experiments that were begun in the early 1960s, a flotilla of antique warships was used to drag sensitive magnetometers back and forth across those Pacific ridge summits that had been found off the Oregon coast. Scientists then analyzed the recordings, and carefully noted the traces of magnetism that had been detected in the rocks below. What they found quite astonished them, as the submarine rocks displayed, with an elegant and instantly understandable symmetry, the record of the already know phenomenon of the earth's magnetic field reversal.

Every fifty thousand years or so, and for no certain reason, the direction of magnetism of the planet abruptly changes: compasses that point to the north suddenly point to the south, to put it simply..."


-Simon Winchester
Pacific: Silicon Chips and Surfboards, Coral Reefs and Atom Bombs, Brutal Dictators, Fading Empires, and the Coming Collision of the World's Superpowers
New York, N.Y. 2015.




Simon Winchester has written a bunch of engrossing and best-selling books. The man is brilliant and a bit of a polymath. This isn't his best work, by any means, but it's entertaining and worth a read.


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Old 12-27-2017, 12:30 PM   #1047
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i just finished re-reading "the great gatsby" for the umpteenth time. i read it every 10 years or so, in my youth i was a total f. scott fitzgerald freak. before that, i read a current book entitled "the killing lessons" by saul black about a serial killer. kept me up most of the night reading it.
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Old 12-27-2017, 12:49 PM   #1048
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Anne Perry, Blood on the Water

and

Alexander McCall Smith, The Dog Who Came in from the Cold
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Old 12-27-2017, 01:50 PM   #1049
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Fear of Flying, Erica Jong
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Old 12-29-2017, 09:53 PM   #1050
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Apache: Inside the Cockpit of the World's Most Deadly Fighting Machine by Ed Macy. Apache is the incredible true story of Ed Macy, a decorated Apache helicopter pilot, that takes you inside the cockpit of the world’s most dangerous war machine. A firsthand account of the exhilaration and ferocity of war, Apache chronicles a rescue mission involving a stranded soldier in Afghanistan in 2007.Ed Macy had always dreamed of a career in the army, so when the British Army Air Corps launched its attack helicopter program, Ed bent every rule in the book to make sure he was the first to sign up to fly the Apache—the deadliest, most technically advanced helicopter in the world and the toughest to fly.In 2007, Ed’s Apache squadron was dispatched to Afghanistan’s notorious Helmand Province.

Apache Dawn: Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned – by Damien Lewis. The Apache attack helicopter is one of the world's most awesome weapons systems. Deployed for the first time in Afghanistan, it has already passed into legend. The only thing more incredible than the Apache itself are the pilots who fly her. For the first time, Apache Dawn tells their story―and their baptism of fire in the unforgiving battle of Helmand province.

Their call sign was "Ugly"―and there was no better word for the grueling hundred-day deployment they endured. Day after day, four of England's Army Air Corps' finest pilots flew right into the heart of battle, testing their aircraft to the very limit. Apache Dawn takes the reader with them on a series of unrelenting and brutally intense combat missions, from daring, edge-of-the-seat rescues to dramatic close-air support in the white heat of battle.

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And Chloe's first novel, "Mistaken Identity", is also now available (on that website that sells books)
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