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Old 05-21-2016, 11:31 AM   #976
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"...So he marched his men most of the night and flung them into battle when— as a number of Indians note— they were so tired their legs shook when they dismounted. As usual, he did only minimal reconnaissance, and convinced himself on no evidence whatever that the Indians must be running away from him, not towards him. The highly experienced scouts who were with him— the half breed Mitch Bouyer and the Crows Bloody Knife and Half Yellow Face— all told Custer that they would die if they descended into the valley where the Indians were. None of them, in all their many years on the plains, had ever seen anything to match this great encampment. All the scouts knew that the valley ahead was for them the valley of death. Half Yellow Face, poetically, told Custer that they would all go home that day by a road they did not know. The fatalism of these scouts is a story in itself. Mitch Bouyer, who knew exactly what was coming, sent the young scout Curly away, but then himself rode on with Custer, to his death..."

-Larry McMurtry
Crazy Horse
New York, N.Y. 1999.




If there's anybody qualified to write about the American West, it's Larry McMurtry.

Surprisingly little is known about Crazy Horse's life and that, of course, makes him a difficult subject for any biographer. Rather than fill lots of pages with speculation, McMurtry acknowledges the paucity of solid information and wrote a comparatively brief book.





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Old 05-21-2016, 11:34 AM   #977
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Pat Frank: Alas Babylon (a re-re-re-read)
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Old 05-21-2016, 11:45 AM   #978
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Figment by Alison Tyler
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Delilah Night---Purveyor of Deliciously Naughty Bedtime Stories

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Capturing the Moment is now available on Amazon , iTunes, Google Books, Kobo, and from my publisher, Totally Bound.

You never forget your first love…

Meg and RJ were passionately in love. But that was six years and a broken engagement ago.

Meg has only one day in Siem Reap, Cambodia, before she must leave for her sister’s wedding in Bali.

RJ's come to Siem Reap to win back the woman he’s never stopped loving. But first he has to convince her to spend the day with him.

Meg is as physically attracted to RJ as she ever was. Maybe the secret to finally getting over him is a one day only, no strings attached fling.

Can RJ win Meg back, or will she love him and leave him?

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Old 05-21-2016, 01:51 PM   #979
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Andrea Camilleri's A Beam of Light

and

Amy Tan's The Valley of Amazement. This one is making me laugh in relation to the recent rediscussion on Lit. of the "laws" against writing underage sex. Girls lose their virginity left and right in this book at ages 11 through 15.
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Old 05-21-2016, 06:35 PM   #980
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Snuff
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Old 05-21-2016, 08:43 PM   #981
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The Gnostic Paul by Elaine Pagels. Difficult, challenging but compelling.

The effectiveness of Elaine Pagels arguments is evidenced by a surprising lack of counter arguments from the established churches and their theologians. She is just too damn smart to allow herself to be boxed into a corner by her opponents, and as in her other books, usually constructs the counters to her own point of view better than anybody else. Simply understands the Gnostics better than anyone else.
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Old 05-22-2016, 02:22 AM   #982
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Another re-read: Mother Tongue by Bill Bryson.

Reviewing it for the Torygraph, Angus Deayton said that it was 'not only fascinating but extremely funny'. He was not wrong. I was happily reminded of Robert Browning's: 'Then owls and bats, / Cowls and twats, / Monks and nuns, in cloister's moods,' etc. Browning had somehow picked up the idea that a twat is something that a nun wears on her head. Hang on a minute ... perhaps he was right.
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Old 05-22-2016, 03:25 AM   #983
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Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier - 1820s, Mary Yellan goes to stay with her Aunt Patience in Cornwall but it turns out her husband is a ship wrecker, luring ships in until they wreck then killing all survivors and stealing the ship's stores. Very atmospheric and somewhat drawn out. Tried to watch Hitchcock's adaptation last night and, honestly, thought it was terrible.
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Old 05-22-2016, 03:40 AM   #984
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"Kildar" (Book 2 of Paladin of Shadows) by John Ringo.
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Old 05-23-2016, 12:32 PM   #985
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Moved on to third novel "Choosers of the Slain". A re-re-reread. I hadn't realized before that Richard Marcinko wrote up a blurb for the series.
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Old 05-23-2016, 01:29 PM   #986
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Ann Leckie: Ancillary Justice/Ancillary Sword/Ancillary Mercy

First 3 books of Leckie's "Imperial Radch" series. These books have garnered many awards and critical acclaim (which always makes me suspicious), but I'm half-way through the second book and so far I'm at least entertained. Genre-wise I'd call this socio-politico-philosophical commentary thinly disguised as space opera... so what's not to like?
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Old 05-23-2016, 11:06 PM   #987
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The Kamikazes - Edwin P. Hoyt; a history of Japanese Suicide operations in the pacific theatre between Spring 1944 and VJ-Day

1,000 Years Of Annoying The French - Stephen Clarke. Self explanatory, really...
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Old 06-21-2016, 09:19 AM   #988
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The Corps by W.E.B. Griffin
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Old 06-21-2016, 01:16 PM   #989
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Lindsey Davis, The Ides of April

Rita Mae Brown, Nine Lives to Live
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Old 06-21-2016, 03:07 PM   #990
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"Without Remorse", Tom Clancy.
It's almost the original 'revenge' novel.
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Old 06-21-2016, 11:52 PM   #991
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Tuf Voyaging by George R. R. Martin

...and loving it. If you like SciFi check it out!
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Old 06-24-2016, 02:53 AM   #992
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Just finished REAMDE By Neal Stephenson.
My favorite author at the moment. Thoroughly enjoyable adventure.

Now reading Tom Wolfe's Back To Blood where he does for Miami what he did for New York with Bonfire of the Vanities.
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Old 06-24-2016, 04:25 AM   #993
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Unseen Academicals by Terry Pratchett
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Old 06-24-2016, 08:45 AM   #994
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Angelmaker by Nick Harkaway and it is tremendous so far!
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Old 06-24-2016, 12:55 PM   #995
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"...War had unmade the world. Four years of bloodshed had paved the American landscape with gravestones. At least 620,000 soldiers had died (360,000 Union, 260,000 Confederate), more than the combined total of all the nation's other wars, before and since. Were the United States to suffer an equivalent toll at the start of the twenty-first century, almost six million people would be dead.

The South lay in ruins. Farms and villages along the paths of the major armies had been wrecked. Cities ranging from Jackson, Mississippi, to Columbia, South Carolina, from Atlanta to Richmond, were smoldering ruins. Basic infrastructure such as levees, roads, and bridges had gone unrepaired or had been destroyed by raiders from both sides. The financial capital of the rebel states had been annihilated as well, spent on arms and supplies, or converted into now worthless-Confederate bonds and currency. Across the region land values fell, crops went unplanted, workshops were unmanned.

As for slavery, the great wheel that drove the South's economy, advancing Union armies and the Emancipation Proclamation had knocked it loose, and it would soon be smashed to pieces. On January 31, 1865, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution; once ratified by the states, it would abolish slavery completely, without compensation or qualification. An enormous portion of the South's wealth had once been measured in human bodies, and now it would disappear...

...The war drew out and exaggerated the personal aggressiveness of the South's culture of violence, but the gun shattered it formalized, ritual quality— specifically, the rapid-firing revolver invented by Samuel Colt. The war put weapons in the hands of millions of men, who were allowed to carry them home. The new custom of carrying firearms astonished contemporaries, who had seen nothing like it before the war. A Yankee in Mississippi noticed that 'a great majority of the country white people wore [pistols] strapped outside their pants, and many outside their coats.' In Richmond, Kentucky, 'all wear Navy revolvers strapped around their waist,' observed a reporter in 1866. 'This habit of wearing firearms is not confined alone to the men, but boys of scarcely fifteen years of age.'

In Missouri, mandatory militia service, guerilla warfare, and aggressive postwar marketing by firearms manufacturers had saturated the population with six-shooters. In October 1866, Lieutenant James Burbank went to investigate reports of 'an armed pistol company' in St. Clair and neighboring counties. 'Nearly every man I saw during my stay in these counties carried army revolvers,' Burbank reported, 'even men at work in their fields, and boys riding about town.' He described it as 'a habit which grew out of the unsettled condition of the country since the war.' Unsettled indeed. Given the omnipresence of pistols, the persistence of wartime hatreds, and a fresh familiarity with death, confrontations rapidly turned lethal. 'Fist and skull fighting has played out here,' wrote one Missourian in May 1866. 'They now do that business in a more prompt manner.'... "

-T. J. Stiles
Jesse James: Last Rebel of the Civil War
New York, N.Y. 2002.




I first stumbled on T. J. Stiles when I picked up his most recent book, The Trials of Custer, an unusual biography of the eponymous George Armstrong Custer. I'm glad I did.

Stiles' biography of Jesse James is the book that put him on the map— and with good reason. It is thoroughly researched, well documented and well written. The reader will gain insight into the ulcer that was Missouri from 1850-1876 and, for those unfamiliar with the Second Civil War (a/k/a Reconstruction), an understanding of that greatly neglected formative period.

Not many people are acquainted with the horrific atrocities and nearly unconstrained total war conducted by the guerillas/irregulars in Missouri both before and after the well-known conflict of 1861-1865. The successful resistance to Reconstruction resulted in what was essentially attainment of many Southern goals culminating in 1876.




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Old 06-24-2016, 01:54 PM   #996
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Old 06-24-2016, 07:25 PM   #997
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The Nightmare Stacks by Charles Stross. Number 7 in his Laundry serious about the British civil service trying to fend off brain-eating horrors from other worlds.
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Old 07-18-2016, 08:57 PM   #998
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Donna Leon, The Golden Egg

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Old 07-19-2016, 02:13 AM   #999
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Interesting. I have just been listening to an interview with a man whose writing I greatly admire. Crisp. Clear. Perceptive.

'Who do you read?' the interviewer asked.

'I don't,' the interviewee said. 'I never have. I talk; I listen; but I don't read. The last time that I almost read a book from cover to cover was when I was reading for my PhD - 50-something years ago.'
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Old 07-19-2016, 05:21 AM   #1000
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trysail View Post


"...War had unmade the world. Four years of bloodshed had paved the American landscape with gravestones. At least 620,000 soldiers had died (360,000 Union, 260,000 Confederate), more than the combined total of all the nation's other wars, before and since. Were the United States to suffer an equivalent toll at the start of the twenty-first century, almost six million people would be dead.

The South lay in ruins. Farms and villages along the paths of the major armies had been wrecked. Cities ranging from Jackson, Mississippi, to Columbia, South Carolina, from Atlanta to Richmond, were smoldering ruins. Basic infrastructure such as levees, roads, and bridges had gone unrepaired or had been destroyed by raiders from both sides. The financial capital of the rebel states had been annihilated as well, spent on arms and supplies, or converted into now worthless-Confederate bonds and currency. Across the region land values fell, crops went unplanted, workshops were unmanned.

As for slavery, the great wheel that drove the South's economy, advancing Union armies and the Emancipation Proclamation had knocked it loose, and it would soon be smashed to pieces. On January 31, 1865, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution; once ratified by the states, it would abolish slavery completely, without compensation or qualification. An enormous portion of the South's wealth had once been measured in human bodies, and now it would disappear...

...The war drew out and exaggerated the personal aggressiveness of the South's culture of violence, but the gun shattered it formalized, ritual quality— specifically, the rapid-firing revolver invented by Samuel Colt. The war put weapons in the hands of millions of men, who were allowed to carry them home. The new custom of carrying firearms astonished contemporaries, who had seen nothing like it before the war. A Yankee in Mississippi noticed that 'a great majority of the country white people wore [pistols] strapped outside their pants, and many outside their coats.' In Richmond, Kentucky, 'all wear Navy revolvers strapped around their waist,' observed a reporter in 1866. 'This habit of wearing firearms is not confined alone to the men, but boys of scarcely fifteen years of age.'

In Missouri, mandatory militia service, guerilla warfare, and aggressive postwar marketing by firearms manufacturers had saturated the population with six-shooters. In October 1866, Lieutenant James Burbank went to investigate reports of 'an armed pistol company' in St. Clair and neighboring counties. 'Nearly every man I saw during my stay in these counties carried army revolvers,' Burbank reported, 'even men at work in their fields, and boys riding about town.' He described it as 'a habit which grew out of the unsettled condition of the country since the war.' Unsettled indeed. Given the omnipresence of pistols, the persistence of wartime hatreds, and a fresh familiarity with death, confrontations rapidly turned lethal. 'Fist and skull fighting has played out here,' wrote one Missourian in May 1866. 'They now do that business in a more prompt manner.'... "

-T. J. Stiles
Jesse James: Last Rebel of the Civil War
New York, N.Y. 2002.




I first stumbled on T. J. Stiles when I picked up his most recent book, The Trials of Custer, an unusual biography of the eponymous George Armstrong Custer. I'm glad I did.

Stiles' biography of Jesse James is the book that put him on the map— and with good reason. It is thoroughly researched, well documented and well written. The reader will gain insight into the ulcer that was Missouri from 1850-1876 and, for those unfamiliar with the Second Civil War (a/k/a Reconstruction), an understanding of that greatly neglected formative period.

Not many people are acquainted with the horrific atrocities and nearly unconstrained total war conducted by the guerillas/irregulars in Missouri both before and after the well-known conflict of 1861-1865. The successful resistance to Reconstruction resulted in what was essentially attainment of many Southern goals culminating in 1876.




In college I wrote a paper, THE SOUTH WON THE CIVIL WAR. The grade was A----- but the perfesser was a Civil War scholar who got my points.
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