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Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by GoT, Apr 21, 2013.
IF YOU WOULD READ HIS POST YOU WOULD KNOW HIS NAME IS CHRIS!
Still haven't read the Watchmen yet.....
but I do have a book I am about to read called Quiet.
eeeh fair enough
But HFRO was a good read.
I am about 1/2 way through Killing Jesus by Bill O'Reilly. It is not what I would call a theological read but rather attempts to tell the historical view of the Man Jesus and his life. Also spends a great deal of time with the world he grew up in and how the Roman empire impacted him and him it. I would also recommend Killing Kennedy and Killing Lincoln. Loved all the Clancy novels btw.
That sounds like an interesting read for fans of social history. It was a pivotal time Jesus grew up in. The Roman Empire had just come into existence transitioning from the old Republic. Emperor Augustus was able to bring about stability and prosperity after the turmoil of the Julius Cesar years.
Dr. Patrick Moore was one of the founders of Greenpeace. He however left the group and has become one of their most vocal critics. Basically he is a realist while also being an environmentalist. A fascinating person and a true environmentalist rather than an idiot activist. Also has some good insight into Greenpeace and mainstream environmentalists and how foolish they have become.
An interview he did about a year ago:
Just finished 'South: The Endurance Expedition' by Ernest Shackleton
Book was clearly propaganda by Shackleton in order to absolve himself of any blame for the expeditions overall failure. While at the same time making the successful case for himself to lead another polar expedition. I can picture ES on the lecture circuit reading passages from 'South' laying the groundwork for the 1921 expedition. During which ES died of a heart attack in 1922 and was buried on South Georgia Island.
The book was one third the loss of Endurance which was crushed in ice. One third the journey across floating ice floes until the party was forced into the Endurances lifeboats. Everyone made it too land. From there one of the boats was refitted and made seaworthy. At this point ES took a few guys and sailed from Antartica to South Georgia. They landed on the unoccupied side of the island and crossed the mountains to reach a whaling station and civilization. The men left behind were successfully rescued.
These parts of the book have been the subject of a few movies and mini-series. Reading the book makes ES seem less of a hero and more of a smart guy making the best of very limited choices. For the most part it seemed ES choose the only option that allowed the party to live to fight another day.
The final third of the book deals the the other half of the expedition. The half that was supposed to leave supplies for ES to use as he crossed Antartica. ES was critical of the decisions made by these men, but without chucking them under the carriage. Having said that ES stated on p. 289 "though there was a good deal of literature available ... the leaders of the various parties had not taken advantage of it" - ES went all RTFM!
of the 56 men who left 53 survived. Of the 3 lost none were under ES. Of the 53 that survived 3 died in WW1 and 5 were known to have been wounded.
It was quite interesting the different outlook people had just 100 years ago. They just saw the world differently than more modern people do. The attitudes concerning their own safety, nature, their work. Not worse necessarily just different. As a for instance they clearly appreciated their dogs, but way more for their ability too pull than for companionship.
Finished a 6 book series of short story format space opera called 'The Fleet' edited by David Drake (author of Hammers Slammers ) and Bill Fawcett.
The 6 books are tied together by Drake/Fawcett introductions to the short stories. Some of the characters repeat from book to book. The good part of these stories is that they are all self contained yet continue the bigger story of the space opera.
The opening story introduces you to a contuning character and there is a reprise in the last story of the first book. I will not give spoilers here. Some of the stories are for mature readers dwelling in the darker aspects of humanity while others are more lighthearted.
One of the continuing characters is a hero quartermaster who saves the day, multiple times, with paint. Other characters are archetypes - the evil intelligence officer, commanders wanting glory no matter how much blood it costs ect. That is not a bad thing. Its what makes good space opera.
The bad guys are space weasels. You discover this early so I dont consider it a spoiler. The good guys are The Fleet ran by a Star Trek-like Federation with a clear Navy tradition.
In this series almost all the stories are 15ish pages long. Getting about 20 in each book.
I quite enjoyed the lighter read and if anyone at all likes space opera they will enjoy these books.
Next up is another biography. This time its Empire of Blue Water about pirate Captain Morgan
Finishing up Empire of Blue Water by Stephen Talty and it has been one of the more fun historical reads I have had in a while.
Although the book is about Henry Morgan there are other 'characters' that are really the heart of the story.
Spain divided between the broken and indepted 'Old Spain' monarchy and the 'New Spain' that only felt tangential ties to the Catholic Kingdom at the other end of the Spanish Main.
The New World itself with the competing superpowers of the era ( Spain, France, England and the Dutch ) who competed on European land and every sea for supremacy. Spain was a hollow shell and all knew it, but it was still the greatest empire since Rome. This competition was reflected in the continually shifting politics in the New World.
Jamica and Port Royal are for this discussion the same. When Spain lost Jamica it opened the Main to privateers ( legalized pirates ) like Henry Morgan.
Henry Morgan was a from a politically connected family which helped him greatly allowing him to be a privateer and on occasion special treatment from the English government. At one point England even let him have an actual warship to conduct his enterprises. Morgan was atypical for a pirate in that he was looking to amass a fortune and buy land and become legit.
Roderick the everyman pirate who goes on every Morgan raid but has a typical pirate outlook - Live big while your pocket is full of Spanish silver.
In Roderick the author uses a technique I have not encounted before because Roderick is a fictional character in a biography. But after thinking it over I kinda like it. Famous educated privateers like Henry Morgan could and did record their own deeds in their own hand. But your typical pirate was illiterate and had no ability or desire to record their deeds. They wanted $s and they wanted access to wine, women and song when they had those $s.
If you have any curosity at all about the life of a pirate on the Spanish Main then Empire of Blue Water will be a good read.
there are no spoilers in the above.
Partially autobiographical fictional genius penned by cohort and first time author Danny Bland.
I enjoyed this more than any book I've read in the past 20 years.
Coming from a similar background this struck so many chords with me.
Hilarity and utter heartbreak in backdrop of dirty magazines, Rock and Roll and Sid/Nancy doomed relationships..
10 out of 10, which I do not hand out lightly..