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The Athenaeum - Reading updates and Literary Review from the Obsidian Elite (this means you)


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Finished Caste and The End is Always Near.

Currently reading:

25014. sy475

and

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"Art and song are creations but so are weapons and lies"

"Our worst enemies are inventions of the mind. Pleasure. Fear. When we see them for what they are, we become unstoppable."

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Now reading:

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You'd think a book about Viking would be interesting. You'd be wrong. So far it's as dry as a popcorn fart. 

Get off my lawn!

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On 9/5/2020 at 12:03 AM, Guard Dog said:

You'd think a book about Viking would be interesting. You'd be wrong. So far it's as dry as a popcorn fart. 

Sorry to hear you caught a bad one. There good books on the subject out there. Unfortunately, I haven't read any of them recently and can't help with a recommendation.

"Art and song are creations but so are weapons and lies"

"Our worst enemies are inventions of the mind. Pleasure. Fear. When we see them for what they are, we become unstoppable."

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Reminds me I need to finish On War some day. 

Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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Do not recommend. Not because it isn't a good story. It definitely is. But it's liberally mixed with dropped names and fiction. The one that really caught my eye was a claim to do a job for an associate of Bill Clinton and drug use in the Clinton gubernatorial admin in 1975. Just one problem, Clinton was a deputy AG in 1975. The Governor was David Prior. I knew that didn't sound right. There are a few others like that. Some provably false after a few minutes on google. Some not provable but highly improbable. There might be truth in there but it's served up with a healthy dose of fiction. I like my non-fiction to be just that

Get off my lawn!

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Finished The Dresden File Battle Ground. The book is on par with Changes as far as action and consequence are concerned, but it definitely should have come out as part of Peace Talks.

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"Cuius testiculos habeas, habeas cardia et cerebellum."

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I'm done with Dune Messiah and Children of Dune. Children of Dune seemed to drag a little. Both not nearly as entertaining as the first novel, and both have somewhat anticlimactic endings after a lot of buildup. Guess I'll continue now that I'm on a roll. Onwards to God Emperor of Dune. :p

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3 hours ago, Hurlshot said:

I watched that Dresden interview, and I had no idea that Spike wasn't British. Wow.

If you really want to blow your mind, he actually based his accent on Tony Head's day-to-day accent. So "Giles" actually speaks more like "Spike"....

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"Cuius testiculos habeas, habeas cardia et cerebellum."

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That wander into entertaining slightly pulp military sci-fi.   Evan Currie's  "On Silver Wings" series.

“Her military specialty is listed as unconventional asymmetrical warfare, training, and logistics.”
Kriss whistled, sinking back, “Oh damn the Abyss.”
“What? What? What does that mean?” The Ambassador was befuddled.
“It means that she specializes in fighting wars inside enemy territory, by training rebels and teaching them how to take on superior foes with lesser numbers and equipment,” Sienele scowled, “and now she knows not just that we have such dissidents within our borders, but at least some idea of how to locate them I have little doubt.
Kriss shook his head, “and I believed her dangerous as a Sentinel. She’s not the weapon, she’s the engineer and the trigger.

 

"Cuius testiculos habeas, habeas cardia et cerebellum."

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Just finished re-reading The Cruelest Miles. I posted about it a few pages back. It's about the dog sled relay to get the first part of a diphtheria vaccine from Anchorage to Nome. What a great book. Worth reading twice.  

Get off my lawn!

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Now reading something lighter and more fun:

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Also started something less light and less fun but Achilles recommended it so I'll give it a shot:

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Get off my lawn!

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I wanted to read a book about Dean Martin on my kindle and it was a bit pricey, so I started a trial of Amazon Unlimited to get it for free. I'm glad I did that, because they didn't do a great job digitizing it and there are a bunch of lettering errors. Still, it's an ok look at the time period. Lately I've been trying to find a decent book on the Rat Pack that isn't just a puff piece.

Dino: Living High in the Dirty Business of Dreams by [Nick Toses]

Looking for something lighter and more entertaining, I picked up this as well:

The Lions of Lucerne (The Scot Harvath Series Book 1) by [Brad Thor]

Standard political conspiracy fun :p

On the subject of Kindle Unlimited, I can't decide if it is a good deal or not. It is $10 a month. I read on average 2 books a month (more during breaks, less during busy months.) Those books tend to cost about $10, but sometimes I get them from the lending library, which gives you 1 a month. Unlimited also doesn't have every book, so when I picked up Sagan, I had to pay for it.

My World by [Sagan Peter]

Speaking of which, as much as I have enjoyed my new hobby of riding bikes fast, I still have a lot of trouble getting into the sport of cycling. I have no idea what is going on with all the events and teams, so this book was hard to follow. I think it has more to do with my lack of background knowledge. It was a pretty easy read other than that.

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On 11/17/2020 at 3:28 PM, Hurlshot said:

On the subject of Kindle Unlimited, I can't decide if it is a good deal or not. It is $10 a month. I read on average 2 books a month (more during breaks, less during busy months.) Those books tend to cost about $10, but sometimes I get them from the lending library, which gives you 1 a month. Unlimited also doesn't have every book, so when I picked up Sagan, I had to pay for it.

I don't think it is. In theory I do read enough for it to be worthwhile and Amazon suckered me into getting Kindle Unlimited by not allowing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows to be picked as monthly library choice (I read the first six novels one by one over six months). The price for the books is quite frankly insane, so I figured a free trial period is long enough to finish the series.

Like a good useless consumer lemming I so far haven't overcome my inertia to actually cancel it, and I'm not really reading anything that is on Unlimited. Or let's inverse that, nothing I wanted to read so far has been available on Unlimited.

edit:

It also looks like Amazon stopped offering the lending library service here sometime this summer. All the menu items are gone from my Kindle, the one book I still have is now listed under Kindle Unlimited and can't be returned (well, obviously, how would you return an Unlimited book). The only thing left is Prime Reading which was always significantly worse than being able to read one "free" ebook per month. Free being relative as you'd still need a Kindle and Prime, but that easily paid for itself if you used your one book per month on books with ridiculous cash grabbing prices (*cough* Harry Potter *cough*) or new releases.

Pity. Probably turned out to be a bad deal for Amazon. Offering millions of books on Unlimited and most of them being ridiculous pulp is probably a lot better for Bezos' wallet.

Edited by majestic
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