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The Universal Baseball Association, Inc., J. Henry Waugh, Prop.

 

Brilliant read and one that I had put off reading for years.  Anyone that ever played a management sim of any sort should relate to how you can build a world with its own mythology.

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1001 games to play before you die.

 

Really interesting read giving snippets on on the history of gaming.

 

A really light read, but one that guarantees a smile from me is the nostalgia from the 80's side of things. wizball. buggy boy, chaos engine.

 

Sounds a fun read that seeing the games included and those missing out.

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Reading Jesse Walker's The United States of Paranoia, which is about the places where conspiracy theory creeps into mainstream politics and pop culture.  It goes back as far as the Puritans' unshakable belief that there must be some "super chief" pulling the strings of all the Native tribes in a conspiracy against the Christian colonists, but of course the 20th century stuff is most interesting.  Random take-aways:

 

1) John Todd was an amazing performance artist/con man/crazy person/monster.  I listened to a couple of his 1979 lectures today and holy shit this guy.  Out of all the movies to denounce as occult propaganda, the Billy Jack series seems like an odd choice.  (This forum would be particularly interested in the Jack Chick connection, I think.)  The fact that this dude was able to make hay for like eight years spewing easily disprovable, error-filled rants to churches is kind of amazing.  (The fact that he plagiarized fellow fake ex-occultist Mike Warnke is doubly hilarious.)

 

2) Jim Garrison was a dangerous lunatic, and you don't have to believe in a single shooter to recognize that he ruined several lives with his idiotic crusade.  Fuck Oliver Stone.

 

3) COINTELPRO!  The Johnson/Nixon-era FBI was pretty damned evil.

 

4) I really need to watch The Parallax View, don't I?

 

Yeah, I'm reading this book as well.  I'm only about 100 pages into it though. 

 

Early on, I wasn't feeling it.  The section dedicated to the movies/entertainment industry in the mid-1900s didn't grab me, but it has pulled me in with the stories about the Mormons and their viligante gang.

 

Posted Image

 

Nice cover too.

Edited by _MJ_

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The Universal Baseball Association, Inc., J. Henry Waugh, Prop.

 

Brilliant read and one that I had put off reading for years.  Anyone that ever played a management sim of any sort should relate to how you can build a world with its own mythology.

 

That's one of Kinsella's isn't it? (Been years). Never read a bad book by the guy. Met him at an M's game, super nice, had plenty of time to bs with a mid-list author.

 

Currently reading: Well, I just snagged ALL-STAR ARCHIVES 1-6 for eighty bucks on eBay, so I'm going to kick back and enjoy reading about Dr. Fate, Hourman, and the gang kicking the crap out the Nazis...

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Reading Jesse Walker's The United States of Paranoia, which is about the places where conspiracy theory creeps into mainstream politics and pop culture.  It goes back as far as the Puritans' unshakable belief that there must be some "super chief" pulling the strings of all the Native tribes in a conspiracy against the Christian colonists, but of course the 20th century stuff is most interesting.  Random take-aways:

 

1) John Todd was an amazing performance artist/con man/crazy person/monster.  I listened to a couple of his 1979 lectures today and holy shit this guy.  Out of all the movies to denounce as occult propaganda, the Billy Jack series seems like an odd choice.  (This forum would be particularly interested in the Jack Chick connection, I think.)  The fact that this dude was able to make hay for like eight years spewing easily disprovable, error-filled rants to churches is kind of amazing.  (The fact that he plagiarized fellow fake ex-occultist Mike Warnke is doubly hilarious.)

 

2) Jim Garrison was a dangerous lunatic, and you don't have to believe in a single shooter to recognize that he ruined several lives with his idiotic crusade.  Fuck Oliver Stone.

 

3) COINTELPRO!  The Johnson/Nixon-era FBI was pretty damned evil.

 

4) I really need to watch The Parallax View, don't I?

 

Yeah, I'm reading this book as well.  I'm only about 100 pages into it though. 

 

Early on, I wasn't feeling it.  The section dedicated to the movies/entertainment industry in the mid-1900s didn't grab me, but it has pulled me in with the stories about the Mormoms and their viligante gang.

 

Posted Image

 

I think it really picks up when the John Birch society comes on the scene.  The post-McCarthy revival of the Red Scare, plus the talk of "ironic" conspiracy theorists like Robert Anton Wilson and Paul Krassner, plus the John Todd/Mike Warnke Satan scare and the talk of the 90s-00s is absolutely riveting.  (It also does a good job of illustrating why, as soon as anyone cites the SPLC, I tend to tune them out.)

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After watching THE HOUSE I LIVE IN, I'm pretty sure my next non-fiction read will be Dr. Carl Hart's HIGH PRICE.  Hart is one of the few people allowed to do controlled lab experiments with illicit drugs and he's become  (a vocal critic not only of the war on drugs as social policy but the deranged moral-panic mentality that every "new" drug seems to produce.

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Finished Ted Williams autobio, good read, but the difference between reading books by sportswriters/historians and autobio can be a little jarring sometimes. Not that one is necessarily better, but there is a big difference in reading. . . Almost done with a book about Bobby Thomson/Branca, then on to the Willie May bio. . .

Finished the Branca/Thomsen book, the Mays bio(very good by the way), a book on the 1960 Rome Games(another good read), KIng of the World about Ali(mainly about his early career, a very good read), and one about Hank Aaron and his pursuit of Ruth, which was subpar to say the least. Tom Stanton wrote the Aaron book and it was a 230ish page shell of a good 500 page book. Sloppy organization, poor writing style it read like a book length column, which is not a complement. On to the book about the AFL Buffalo Bills, which I got a christmas present but am only now getting around to reading. Hey I have a book queue in the 80's, it sometimes takes me a while :) Lets just say I can't be trusted around library book sales :)

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Transformers Exodus by Alex Irvine. The official history of the war for Cybertron. Over 100 pages into it and I like it.

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I finished up the Chester A. Arthur volume of "The American Presidents" biography series, and was floored with it. I'd wager that Arthur is probably best known as either the president whom the school was named after in Die Hard With A Vengeance or, U.S. History fiends would know him for signing the Pendleton Act. The book makes a great case for him as one of the better presidents we've had, and points out that his largely being forgotten is because nothing truly monumental happened during his administration. 

 

I've read a few books in the series, and I hope to eventually read them all. I have yet to be disappointed by one.

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I read High Fidelity by Nick Hornby, and the movie is way better. Basically because the movie is about cool funny guys who you'd like to hang out with, and the book is about whiny self indulgent self pitying sad sacks, who get girlfriends and turn into punchably smug, self satisfied arseholes. So just watch the film, yeah?

 

Sharpe's Gold is totally different to the TV version, and probably better. It's from before the TV started, so he's still a black-haired guy from London, not the Blonde Yorkshireman he later became.

 

Now reading Forest Mage by Robin Hobb. Ages since I read Shamans Crossing though. Years.

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I'm reading Morrissey's autobiography, and with the number of lengthy tangential references to obscure TV actresses from the 60s, I'm becoming more and more convinced that it was ghost written by Piranesi.

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So I finally finished Dawkins's THE GOD DELUSION (audio version).  I don't want to talk too much about it, for fear of running afoul of the rules here.  I'll just say that it was funny and compelling, and since Lalla Ward reads significant portions of it it was FUCKING WEIRD to hit a Doctor Who audio play where she reprises her role as Romana while I was still working on it.

 

Current fiction: WIZARD OF EARTHSEA, Ursula LeGuin (for the SF/F book club); A DANCE OF DRAGONS

Current non-fiction: HIGH PRICE, Dr. Carl Hart

 

January's book club book is THE STARS MY DESTINATION.  I am SUPER looking forward to that after a couple of months of fluff.  (Ursula LeGuin has written some of the most thoughtful, discussion-provoking stories in all of speculative fiction, but the Earthsea stories are not on that list.)

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Finished listening to Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch. I really enjoy the Gentlemen Bastards series. Wish he'd put them out a bit more quickly. This one made me want to read a shit ton more books about pirates.

On the print front, I started Morrissey's "Autobiography." Alas, I didn't get the Penguin Classics version. Fun read so far, because he's, well...Morrissey.

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Finished listening to Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch. I really enjoy the Gentlemen Bastards series. Wish he'd put them out a bit more quickly. This one made me want to read a shit ton more books about pirates.

On the print front, I started Morrissey's "Autobiography." Alas, I didn't get the Penguin Classics version. Fun read so far, because he's, well...Morrissey.

 

Book 3 is about election wrangling and running a theater company (while filking a patron noble).

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25 years ago today, the head of a fairly major world power offered money for the murder of a man whose unspeakable crime was to write fiction about the wrong subject. Since I finally read, and loved, MIDNIGHT'S CHILDREN, I think this is a good time to dive into it's more infamous successor.

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A friend of mine's been trying to get me into some of the Warhammer books, so I'm reading Dan Abnett's Brothers of the Snake.  Also reading a bio on Douglas MacArthur named Old Soldiers Never Die.

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After owning it forever, I am finally getting close to finishing up -  A Lion's Tale: Around the World in Spandex.  I am pretty much planning on jumping into Undisputed as soon as I crank out the last few chapters

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Reading Mark Lewisohn's absurdly long The Beatles: All These Years Vol 1 Tune In. Highly detailed look at their pre-fame years,

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Just finished reading Plunder Squad by Richard Stark. I got into the Parker books via Darwyn Cooke's amazing graphic novel adaptations for IDW, but have been picking and choosing which of the actual books to read - this one was pretty entertaining but kinda went nowhere. The first half was very strong as it has Parker trying to hunt down a character who wronged him from the previous story but the actual heist was abit meh.

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A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness.

One of the most accurate takes on the fear of impending loss, watching a parent struggle with a terminal disease and the rage, fear, and isolation that I've ever encountered. Hit super close to home for me. I've been this character and I've lived his story.

Fairly predictable as such things go, but still...this could be an important book to some people going through rough times...

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i'm not much of a book reader (i read tons of comic books), but i just started reading Bram Stoker's Dracula. i'm like 3 chapters in, and so far i love it. i love how the tension is gradually built up, with more and more instances where our narrator just can't explain and gets increasingly frustrated and frightened.

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Vernor Vinge's RAINBOWS END (not a typo) is this month's book for my book club.  It's fucking awesome.  The only Vinge I had previously read were his 'Zones of Thought' space-opera stories; this is a much more grounded, near-future tale.  I love all his ideas about how true augmented reality and always-on networking would change the world (basically, half the economy runs on knowing how to look for information and/or nudge people with different skillsets into working toward pieces of a goal they may not even know about, touching ANYTHING you don't already own costs money, and you can 'overlay' your favorite fictional world onto the real one through your AR contact lenses, or build your own consensual reality.)  The book's biggest hurdle is that the main character is deliberately unlikable, but as someone who lost a decade or more to Alzheimer's and now finds himself whole except for his former literary talent, he simultaneously makes for a very good window into the universe.  I'm about 2/3 of the way through, and I heartily recommend the book.

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Recent Half.com haul:

Fermata

Great and Secret Show (read before but wanted my own copy)

Everville

Weaveworld

Transformation the breakthrough  (read but wanted my own copy)

Communion Enigma

 

Strieber is hit or miss.  The early abduction shit is amazingly evocative.  Back when he was just like "I don't know what it is".  From about '96 on he's gone full blown UFO religious goof.  Warday is amazing but that 2012 book was HORSESHIT.

 

 

Did I mention a year ago when I read Bug Jack Barron that it was FUCKING SHIT.  GOD DAMN I couldn't stand all the hepcat talking in that fucking thing.  YUCK.

 

Mostly been reading Essential Ellison and Edgeworks 1 before this latest splurge.

 

Then again I damn near got one of those paperwhite kindles when they were cheap.  Then again, I like getting used books and smelling them.  My Bukowski Tales of Ordinary Madness smells like boiled macaroni.

 

 

They need an option for "bigass box" when you get a ton of books from a single seller on half.  If I could just go with a flat 10 bucks I would get a giant musty package more often.  I mean these last six books came in a big box but 95% of the 20 bucks was shipping.

 

Gotta keep waiting for that magic 75 cent zone.  Gotta get Journey to the end of the night and Ask the dust and Cantos cheap.

 

Then I want to start swooping on Savage Sword of Conan and cheapo essential Marvels.  Phonebooks are the wave of th' future.  Should also complete my Adventures of Superman DVD collection.  3&4 have the episodes I really love but I need the rest.

 

My favorite Superman episodes

The one where they get transported back to caveman times

The one with the pie, the redneck with a donkey, a mobster and an Alaskan outpost.

The one where Perry White is visited by Caesar's ghost.

The one where Superman is a safecracker yet still flies to Africa to grab diamonds out of a cave wall.

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So, read Veronica Mars: The Thousand Dollar Tan Line in about 3 hours this morning. Purely as a story, better than the film, although not as purely satisfying.

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i'm not much of a book reader (i read tons of comic books), but i just started reading Bram Stoker's Dracula. i'm like 3 chapters in, and so far i love it. i love how the tension is gradually built up, with more and more instances where our narrator just can't explain and gets increasingly frustrated and frightened.

 

finished this book today, and it was fantastic. i can't say enough good things about it. all the characters feel like real people, and i was quite addicted to it for a while.

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