Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

Hitler: Ascent is a new book by Volker Ullrich and it’s getting pretty good reviews, one of which you can read below. My comments follow.

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Let’s see. Lies, fake promises, theatrical rallies, and mantra-like phrases. Underestimating a candidate’s ruthlessness and foreign statesmen naively believing they can control his aggression.  Wow. That’s scary stuff, man. Thank God we’re not dumb enough to fall for that stuff these days. No way we let somebody take control of a once democratic country and set it on a monstrous course through history. Sure glad I live in 2017 America! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!

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Singer Carly Simon’s dad is the Simon of Simon and Schuster. He co-founded the company.

 

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People who read books live an average of almost 2 years longer than those who do not read at all, a Yale research found.

 

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You know what I can do without? Previews in books. You know, those 20-page previews they put at the end of a book from the author’s next book. They do it to entice you and to get you to (hopefully) look forward to the next book. Coming in May 2017  . . .

Anyway, I hate those damn previews. Here’s why . . .

Let’s say I read a book, including the preview at the end. 6-months or so later I pick up the book I previewed in a bookstore and open it to read a few pages. You know, to see if I’ve read it yet. And invariably, because of that damn preview, I think I’ve already read it. Then, to make absolutely sure, I flip ahead to the middle of the book to see if I recognize anything, just to make sure I wasn’t recognizing the preview. In addition, I’ve bought books before thinking I’d read the preview when I had in fact already read the book. Am I making any sense at all? Because I just gave myself a headache.

Does anyone know what the hell I’m talking about? Because now I’m not sure I do.

And don’t tell me to simply read the little blurb inside the cover or on the back of the book either because that never helps.

Update: I just re-read what I wrote above and it sounds like the ravings of a lunatic. Disregard.

So I was at school the other day and walked randomly into a class, as I am inclined to do. Some 220px-Rye_catcherteachers enjoy my visits, others seem to dread them as if I’m upsetting the delicate chemistry of the educational process or some such nonsense. We usually just talk about current events or whatever is on the kid’s minds, and the they usually ask my opinion on one subject or the other. They do this partly because they’re interested in my opinion, but mostly because they know I’ll be honest about literally anything with them.

Anyhoo, as I shot the breeze with some 7th graders one of them asked me about the book The Catcher in the Rye and what all the fuss was about. I explained that it was about teenagers and the alienation they often feel, about all the “phonies” in the world, and about how it was really controversial for the early 50’s (now that I type this I recall we were discussing the book because it was John Lennon’s birthday and his assassin was holding the book when he was arrested. I refuse to type his name).

At one point I said that the book was about questioning authority, about questioning society in general, about asking and why things are the way they are. While most of the students just looked at me quizzically, one little girl stared at me and whispered this:

“I do that every day.”

By her look I knew she was dead serious.

Some kids get it and some kids don’t. What can I say?

Before I left one of the kids asked to borrow The Catcher in the Rye from me. Want to guess which one?

We’ll be selling these as a fundraiser this fall. For those needing more than one, if you buy two the second one is half price. On sale soon!

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Warren

Warren Cassell Jr.

You are about to meet an amazing and incredible young man. I first met my friend Warren Cassell, Jr. in Montserrat back in 2010 and was immediately impressed, as you will soon be. Only 14-years old, Warren recently published a book entitled The Farm of Wisdom this past summer. And that’s not all this young man had accomplished so far in his young life.

From Warren’s bio:

Warren is a teenage entrepreneur with a business and investment portfolio ranging from media and finance to Internet and technology. He is a full time secondary school student residing in Montserrat and currently holds a first degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do.

Warren can be called living proof of the fact that anyone with a vision, determination and dedication can achieve great success.

But on to the interview . . .

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Thug Notes: The Hobbit

Posted: August 20, 2013 in Books, Humor
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Sparky Sweets breaks down one of my all-time favorite books on another enlightening episode of Thug Notes.

Spectacular. Just spectacular.