Category Archives: Other

Hard to Swallow

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Dear Readers,

Yes, the rumors are true. I removed several comments by J. D. Swallow on the grounds that they were promulgating bad science, and at the same time constituted mean attacks against other readers.

The bad science part, I don’t worry about too much because the loyal (and rational) readers of this blog had been handling that very well. But JDS’s personal attacks were too much.

Swallow has been banned, not for the first time, but likely for the last time.

At least we can revel in a bit of nostalgia, remembering the days of the old forums, when Swallows came in flocks instead of just one at a time.


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Reconstructed Fairy Tales, Holmes, Anthologies, Cheap

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I know you either have these or want these, and they are now cheap in Kindle form:

Happily Ever After edited by John Kilma, with modernized fair tale stories by Gregory Maguire, Susanna Clarke, Karen Joy Fowler, Charles de Lint, Holly Black, Garth Nix, Kelly Link, Peter Straub, Neil Gaiman, Patricia Briggs and others.

The Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by John Joseph Adams.


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Best Of Everything Books Cheap

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You know those books that anthologize the best of this and the best of that? A bunch of them are now cheap in Kindle form:

The Best American Mystery Stories 2018 (The Best American Series ®)

The Best American Comics 2018 (The Best American Series ®)

The Best American Travel Writing 2018 (The Best American Series ®)

The Best American Sports Writing 2018 (The Best American Series ®)

And since you are busy looking at books, look at mine! In Search of Sungudogoby Greg Laden.


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Your chance to get Mayer’s Dark Money cheap

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Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right by Jane Mayer is now cheap in Kindle format. With a new preface.

In her new preface, Jane Mayer discusses the results of the most recent election and Donald Trump’s victory, and how, despite much discussion to the contrary, this was a huge victory for the billionaires who have been pouring money in the American political system.

Why is America living in an age of profound and widening economic inequality? Why have even modest attempts to address climate change been defeated again and again? Why do hedge-fund billionaires pay a far lower tax rate than middle-class workers? In a riveting and indelible feat of reporting, Jane Mayer illuminates the history of an elite cadre of plutocrats—headed by the Kochs, the Scaifes, the Olins, and the Bradleys—who have bankrolled a systematic plan to fundamentally alter the American political system. Mayer traces a byzantine trail of billions of dollars spent by the network, revealing a staggering conglomeration of think tanks, academic institutions, media groups, courthouses, and government allies that have fallen under their sphere of influence. Drawing from hundreds of exclusive interviews, as well as extensive scrutiny of public records, private papers, and court proceedings, Mayer provides vivid portraits of the secretive figures behind the new American oligarchy and a searing look at the carefully concealed agendas steering the nation. Dark Money is an essential book for anyone who cares about the future of American democracy.


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Asimov Book Cheap

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Isaac Asimov’s robot books form a somewhat confusing and internally contradictory, but overall fantastic and important corpus of science fiction. One of the Asimov robot books is on sale right now super cheap in Kindle format: The Caves of Steel (The Robot Series Book 1) for $1.99.

Referring to Wikipedia (so get mad at them, not at me, if this seems wrong to you) the robot series of books (not counting short stories) in order of the stories themselves runs something like this:

I, Robot (The Robot Series)

iRobot Roomba 690 Robot Vacuum-Wi-Fi Connectivity, Works with Alexa, Good for Pet Hair, Carpets, Hard Floors, Self-Charging

Bicentennial Man

The Caves of Steel (The Robot Series)

The Naked Sun (The Robot Series)

The Robots of Dawn (The Robot Series)

ROBOTS & EMPIRE PB


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Richard Dawkins Book Cheap

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Did you ever wonder how Richard Dawkins got so smart? Or why he looks so much like Hermione Granger? Well, read this book to find out the answer to those two questions, and so very much more:

An Appetite for Wonder: The Making of a Scientist by Richard Dawkins.

In An Appetite for Wonder, Richard Dawkins shares a rare view into his early life, his intellectual awakening at Oxford, and his path to writing The Selfish Gene. He paints a vivid picture of his idyllic childhood in colonial Africa, peppered with sketches of his colorful ancestors, charming parents, and the peculiarities of colonial life right after World War II. At boarding school, despite a near-religious encounter with an Elvis record, he began his career as a skeptic by refusing to kneel for prayer in chapel. Despite some inspired teaching throughout primary and secondary school, it was only when he got to Oxford that his intellectual curiosity took full flight.

Arriving at Oxford in 1959, when undergraduates “left Elvis behind” for Bach or the Modern Jazz Quartet, Dawkins began to study zoology and was introduced to some of the university’s legendary mentors as well as its tutorial system.

It’s to this unique educational system that Dawkins credits his awakening, as it invited young people to become scholars by encouraging them to pose rigorous questions and scour the library for the latest research rather than textbook “teaching to” any kind of test. His career as a fellow and lecturer at Oxford took an unexpected turn when, in 1973, a serious strike in Britain caused prolonged electricity cuts, and he was forced to pause his computer-based research. Provoked by the then widespread misunderstanding of natural selection known as “group selection” and inspired by the work of William Hamilton, Robert Trivers, and John Maynard Smith, he began to write a book he called, jokingly, “my bestseller.” It was, of course, The Selfish Gene.

Here, for the first time, is an intimate memoir of the childhood and intellectual development of the evolutionary biologist and world-famous atheist, and the story of how he came to write what is widely held to be one of the most important books of the twentieth century.


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Cheap Bradbury Book, and more

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Cheap in Kindle format:

I Sing the Body Electric: And Other Stories

And then also,

On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century by Timothy Snyder.

The Founding Fathers tried to protect us from the threat they knew, the tyranny that overcame ancient democracy. Today, our political order faces new threats, not unlike the totalitarianism of the twentieth century. We are no wiser than the Europeans who saw democracy yield to fascism, Nazism, or communism. Our one advantage is that we might learn from their experience.

On Tyranny is a call to arms and a guide to resistance, with invaluable ideas for how we can preserve our freedoms in the uncertain years to come.

The Eleventh Man: A Novel by Ivan Doig

In the early 1940s, the starting lineup of Treasure State University’s football team are local heroes. But as America is pulled into World War II, they feel called to become heroes of another kind.

Now, ten of them are scattered around the globe in the war’s lonely and dangerous theaters. The eleventh man, Ben Reinking, has been plucked from pilot training by a military propaganda machine. He is to chronicle the adventures of his teammates, man by man, for publication in small-town newspapers across the country like the one his father edits. Ready for action, Reinking chafes at the assignment—not knowing that it will bring him love from an unexpected quarter and test the law of averages, which holds that all but one of his teammates should come through the conflict unscathed .

AND

The 12th Man: A WWII Epic of Escape and Endurance by Astrid K Scott

“I remember reading We Die Alone in 1970 and I could never forget it. Then when we went to Norway to do a docudrama, people told us again and again that certain parts were pure fiction. Since I was a Norwegian that was not good enough; I had to find the truth. I sincerely believe we did,” writes author Astrid Karlsen Scott.

The 12th Man is the true story of Jan Baalsrud, whose struggle to escape the Gestapo and survive in Nazi-occupied Norway has inspired the international film of the same name. In late March 1943, in the midst of WWII, four Norwegian saboteurs arrived in northern Norway on a fishing cutter and set anchor in Toftefjord to establish a base for their operations. However, they were betrayed, and a German boat attacked the cutter, creating a battlefield and spiraling Jan Baalsrud into the adventure of his life. The only survivor and wounded, Baalsrud begins a perilous journey to freedom, swimming icy fjords, climbing snow-covered peaks, enduring snowstorms, and getting caught in a monstrous avalanche. Suffering from snowblindness and frostbite, more than sixty people of the Troms District risk their lives to help Baalsrud to freedom. Meticulously researched for more than five years, Karlsen Scott and Haug bring forth the truth behind this captivating, edge-of-your-seat, real-life survival story.


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Kornacki and Grey, two books cheap

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You probably want to have a look at this book by The Great Kornacki, though I don’t approve of the title: The Red and the Blue: The 1990s and the Birth of Political Tribalism

And this, I have not seen and have no opinion of, but it looks like it might be interesting: Union Pacific: A Western Story by Zane Grey, the author of Riders of the Purple Sage and other frontier America books.


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Beak of the Finch: cheep, er, cheap.

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The Beak of the Finch: A Story of Evolution in Our Time by Jonathan Reiner is right now cheap in Kindle form.

It is a very good account of the incredibly important work on evolution done by the Peter and Rosemary Grant on Daphne Major island in the Galapagos. This is the study that demonstrated real time evolution of birds among the group initially studied by Charles Darwin. Those observations by Darwin helped shape is conception of natural selection, and the more recent work by the Grants is a modern day demonstration that Darwin was right.


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A treasure trove of cheap books

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For some reason there is suddenly a larger than usual number of excellent highly encheapened kindle version books that I know many of my readers will be interested in. Chances are you already have them, but just in case. Some of these prices may only last a while, but all should be 2.99 or less.

The Joy Luck Club: A Novel

Extraterrestrial Civilizations

Empires of the Word: A Language History of the World

A Severed Wasp: A Novel by Engle.

Adolf Hitler: The Definitive Biography


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