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comment by kleinbl00
kleinbl00  ·  19 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Gosh darned bookthread time.

Apparently it has been 69 days since last this was asked. And since then, I've been in a car like an hour and a half a day while simultaneously clipping old titles on Audible. So in random-ass order:

Mutiny On The Bounty. Think this was a cgod recommendation. It's good. I was impressed by how readable it was considering how old it is, then I discovered it was written in like 1932. I love how Wikipedia is all "Bligh wasn't nearly the dick he's been made out to be" while also being all "he was actually mutinied against TWICE so clearly the fact that he was an utter dick to everyone is revisionist history."

Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage. I used to think Shackleton was a loser because I get him mixed up with Scott. Shackleton was not a loser. I was once capsized in a stormy lake in a 19' canoe. Shackleton got a 22' dingy across the goddamn Drake Passage with five dudes in it. AFTER being stuck on a goddamn ice floe for a year and a half.

Strange Rebels: 1979 and the Birth of the 21st Century. This book was a Geopolitical Futures recommendation. It somehow insists that the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, Margaret Thatcher's election, the Iranian revolution, the ascendancy of Pope John Paul II and something something China are all related. I'm unconvinced. However, it did make me realize that the reason everyone is taught that OH SHIT THE 60s was like the most important decade EVAR is because the goddamn 'boomers were teenagers back then.

The Bonfire of the Vanities. This book is about 80% good and then it totally shits the bed at the ending leaving a seriously sour taste in your mouth. The casual racism that permeates it is never resolved. The stereotypes remain empty stereotypes. It's one of those books where you're hanging around going "you're going somewhere with this, right?" and then it just goes "because he was a very shaggy dog" and you're all "fuck this shit."

American War: A Novel. Another Geopolitical Futures recommendation. Hot garbage. There's no geopolitics in this, it's another "people hate each other for some reason therefore we're moving the capital to Cleveland" book.

I've got 29 unread books in my Audible library (and 235 finished). We'll see how many I have left at the end of the summer.




cgod  ·  19 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Mutiny is a good book.

Pitcairn Island, the third book in the Bounty Trilogy had a way bigger effect on me. I think I found the trilogy a much heavier read than most people. I found them all gripping but Pitcarin's was way heavy.

The book in between the two is misery. If you like tales about being stuck on a long boat for days and days you'll enjoy it. I've read a bunch of lost at sea books and it holds it's own but probably not every ones cup of tea.

I like Nordoff and Hall as authors. They write well together they write well apart. No More Gas is was decent, if you see it in the dollar bin pick it up. Hall's book Dr. Dogbody's Leg is a favorite book of mine. It isn't high literature but it's a warm and funny book wherein a Old Navel Surgeon tells twelve totally different outrageous versions of how he lost his leg. Each tale touches piece of British age of sale history, each tale has evidence to support it's veracity but the doctor only has one leg so they can't all be true.

Dogbody's leg is part of the Heart of Oak series that has reissued a bunch of great Age of Sale books. They are almost all good reads if you are interested in the genera. They aren't all fiction.

A few of the better ones were.

Lord Cochrane, Seaman, Radical, Liberator: A Life of Thomas, Lord Cochrane, 10th Earl of Dundonald was good. Lord Cochrane was the anti Nelson and a bad ass. The wretched Patrick O'Brian stole a third of his plots from Nelsons life, another third from Cochrane's and the remaining lame third came from his own imagination.

Dudley Popes The Black Ship is another good an account of another terrible mutiny. Pope is an excellent writer of history and fiction. It ends with a bit of revenge, I dug it.

Tales of the sea are their own genera. None of the writers are divine but a few are good at spinning a tale.