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Missive #312 Published 15 July 2024

This is the third book in the Hector Lynch series: after the fact I found that I had read it out of order. I'll now have to read the second one in the series. Severin's fiction is better than his non-fiction in my opinion although he uses a lot of what he learned to write the non-fiction. There are more in the series that I'm going to sometime get to read.

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Missive #312 Published 15 July 2024

The Build-up , Volume 3 of the Stecher Trilogy , picks up the thread of White Mule and In the Money . Although all of the novels deal with the triumphant rise of an immigrant family in the early 1900s, The Build-up is more concerned with the overwhelming drive and ambition of Joe Stecher's wife, Gurlie. After years of hard work, careful planning (and his wife's badgering) Joe's printing business is providing his family with a comfortable income. As soon as her financial goal is realized, Gurlie focuses her attention on another area.

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Missive #311 Published 14 July 2024

Continuing The Federalist Papers.

Federalist No. 25
The Same Subject Continued: The Powers Necessary to the Common Defense Further Considered
Author: Alexander Hamilton
To the People of the State of New York:

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Missive #310 Published 13 July 2024

A user’s guide to economic, political, social and cultural collapse. In the face of political impotence, resource depletion, and catastrophic climate change, many of us have become reconciled to an uncertain future. However, popular perception of how this future might actually unfold varies wildly from "a severe and prolonged recession," to James Howard Kunstler's "long emergency," to the complete breakdown of civilization. In The Five Stages of Collapse , Dmitry Orlov posits a taxonomy of collapse, offering a surprisingly optimistic perspective on surviving the sweeping changes of the day with health and sanity intact. Arguing that it is during periods of disruption and extreme uncertainty that broad cultural change becomes possible, Orlov steers the reader through the challenges of financial, commercial, and political collapse.

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Missive #309 Published 12 July 2024


Nasruddin’s neighbor saw him digging a deep hole in the yard. Nasruddin was barely visible but his neighbor could see shovelfuls of earth flying up out of the hole.

“Nasruddin!” he shouted. “What are you digging that hole for?”

Nasruddin clambered up out of the hole. “I need a place to bury all the rubbish left over from building the new barn.”

“And what are you going to do with this heap of earth from the hole you’re digging here now?”

Nasruddin paused and scratched his head. “I hadn’t thought about that. I suppose I’ll have to dig another hole!”

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Missive #308 Published 10 July 2024

Don't Believe the Hype

Since this book was written, millions of people have taken…, mescaline, mushroooms, whatever. If you've never tried it, chances are you know somebody who has, and they could probably give you a far better story. Huxley's book is boring as hell. He goes on and on with endless descriptions of some work of art (which unless you are an art major, you've never seen) and is constantly referring to artist and people whom you've probably never heard of. Most the time, I had no idea what this guy was talking about. Maybe my drug addled brain just has a hard time with such high-falutin concepts such as 'Gesualdo's madrigals' . The rest is just a lot of big talk. Read it if you must. People will think your're hip and that's worth two stars I suppose.

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Missive #307 Published 9 July 2024

The final Last Kingdom book was published in 2020, but for the author the story felt unfinished: there were some Uhtred tales he still wanted to tell, and over the course of writing the books he’d become fascinated by some elements of the Anglo-Saxon world that it wasn’t possible to fully explore in the novels.

When he met renowned chef Suzanne Pollak, the idea for Uhtred’s Feast was born. And here Bernard Cornwell tells those additional Uhtred stories, showing us the man behind the shield – as a young boy, as Alfred’s advisor, and as prince – while Suzanne brings his world to life through beautifully crafted recipes which open a door into the Anglo-Saxon home.

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Missive #306 Published 8 July 2024

Alternate Generals (1998) is a collection of short alternate history stories, edited by Harry Turtledove, Roland J. Green and Martin H. Greenberg. It includes Turtledove's own short story, The Phantom Tolbukhin.

Many of the stories deal with key battles of various ancient and modern wars going differently than in OTL [original timeline] because a general took a different decision, or because a different person was in the specific position. In several of the stories, various generals (and admirals) are depicted as fighting on the opposite side to that on which they fought in OTL, or in a context completely different to that in OTL. A common theme in the stories of different writers is of generals trusting their instinct, taking risky initiatives to the displeasure of their superiors - and achieving major victories.

Another theme common to several stories is of generals turned statesmen reviewing their respective lives at an old age and (in some stories) being given a chance to go back and correct mistakes.

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Missive #305 Published 7 July 2024

Continuing The Anti-Federalist Papers

Brutus V
by Robert Yates
To the Citizens of the State of New-York

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Missive #304 Published 5 July 2024


Nasruddin’s neighbor saw him kneeling by the side of the lake, spooning something into the water. He was used to Nasruddin behaving strangely, but this was unusual even for Nasruddin. He decided to go investigate and see what Nasruddin was doing.

As the neighbor got closer, he saw that Nasruddin was spooning yogurt into the lake.

“Why are you spooning yogurt into the lake?” asked the neighbor.

“It’s starter!” Nasruddin explained. “I am hoping to turn the whole lake into yogurt.”
“But that’s impossible!” said his neighbor.
“Yes, it’s impossible,” admitted Nasruddin. “But just imagine how wonderful it would be!”

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