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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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Missive #303 Published 3 July 2024

As the promo says this book is a good reference. It also gave the author a stump where he could criticize the 'West'. I have the feeling that he believed in the communist ideology and has found a home in China.

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Missive #302 Published 30 June 2024

Continuing The Federalist Papers.

Federalist No. 24
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 #301 Published 28 June 2024


This is another very good history book, a genre that Dos Passos began writing in 1954 when he wrote The Head and Heart of Thomas Jefferson. I did not like his earlier novels but his history nonfiction has been very good.

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Missive #300 Published 25 June 2024

I don't want to write this because I'm a fan of McCarthy's work, and Suttree is technically a good book. The prose is superb, the characters are complex, and the situations that arise are often creative and interesting. So whats the issue? The issue is that the books has basically no plot and Suttree is an utterly unlikable protagonist. The book is literally watching a person waste away their life doing nothing for 500 or so pages.

Suttree spends most of the novel getting drunk, and whining about how awful his life is while being totally aware that it's his choice. He is deliberately making his life terrible and then bemoans his situation. Self loathing at its finest.

The one shining light in the novel is his friend Harrogate's numerous misadventures. These are some great distractions that populate an otherwise bleak portrait. In the end, Harrogate's character never realizes his full potential. Like the rest of the novel, he too just becomes another piece of Suttree's miserable existence. — Customer Reveiew @ goodreads.com

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Missive #299 Published 23 June 2024

Continuing The Anti-Federalist Papers

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

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