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Reading In A Winter Wonderland

27 December 2011 @ 10:08

One of the benefits of being in a region of the country where the Winters are cold and you often get snowed-in is that it increases the opportunities for reading.

Every year in their December/January issue, The American Spectator publishes their list of books their friends recommend for Christmas gift-giving and for enjoying oneself.  It is always a worthwhile read, and this year is no exception, so I urge you to click here and peruse the suggestions.

Due to the article, I’m hoping to purchase and read, among others…

-Joesph Bottum’s third suggestion:

3. Robert Warshow, The Immediate Experience (1962; expanded 2001). We remember such critics as Edmund Wilson and, for our sins, Pauline Kael. But the best of them may have been Robert Warshow, who died in 1955 at the age of 37. A great, funny, profound, and conservative writer about movies, books, plays, and culture for such journals as Commentary and The Partisan Review, his collected essays appear posthumously and need to be reread.

-And one of Quin Hillyer’s suggestions:

Mastermind: The Many Faces of the 9/11 Architect, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (Sentinel), by Richard Miniter. Offers important insights into the sources of the clash of the civilized world with the jihadist vermin who attack us.

Alas, in the last three-plus years, my time allotted for reading has suffered because of my responsibilities as your Humble Dispatcher, but I still have managed to get through some good works.  Therefore, let me recommend for your consideration the following…

After America: Get Ready For Armageddon by Mark Steyn: A dour and realistic look at just how bad the prospects for The United States surviving as the country created by The Founding Fathers are and what the world would be like if America is no longer The Land Of The Free And The Home Of The Brave.  Per usual, Mr. Steyn makes us laugh through the tears.

Radical-In-Chief: Barack Obama And The Untold Story Of American Socialism by Stanley Kurtz: Not an easy read because the webs woven by the Left in order to cloak their true intentions are dense and deep, but essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the dastardly dangers posed by the Left’s silent coup to ‘fundamentally transform’ America into a Worker’s Paradise.  Also, it clears up the fog surrounding Barack Hussein Obama’s radical education and puts to rest any doubt that he is, indeed, a Committed Socialist.

Six Frigates: The Epic History Of The Founding Of The U.S. Navy by Ian Toll : Recommended to me by Smitty, I’m still reading this and it is an absolute delight.  The author knows how to a page-turner, not an easy feat when many of the facts seem dry on the surface.  The sections on our dealings with the Barbary [Mohammedin] nations also provide relevant lessons and information for use in battling the forces of Jihad today.  Thank you, Smitty.

Harkening back to other books I’ve read in previous years…

The Last Place On Earth [original title: Scott And Amundsen] by Roland Huntford: A dual biography of the two polar explorers whose stories met up in a race for the South Pole.  One would make it and return home in triumph only to see that victory overshadowed by the grief over the other who made it after the first, but died on the journey back from the Pole.  It was this book that ignited my interest in Polar Exploration some twenty-or-so years ago.  The television version of the book is also very well-done and worth a viewing.  Mr. Huntford has also written excellent biographies of explorers Ernest Shackleton and Fridjtof Nansen.  Mr. Shackleton is a true hero who should be held-up as an example to every school boy.

-The Lovejoy mysteries by Jonathan Gash: Lovejoy is, as Wikipedia describes him: ‘a British antiques dealer and faker based in East Anglia, a less than scrupulous yet likeable rogue’.  These slim volumes are great light reading, but they satisfy someone like me who has an insatiable desire to learn something new, such as how to make a new piece look like and pass for and antique one and how to paint a forgery. 

The Camp Of The Saints by Jean Raspail: Of course, as you might have guessed, I think this novel should be read by as many people as possible.  While the events conjured-up by Mr. Raspail in the 1970’s may not have a realistic chance of happening any longer, they still are a metaphor for the loss of Will in The West.  The author probes beneath the surface afflictions eating away at the structure of Western Civilization and goes deep into the souls of the men and women who, by their individual actions, are helping to bring about The West’s fall with a whimper and not necessarily a bang.  Also, it is truly a novel that is hard to put down.

If you have any reading suggestions, please leave them in a comment(s).

SPECIAL NOTE: If you want to purchase any of these books through Amazon, may I suggest you go to your favorite blogger’s site and click on one of their Amazon ads and do your ordering; you don’t have to be purchasing the product listed in the ad for the blogger to get a commission on the sale.

  1. 27 December 2011 @ 12:39 12:39

    I agree that being subjected to snow and the cold of winter provides us in the ‘northern climates’ with the time (voluntary or by default) to retreat into our respective cubby-holes and partake in reading the genre of choice.

    Thanks for your suggested readings list, and I wish you continued reading enjoyment!


  2. bobbelvedere permalink*
    30 December 2011 @ 19:24 19:24

    A Happy New Year to you and yours.

    My wife and I are planning on moving into the woods of New Hampshire in the next number of years and one of the pleasures I look forward to is more time to read.

    PS: In accordance with Stacy McCain’s RULE 2…
    I’ve added your site to my version of the blogroll: Congratulations, you are an official Fellow DHS-Certified Right Wing Extremist.

  3. 31 December 2011 @ 12:32 12:32

    Have a super 2012, Sir Bobbert

  4. 31 December 2011 @ 14:09 14:09

    The Lovejoy mysteries were also made into an excellent TV series in the UK; very engaging.

    • bobbelvedere permalink*
      31 December 2011 @ 14:54 14:54

      I saw it on A&E back in the 1990’s. I’ve gotten Mrs. B. hooked on it this past year. We’re in late Season II right now. Ian McShane is a perfect Lovejoy.

  5. 02 January 2012 @ 06:34 06:34

    Welcome back and happy New Year.

    I highly recommend “A Soldier of the Great War,” and “Memoir From Antproof Case,” and anything else by Mark Helprin. I won’t say more than that, because I can’t do justice to Helprin’s work.

    And although he’s never written a happy ending in his life, as far as I can see, I still enjoy the work of Cormac McCarthy – “All the Pretty Horses,” “No Country for Old Men,” and etc. He has a way with dialogue that I admire greatly.

    The work of both authors is illuminated by a keen appreciation for human nature, which makes it realistic, meaningful, and memorable.

    • bobbelvedere permalink*
      02 January 2012 @ 19:50 19:50

      Thanks for the recommendations. I’ve been meaning to pick up a McCarthy for quite some time. Perhaps you will be the needed spur.

      A Very Happy New Year to you and yours.

    • bobbelvedere permalink*
      02 January 2012 @ 19:55 19:55

      I should mention that over this past weekend I have seen two lectures by authors on Book-TV that were impressive: (1) Simon Sebag Montefiore on his book Jerusalem: The Biography and (2)Jason Emrson on his work Giant in the Shadows: The Life of Robert T. Lincoln.



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