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The Official We Hunted the Mammoth Book Recommendation Thread

That's dames for ya
That’s dames for ya

So hey. I’m not officially back on duty yet — I’ll be back sometime in the next couple of days — but I thought I’d seed a little discussion here with what I’m calling The Official We Hunted the Mammoth Book Recommendation Thread.

Which is pretty self-explanatory, so have at it! Any genre, old or new. I will probably gather up the various suggestions for a later post or page.

And, yep, the book in the pic up there is a real book that exists, written by a fella named Peter Cheyney, and which you can buy on Amazon for the low, low price of $2,986.69. No, really.

That’s for a new copy. If you’re some kind of cheapskate, you could pick up a used copy instead, for a relatively thrifty $86.90.

Here are the first couple of paragraphs of the book, courtesy of Amazon, so you can have some idea what you’ll be getting for your money:

Is it hot!

I aint never been in hell, but Im tellin you that I bet it aint any hotter than this Californian desert in July.

I am drivin along past Indio an I figure that soon I am goin to see the Palm Springs lights. An I am goin some the speedometer says eighty. If it wasnt so hot it would be a swell night; but there aint any air, an there was a baby sand storm this afternoon that caught me asleep an I gotta lump of the Mojave desert or whatever they call it stuck right at the back of my throat

I strongly urge you to go to Amazon and click on the “look inside” tab to read more of Mr. Cheyney’s hardboiled prose.

Within the few short pages available in Amazon’s preview, the book’s narrator (tough guy private dick Lemmy Caution) not only manages to eat a lump of sand; he also orders a hamburger (at a hot dog joint) and some ham and eggs (at a second joint). It’s not clear if he eats any of the hamburger before splitting, but you’ll be glad to know that he at least starts eating the ham and eggs.

Oh, he also calls a guy a “sissy” and gets his ass kicked.

I know the book sounds truly amazing, but before you click the “buy” button, let me make a little counteroffer: if you’re really intent on spending $2,986.69 on a book titled “Dames Don’t Care,” pay me that amount, and I will write an entire new book by that name in the style of the original, more or less. For $86.90, I will write a (very) short story in the same style.

Or you could post book recommendations in the comments below. That’s good, too.

Here’s the full cover for Dames.

 

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14 Cats And Counting!
14 Cats And Counting!
5 years ago

@Princess Buttercup:

Wow. I am so sorry (although hardly amazed) that you are being screwed by FB’s capricious and arbitrary suspension “policy.” Unfortunately, it’s just so easy for vindictive trolls to target someone who has the gall to disagree with them.

Getting a journalist involved seems very promising. I did a little digging and found an article on ZDNet by Emil Protolinski. In 2012 he had been contacted by several people who had been similarly victimized. He immediately contacted FB directly, got them to apologize, and got the suspensions etc. reversed. Now, I know this was several years ago but u still might try e-mailing him. I mean, you’re being wrongly accused of sending sex materials involving minors! I hope he can help u, or at least offer some additional advice. Good luck!

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
5 years ago

@Princess Buttercup

Firstly, I love your username.

Secondly, unfortunately, this is the bog standard for Facebook. There was a case last year where a feminist named Clementine Ford reposted some of the rape and death threats she’d been sent – and Facebook banned her but not the MRAs who sent them.

I’d highly recommend trying to get in touch with her, since she’s been there and done that and should have a few situation-specific pointers. Good luck!

14 Cats And Counting!
14 Cats And Counting!
5 years ago

Hmmm. I got so cranked up about FB’s draconian suspension policy that I almost forgot about the book list:

1. Martin Eden – I rarely read fiction but I’ve loved Jack London’s superb character study of a struggling writer since I first encountered it in college. I was thinking of a writing career myself and I empathized with Martin’s frustration with the “cogs” of publishing. London was a socialist, of course, so predictably he examines Martin’s striving to rise from working-class to bourgeois. Come to think of it this might be fun to discuss with Bernie Sanders 🙂

2. Theodosia Burr Alston: Portrait of a Prodigy by Richard N. Cote. Definitely on my to read list this summer. Theodosia, a brilliant, independent woman, had a remarkably complicated relationship with her adoring, charismatic father who provided her with a remarkable education. On a voyage from Charleston to New York her ship completely vanished and her eventual fate has become a great historical mystery (which I love).

3. American Prometheus by Martin Sherwin and Kai Blid. An engrossing bio of Robert Oppenheimer, The authors do a superb job of analyzing the iconic Oppenheimer and his difficult, enigmatic personality. Everything is covered including his increasingly conflicted feelings about the Manhattan Project and his fatal riff with Edward Teller which lead, indirectly, to Oppenheimer’s humiliating denial of a security clearance in the 1950’s. Great read.

4. I’d like to know more about all of the physicists of the Manhattan Project so I’m going to read Brotherhood of the Bomb by Gregg Herken this summer.

5. I’d recommend anything by cultural historian Susan Bordo. I love how she melds gender studies with media trends and our modern consumerism. Sharp and insightful. My favorite is The Male Body (1999) which is an incise (and fun) examination on how our society and popular culture have dealt with the male body image. I admit the erotic photos of various men was a big bonus in my opinion but, as Lemmy Caution would probably explain it, “She’s just that kind of dame.”

Kevin
Kevin
5 years ago

@Patty Cakes
I find Tolkien’s phraseology troubling sometimes, but racist ? None of the peoples in his LOTR legendarium have been totally free of error or acts of evil (even the Elves.)
He has one of the Hobbits in LOTR musing on how a slain Haradrim soldier may simply have been led astray by his leaders.
The LOTR stories are written using an in – universe POV, that might be held by an Elvish or Numemorean chronicler. You could expect such a scribe to be at the least a bit snooty about outsiders.
The lack of female characters is troublesome but not total. Arwen and Eowyn are pivotal to the plot of LOTR, with the Battle of Minas Tirith being arguably turned by Eowyn’s victory over the Witch – King.

pitshade
pitshade
5 years ago

@ Kevin

I can’t speak for Patty Cakes’ reasoning, but problems that others have had with Tolkien regarding racism center around the orcs. IIRC Tolkien describes them as ‘swarthy’ and most illustrations tend to make them gray to (true) black. However in the real world, the term has always referred to humans with brown to black skin. I don’t think there is a ‘right’ answer but I can certainly see why some are uncomfortable with this.

The other problem with the orcs is that they are what TV Tropes refers to as ‘Always Chaotic Evil.’ Some people have problems with this as labeling an entire people evil in the real world is flat out racist. Where you draw the line in works of fantasy is more subjective. If you accept the argument that it is just wrong there, it also condemns any author that uses ‘authentic’ fairy tale elves (Pratchett for example).

I can’t really agree with the points but won’t dismiss them either. YMMV.

Scildfreja
Scildfreja
5 years ago

@dlouwe,

ideas for what could cause humans to start to forget any information they impart on someone else?

http://vignette2.wikia.nocookie.net/mlp/images/4/48/Fluttershy_stops_her_Stare_S4E07.png

uhh… Yeah, go with the nanowidgets. I don’t want to think about the implications for a brain that does that.

Cool idea, though! I can see it as a really powerful metaphor for a couple of things. Decreasing memory due to automated reminders (who can remember the phone numbers of all the people they care about in the age of the smartphone? Birthdays?), decreasing literacy in an iconic age; all sorts of interesting societal commentary from that sort of a setting. Very cool.

+1 for “Bank Teller”

epitome of incomprehensilibility

I just finished a book about digital life forms that was quite interesting: The Lifestyle of Software Objects by Ted Chiang. If you like books about artificial intelligence, I recommend it. The human characters are believable (and not obnoxious like the guy in Galatea 2.2, though probably that was a deliberate character choice) and not ALL straight white people.

The style is fast-paced without a lot of mood-setting or description, and I guess you’d call it hard sci-fi – it’s fairly realistic, though not overly technical.

Oh, and a good poetry book: The Wrong Cat by Lorna Crozier. Mostly short narrative poems. “A Disturbance of Flies” is very down-to-earth and witty, although the title sounds like something from Game of Thrones. She also has beautifully surreal animal poems (and two poems involving berries: raspberries and blackberries).

epitome of incomprehensilibility

@Imaginary Petal – Well, on the bus last week I dropped a croissant on the floor (whole wheat, non-sticky on the outside) and, since people were looking at me, I waited until I got to the subway to eat it. 🙂 (It’s weird that as a teenager I was a terrible hypochondriac, but I’ve never really been a germophobe).

@dlouwe – Those sound like interesting plot ideas! Writing is fun, but frustrating – oftentimes I start out a story with a plot in mind, but when I start writing it I discover I need to change the whole plot around because a different idea works better, or I need to change a character (one poor character was gotten rid of entirely – down the Memory Hole as in 1984, all references to him deleted)… and so on. It’s a process!

@Princess Buttercup – I have no useful Facebooky advice, but it sucks that people would do that. I would do what you’re doing – see if I could reach out to friends, online or off, to see if they’d had similar situations and also for support. Also, yay for The Princess Bride and its character names!

Paradoxical Intention - Resident Cheeseburger Slut

@Scildfreja – Resident Fluttershy: Have you seen the latest MLP episode? It’s about Fluttershy and her family, and I thought it was pretty good that we finally got to see them.

Her Grace Phryne
Her Grace Phryne
5 years ago
Reply to  Picturedragon

CW for some of the McCaffrey books; human non-consensual sex, casual sexism, and homophobia in the early ones. I still love ’em, though, because the world makes up for all that for me. YMMV, though.

Gail Carriger has another steampunk series that’s quite good, too, the Parasol Protectorate, beginning with Changeless. Alexia is a really fun protagonist.

Her Grace Phryne
Her Grace Phryne
5 years ago

Oops, sorry, the Parasol Protectorate begins with Soulless.

Ronan Wills
5 years ago

Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go.

Don’t read anything about it– don’t even read the back cover if you can avoid it. Just trust me on this one.

Redsilkphoenix
Redsilkphoenix
5 years ago

@Her Grace Phryne:

I agree that Anne McCaffrey had problems as a writer – amongst other things, using some very problematic romance tropes without thinking about them – but she also created some imaginative kick-a** worlds, too. The Pegasus/Tower and the Hive books (aka 101 uses for psi powers), Restoree, the Cattenni(sp?) books, Pern, plus a ton of others, we’re all fun places to visit for a few hours. And I need to revisit some of those books again, sooner rather than later.

As for other writers I’ve read recently, I’m currently finishing up the latest (#16) in C. J. Cherryh’s Foreigner series, Visitor. She just introduced the mysterious enemy the alien Kyo have been fighting, and…hoo boy. Not who fans were expecting, let’s say.

For those who want something a bit different in their fantasy, Richard and Wendy Pini’s Elfquest comics take some standard fantasy tropes and give them a twist. Their elves are overall an earthy bunch (and polyamorous), the dwarf analogues are trolls, wolves are clearly on the side of Good, there’s some SF elements seemlessly woven into the backstory, bunches of fun stuff like that. Give it a try, sometime.

Twin Peaks of Kilimanjaro
Twin Peaks of Kilimanjaro
5 years ago

Hiya. Long-time lurker, here, but I can’t resist a book recommendation, so:

Season of Migration to the North (Tayeb Salih):

The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven (Sherman Alexie)

Neuromancer (William Gibson)

The War with the Newts (Karl Capek)

Proof (David Auburn)

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

@ WWTH

I just thought it might be fun if someone here had a connection to the area too.

Isn’t Lindsayirene from Lincolnshire? Crowland has a really pretty bridge; but rather weirdly it’s just in the middle of the town, it doesn’t actually go anywhere.

Matchstick
Matchstick
5 years ago

Bit late coming to this thread but the latest (7th ?) novel in Charles Stross’ Laundry Files series (think British Intelligence Service/Civil Service vs Cthulhu) – The Nightmare Stacks is out next week so I’m attempting to finish Paul Cornell’s Who Killed Sherlock Holmes before it arrives.

(There’s also a rather good Tabletop RPG based on the Laundry Files books [makes a nice counterpoint in style to the thematically similar Delta Green] which is well worth picking up it it appears in a Bundle of Holding bundle again)

Matchstick
Matchstick
5 years ago

Oops double post…

Scildfreja
Scildfreja
5 years ago

I would like to recommend some books that my friend has written! They are books one and two of a trilogy, featuring his own unique fantasy realm. I was involved with the beta reading process and helped edit somewhat. He’s a new author and trying to get a name, so if you have a couple of bucks to spare and want some light fantasy reading, please consider him!

The first book is Ashes of Alour-Tan, followed by Embers of Alour-Tan. I enjoyed them!

Her Grace Phryne
Her Grace Phryne
5 years ago
Reply to  Redsilkphoenix

Absolutely. I used to do text-based RP in Pern. I still miss it sometimes. 🙂 I just wanted to give a warning for people who might find that stuff problematic.

Ivan
5 years ago

Here you go, one more book to add:

http://darktriadman.com/2016/06/07/book-review-free-speech-isnt-free-roosh-v/

Regards,

Ivan
DarkTriadMan.com

Redsilkphoenix
Redsilkphoenix
5 years ago

@Her Grace Phyrne:

There’s still plenty of text-based Pern games running about on various boards like Proboards and Jcink and such, if you ever want to return to that world. Canon, semi-canon (like, includes more dragon colors than the original five, has AU elements in its history, stuff like that), and non-canon. I play on one that’s semi-canon; I find it pretty fun to be on.

Want link(s)? 😀

Oh, an additional item to the reading lists: Omaha the Cat Dancer. The creators were offered a decent chunk of money to complete their NC-17 ‘funny animal’ comic some years ago, so if anyone wanted to know who killed Sen. Bonner, the answer’s been revealed. >:D

Her Grace Phryne
Her Grace Phryne
5 years ago
Reply to  Redsilkphoenix

I can check it out. I played on a MUSH, so forum-based games seem really slow to me. But I’ll give it a shot. 🙂

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