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From the Library

July 8, 2019

World Made By Hand by James Howard Kunstler

This is the first in a series of novels by the author, set in upstate New York, some years in the future of what the author has described as “The Long Emergency,” in his nonfiction book of that title. In many ways, I am much of what Kunstler bemoans as the collapse of society (he views tattoos as a sign of resurgent barbarism….I’m strangely okay with that). On the other hand, I’m already doing a lot of what he believes is necessary to survive the Long Emergency, and maintain some kernel of culture in the process, so we might actually get along, despite his antipathy towards my tattoos.

I love this series of books. I’ve read them a few times, and it’s a great series, and an interesting concept—that I tend to agree with—on how things are progressing….or regressing, to use the term that he would probably choose. I highly recommend it, along with his books “The Long Emergency” and Too Much Magic. Even if you don’t agree with his conclusions, they are well argued and documented. Besides, anyone who hate suburbia as vehemently as Kunstler does cannot be all bad, as far as I am concerned.

The Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson

I’ve discussed my approval of the “Paleo” approach to diet and nutrition in the past, in some detail. While we do not adhere to a Paleo diet as strictly as I would sometimes like, we have in the past, to great effect, and even the occasional lapses we do have, the benefits of the mostly Paleo diet we consume have been spectacular. This is one of the approaches that made the diet famous, and Sisson is probably one of the saner voices in the culture. Highly recommend this book.

Air Marshals by Marcus Wynne

I’ve read all of Marcus’ novels now. This was his first novel, but it was also the last one I read. I have friends who are currently Air Marshals, and I’ve heard enough horror stories that I’m reasonably certain that, despite this novel predating 9/11/01, most of the issues discussed are still prevalent.

The cool thing about Marcus’ fiction is that he is a former action guy, and he writes from the perspective of experience. While his Brothers in Arms is actually my favorite of his novels, all of them are good, entertaining reads, and this one was no different. Recommended.

(Full disclosure: While I don’t know Marcus, I’ve corresponded with him, through the blog, and he has offered me access to some research information in the past.)

The Power of the Dog by Don Winslow

I don’t actually know much of the details of the history of the cartel wars on the southern US border. I know a bit, but it’s not really my area, so…

I do maintain a moderate level of interest in the topic, since we have been seeing an increasing level of cartel activity in our area (including a task force bust of a cartel safe house near our farm). All of that was mentioned to say that I can’t vouch for the authenticity of the story told in this novel, which is basically a novelized history of the rise of the Sinoloan Cartel. It rings accurate, but….

What it is however, is an interesting novel, and the author does a good job of describing the mindset of violence. I found this book on Greg Ellifritz’ recommendation, and I second his recommendation.

There was a lot of fiction in this week’s list, but that’s because I’ve been basically stuck in a hospital room for a week. Some of my reading has been on the Kindle app on my cellphone (although the Kunstler books were actually my hard copies, that I grabbed off the shelf one night when I went home to see the kids and take a shower). In this situation, even though I would still rather read non-fiction, decent fiction is easier to deal with, since I am up and down a lot, assisting my mother, or assisting the hospital staff assisting her (my mother can be a bit cantankerous, and sometimes I need to inform her she’s being difficult, when she thinks she is being helpful….must run in the family after all…)

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  1. Dave Miles permalink

    World made by hand, union Grove is not upstate. I live as close to West Virginia as I am to NYC. Union springs is part of the problem. ( Not bitching at you John, bitching at the author) I’m still gonna read the book. Thanks for the weekly shopping list.

  2. Marcus is a friend. He put alot of helpful work into his books. The Brothers in Arms was well done, and frankly only surpassed when he finished the Wylde series (Sadly only an e-book). If you want some dark gunfighter noir, its the thing.

    (Carrying his old carry gun right now)

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