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Oh and some E. Phillips Oppenheim short stories which just confirm you’d do much better reading Sapper, or Eric Ambler at his best.

 

I recently threw out some Le Queux spy stories because the pages were crumbling to dust. Like Edgar Wallace, big in his day, I suspect even committed historians of the genre don’t look at him any more.

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Just finished Ask the Dust by John Fante, a slim novel which didn't live up to the extravagant praise I've heard from Bukowski fans. Henry Miller and Hubert Selby did this kind of thing much better.

I'm currently reading Middlesex, has anyone else read it? I remember it being discussed elsewhere and people were criticizing the fact that it won the pulitzer prize. Maybe not Pulitzer Prize worthy

Several of the pieces in Paris to the Moon appeared earlier as Gopnik's monthly Letters from Paris to The New Yorker. His use of adjectives to describe the weather, the neighborhood, etc impressed me

Prompted by Richard Hughes’ novels set around the rise of Hitler, a recommenced history of the fall of the Weimar Republic, The Death of Democracy by Benjamin Carter Hett. Very well written, serious without being massive, and recent enough (2018) to be conscious of parallels with current trends.

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Today’s NYT has a review of “Hitler’s First Hundred Days” that’s a good read in & of itself, whether the book is on your reading list or not. Really... read it.

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About a year or so ago, we spent a long weekend in DC & wound up in the Holocaust Museum. As we walked thru the “early days” section, I was taken aback by the narratives under the displays of news articles, etc highlighting the time line from swearing in to basic fascist rule. It was an aspect I hadn’t ever really thought about & I’ve been talking about it since. This book review (& book) is spot on in looking at the why & how of that speedy disaster. Food for thought, given our increased free time.

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My friends all think I'm a crank when I talk about that.  Maybe I should carry copies around with me (I mean once I'm allowed to associate with other people again).

If we allowed NASA to continue to function as it should have after 1970 (which was JFK's most appealing vision), we wouldn't be in this current situation. But then again mankind's history is unusually repetitive of myopic mistakes.

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Maybe corona virus is the lucky break that shakes some sense into people. Could use some silver linings these days.

I hope so.  It can also be just the thing needed to suspend basic aspects of our society, including elections.  Additionally, with severe medical and economic issues getting more critical, there may be ground level reactions by people to get what they need. Our reliance on government for law, order & strong leadership is only a good thing when we have a government interested in helping and not blaming and using folks for their own ends.

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