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Showing posts from 2010

Round 4 Results

Here's the winners according to my advanced mathematics:
Scott: Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy
Myles: Tie between Decision Points and In 50 Years We'll All Be Chicks
Jon: The Great Divorce and The Problem of Pain by C.S. Lewis
Brandon: Twelfth Night and Antony and Cleopatra by William Shakespeare
Joe: Under a Wild Sky by William Souder

Is everyone okay if we read and host them in that order (as long as we get a tiebreaker for myles by then?).
So, for January, we'll read Jude the Obscure and so on.  Seems like an appropriately depressing book for January.

Anyone planning on getting together for december?  I won't be here for the rest of them month, so what do I care?

Myles' Picks - Sorry it took so long

Innovators Prescription - Clayton M Christensen
I heard him speak in New Orleans, and he's one of my dad's favorite authors.

Decision Points - George W. Bush
My Brother-in-law is mentioned in the acknowledgments, since he helped with fact checking.

In Fifty Years We'll All Be Chicks - Adam Carolla
I think this one fits the club :)

Stupid History - Leland Gregory
It looks like you either love it or hate it.

Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God - Francis Chan
Something completely different from the rest.

Twain Location

While reading about Sam Clemens' days out West, I thought discussing the book at Porter's Place next Tuesday night might help us get into the period:

A big burger and side is between $6 and $8. The "Cure-All" drinks would be on me as host. We could rendezvous at my place at 7:30, pile into the van and begin the proceedings in transit.

Scott's Nominations

I feel the need to get back to my roots in Victorian English literature, so here are a few to choose from.

Jude the Obscure (Oxford World's Classics)
My favourite Hardy novel. I'm nominating it again.

Middlemarch (Oxford World's Classics)
One I have not yet read, but have always meant to read by George Eliot.

The Pickwick Papers (Oxford World's Classics)
No Victorian list would be complete without a little Dickens (and one I have not read), and this is one of his comedic works.

The Warden (Oxford World's Classics)
The first of the Barchester novels by Anthony Trollope, one of the lesser known Victorian writers. Think Dickens lite.

Vanity Fair (Barnes & Noble Classics) Thackery's masterpiece. A bit of a wild romp with a female lead (Becky Sharp) who is quite un-Victorian. The Picture of Dorian Gray: (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) Aside from a couple of his plays and a short story or two, I have never actually read anything by Oscar Wilde, but I have always mean…

Round 4 - Joe's picks

Hopefully those who find history boring can find something interesting in this list.

Battle Cry of Freedom
Considered the best single-volume history of the Civil War. If you consider 924 pages just a single volume.

The Company Town
New book about America's "company towns." The author says they only come in two forms: utopian and satanic.

An Entirely Synthetic Fish
Did surprisingly well as a Round 3 nomination (losing out to Mark Twain bio).

Eden's Outcasts
The story of Louisa May Alcott and her father. Won a pulitzer in '08. I nominated because I'm about to have a daughter.

David McCullough won a pulitzer for this biography of Harry Truman.

Under a Wild Sky
A "highly readable" biography of John James Audobon.
In case you missed the Yakiniku last month, here's what the cow tongue looked like before we ate it.  Thanks to myles for the culinary adventure.

Round 4 - Brandon's Picks

Since the Mark Twain book is the last of round 3, it's time to get nominating our next batch of study.    Let's have all nominations posted and voted on by the next meeting at the end of november.  Then in December we decided to do our own independent reading and share our findings with each other.

I'm a huge Shakespeare fan, but looking at his list of plays, I've only read or seen about 1/3 of them.  I figure this is a good way to read some of his deep tracks and b-sides.  If it's okay with you all, I'm proposing we read two plays, since they'll each only take 2-3 hours to read.  (unless you are determined to understand what everything means, then it will take a little longer). And if you don't have time for two, then just read one of them.

So here's a list of 6 comedies and 6 tragedies.  Let's treat each one as it's own category, so your top comedy pick will get 6 points, same with your top tragedy pick.  And perhaps our meeting can includ…

East of Eden


I'm feeling like a Japanese yakiniku barbeque for this months meeting.  Weather permitting, we'll do it in my backyard.  I'll provide the meat and the rice and the raw eggs.  If others could bring some of the following, that would be great.  Everything should be pretty thinly sliced.

- cucumbers
- onions
- carrots
- bean sprouts
- anything else that would be good grilled
- beverage
- dessert/snacks

Meet at my place at 7pm on Thurs.  Email me if you don't know the address.

In solidarity,


Brandon's Admonition

October's meeting will be at 7pm on Thursday October 28th at my place.  Mark your calendars now.  Make sure and plan your relief society meetings, vacations, and baby births on a different day.I think the blog has been neglected.

Short notice for "Short History"?

Update: Jordan had to bow out because of a new work schedule. Let's meet tonight at my place at 7:30 (811 East 150 South). Eat dinner before you come but bring a snack or treat. We'll play bocce ball (a very old game) while discussing the history of everything.

We discussed it, but luckily TEOTWAWKI isn't here yet

Welcome Ben and Darryl, the newest members!

We had a good time at Upper Falls.  The rock castle was deemed indefensible due to the lack of flowing water.

I think it was unanimous that we all need to develop some more skills... Moonboot skills, nunchuck skills...

We enjoyed rotisserie pigeons (cornish game hens), corn on the cob, potatoes, carrots, beets, IBC, Delicias ice cream bars...

My girls are all excited about starting book clubs.  The first thing they're planning is the menu.

One link from Provident Living

TEOTWAWKI night is July 27th

Meet at my house at 7:30 to carpool to an undisclosed location known to a few as "The Rock Castle."  It's not far enough away to completely avoid the Golden Horde, but it is fairly defensible.  I'm having trouble deciding which meat to roast.  Pigeons from an overpass, locally harvested vole, organically raised free range vermin of any kind...  Or hot dogs to get a combination of all three.

For those of you that are writers as well as readers, you could win Rawles' writing contest!

Emancipators in South Fork Canyon

It sounds like Jordan had a pretty good excuse for not being there.  Congratulations to you and your wife!

We saw bighorn sheep on the way up.  And at least one raccoon and a mouse joined us, too.

Joe caught a couple of trout, Scott brought homemade cheesecake, Brandon brought buttermilk bars from the Provo Bakery, and everyone consented to be a guinea pig for my last minute brainstorm.

String cheese on a stick, wrapped in a couple of pieces of pepperoni and some crescent roll dough.  Cook over the fire until well browned on the outside and the cheese starts to run.

The name for this new delight?  Campfire Calzones?  Stick Pizza?

Brandon christened them emancipators.  I thought later emasculators since it contains the same root as masculine, but it's probably better not.

Sorry, there are no pics of the food, animals that joined us, or the stars...

This Thursday

Here's what I was thinking. We could meet at my place in Thursday (June 17th) and carpool up Provo Canyon to someplace we can get a fire going and enjoy the mountain air for the evening. I can carry three people comfortably, four a little less so, so a couple of us may need to drive depending on who comes. I will supply cheesecake; everyone else can bring whatever they feel moved to bring (perhaps something they picture having in paradise, or something decadent....cheesecake works both ways). I am going to go scout out locations tomorrow, but any suggestions of favourite spots would be most welcome.

Does this work for everyone?

The Votes are in -- Round 3

Here are the results, according to my calculations. Correct me if I'm wrong.
June: This Side of Paradise, Scott hosting July: How to Survive the End of the World as We Know it, Myles hosting August: A Short History of Nearly Everything, Jordan Hosting September: Undaunted Courage, Jon Hosting October: East of Eden, Brandon Hosting November: Mark Twain, A Life, Joe Hosting
Sorry, Doug, you gots to put up more nominations next time. Manly men are democratic. Like Robin Hood.
If anyone needs to switch dates or has other recommendations, speak up.


However, we can't read "War And Peace" because I just read that during the winter. It was great but come on! You want me to do that all over again?

I'm for "The Big Short," "A Brave New World," "Crime & Punishment" and if "Cakes & Ale" will give me an education in the production of ancient spirits, I'll read that one too.
"I only regret that I have but one nomination to give for my book club: The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court."

- Douglas Kleven


I know after missing the last two book club meetings my club credibility is low. So I come before you in great sheepishness to nominate the following books for your consideration:

People of Paradox: A History of Mormon Culture by Terry Givens

A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson

The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom by Jonathan Haidt

The Sparrow by Maria Doria Russell

A Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Scott's Nominations Part Deux

OK Brandon, you're on. Here's my latest round of picks.

I wasn't around for round 1, so this is really only my second set of nominations. This time I am focusing on books I have never read (unlike last time) by authors I enjoy. There is something for everyone here, I hope.

Cakes And Ale - W. Somerset Maugham - I enjoy Maugham, but have never read this one. He is mainly known for Of Human Bondage, a book I hear is widely regarded as one of the most depressing in the English language (though I really liked it). This one is supposed to be one from his lighter side.

Stranger In A Strange Land - Robert Heinlein - One of Heinlein's best known, but one I have never read.

Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh - This is one of Waugh's best known novels, and one I have not read. I have enjoyed Scoop, Black Mischief, and others, though.

This Side of Paradise - F. Scott Fitzgerald - Fitzgerald's first novel. I have always meant to get to this one, but never have.

Bone - Jeff S…

Myles' summer picks

Brandon's Nominations --- Round 3

My theme for this time around: books I've wanted to read for a long time but really won't ever get around to (or stick with it) if it's not for book club. Besides, nothing says Summer Reading like settling in with a monolithic classic novel, right?

Round 3

Jon posted his picks recently, but due to his messed up priorities, won't be able to read anything for the next two months. So we'll read his pick for August. In the meantime, let's get some more nominations from everyone. If Doug gets his up soon enough, we'll read it for June. Otherwise we'll go with someone else's picks. Can we have everything up and voted on by next friday? Sure we can. But let's kick it up a notch. How about by tomorrow? That would be manly.

Chess at Joe's

The bratwurst will be hot and the IBC root beers will be cold at 7 o'clock on Thursday evening. If you want to bring an item, keep it simple and make your choice known in the comments to avoid duplication.

My place is 811 East 150 South (one block north of Myles).

We're counting on Brandon and East Hollywood High for chess boards.

The other night I dreamed that life was a chess match controlled by unknown entities. That meant I had to move whenever and wherever this mysterious being willed me to be. I spent a great deal of my time at a centrally located cafe table. The nearest opposing player was a nice woman who was understandably apathetic about the circumstances. Nobody got excited about the outcome or felt loyalty to the powers that be. When orders for the woman's next move were issued, she stood up and left the cafe while others moved in to lethargically capture me, a fate I was helpless to avoid since I had not been ordered to escape. Alas, I finished the dream in pris…

Celestial Glory

Doug, when I spoke to him on the phone just as we pulled into the Provo Gun Club, was bemoaning the fact that he couldn't make it to last month's meeting because he was doing the right thing and helping a lady in his ward move. "You're just pulling into the highest degree of the Celestial Kingdom" he said, "and I'm stuck in the lowest pit of hell."

Turns out he was right. Here's some pictures of what Celestial Glory looks like:

Chess book update

Joe says he isn't getting the specific chess book he pitched. Just get a book that will help you in the tournament. I think I've found mine.

My Suggested Book List

I guess I need to post my book list. I am not totally sure how this works. But I'll give it a whirl.

My picks are:

1. Big Rock Candy Mountain-Wallace Stegnar
2. Poisonwood Bible-Barbara Kingsolver
3. Undaunted Courage-Steven Ambrose
4. The American Revolution-Gordon Wood
5. Positive Discipline-Jane Nelsen

So hard to choose I know.


Brandon's manly invitation to this month's meeting

"I'm dying to blow apart a few more clay pigeons. How about we meet at the gun range at 7, knock back some cold ones, then head up the canyon a little further to have the best dessert in the county at Sundance? It'll cost around $6 a person, but you won't be disappointed." - Brandon

Question For All The Manly Men

Having missed this week's gathering, I'm not certain I have the right to ask this, but would anyone have any objections to moving the date of our April meeting? Much like another member, I scheduled a family camping trip not realizing it was on the same date as our April meeting, so I humbly ask if we could move it to another week. I will be gone from April 22-25. I'm good with any other time. If it's a problem, I totally understand. What does everyone think?

3 out of 5 mormons vote to legalize marijuana!

For those that weren't at Jordan's place last night, you missed a rousing discussion in which we successfully defined the line between what kinds of morality should and shouldn't be legislated. We also pounded the IBC and Hank Weinhardt's along with some banana splits.

Thanks to Jordan for hosting, and welcome to our two new members, Doug and Jon.

Next month, it's conspiracy time again with Graham Greene's "Ministry of Fear." April 22nd, 7pm at my place.

... and I feel fine... (R.E.M.)

Armageddon truly has never been funnier. Thanks Scott for hosting!

Milkshakes were savored, peanut butter candy was shared, IBC was sipped.

With double-chocolate brownies and twinkies, we definitely ate like there was no tomorrow.

After Joe said it felt like riding with the Hells Angel's... I wondered how he would know until I found this shot of him on a Google image search.


Wish I'd remembered my camera sooner, I could've taken pictures of the sushi too.

The schedule for the next few months is as follows. We're planning on the 4th thursday of each month.

Feb 25th: "Good Omens" by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, Scott hosting
March 25th: "Nudge" I don't remember who's hosting. Jordan?
April 22nd: "Ministry of Fear" Brandon hosting.
May 27th: "Play Chess" Joe Hosting.
June 24th: "Family Man" Aaron hosting.


Thanks Brandon for picking up the great sushi!

Things we learned:
1. Some of us work/have worked with extremists
2. Some of us laugh at extremists
3. Some of us sympathize too much with extremists
4. Some of us are extremists

References from the night:
What President Hinckley said in October 2001 "Those of us who are American citizens stand solidly with the president of our nation." (Thanks Joe)
A warning from Gidgiddoni