Stinque Book Club

Books from War Crooks

Jill St. John is not a mitigating factor.Title: “World Order”

Author: Henry Kissinger

Rank: 17

Blurb: “Henry Kissinger has traveled the world, advised presidents, and been a close observer and participant in the central foreign policy events of our era. Now he offers his analysis of the twenty first century’s ultimate challenge: how to build a shared international order in a world of divergent historic perspectives, violent conflict, proliferating technology, and ideological extremism.”

Review: “Hillary Clinton wrote a very favorable review in the Washington Post.”

Customers Also Bought: “The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy And Its Geostrategic Imperatives” by Zbigniew Brzezinski

Footnote: This is what happens when you let the Bastards get away with it.

World Order [Amazon]

Buy or Die [Stinque@Amazon Kickback Link]

Rumspringa for Elites

Look what Yale did for George Bush.Title: “Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and the Way to a Meaningful Life”

Author: William Deresiewicz

Rank: 38

Blurb: “Excellent Sheep takes a sharp look at the high-pressure conveyor belt that begins with parents and counselors who demand perfect grades and culminates in the skewed applications Deresiewicz saw firsthand as a member of Yale’s admissions committee. As schools shift focus from the humanities to ‘practical’ subjects like economics and computer science, students are losing the ability to think in innovative ways. Deresiewicz explains how college should be a time for self-discovery, when students can establish their own values and measures of success, so they can forge their own path.”

Review: “Although a liberal arts education, as he advocates, may provide tools for developing a ‘meaningful life’ so will reading, work experience, marriage, parenting, travel, volunteering in one’s community, and other significant life experiences. Personal traits such as curiosity, confidence, honesty, determination, and open-mindedness — if nurtured in childhood and maintained through life — are at least as important as knowledge and skills.”

Customers Also Bought: “SpongeBath Food Safe Biodegradable Antimicrobial Sponge Cleaner”

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Blandception

Grey garden.Title: “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success”

Author: Carol Dweck

Rank: 80

Blurb: “Dweck explains why it’s not just our abilities and talent that bring us success — but whether we approach them with a fixed or growth mindset.”

Review: “The irony of Dweck’s book is that if the reader understands and believes what she’s saying, then after the first chapter that reader has no reason to keep reading.”

Customers Also Bought: Inevitably, something by Malcolm Gladwell.

Footnote: Our mindset prevents us from accepting poorly expressed ideas like “fixed” and “growth”, as well as notions of “success” that require measurement.

Mindset [Amazon]

Buy or Die [Stinque@Amazon Kickback Link]

Talk is Not Cheap

Just you shut your mouth.Title: “The Art of Public Speaking”

Author: Stephen Lucas

Rank: 60

Price: $128.86

No, that’s not a typo: $128.86. For a paperback.

Blurb: “Utilizing the full suite of resources, students learn to internalize the principles of public speaking, build confidence through speech practice, and prepare for success in the classroom and beyond.”

Read more »

Hung Like an Elephant

Oh God! Oh God! Oh God!Title: “Instinct: The Power to Unleash Your Inborn Drive”

Author: T. D. Jakes

Rank: 92

Blurb: “Modern life can seem like being lost in a jungle. With distractions and dangers emerging from every direction, it’s easy to lose focus. Over time, we lose touch with one of our most powerful, purposeful, God-given attributes — the desire to be fruitful and multiply, what Bishop T. D. Jakes calls our ‘instinct for increase.’”

Review: “First I need to clarify two things. One — I am not an Oprah fan at all.”

Customers Also Bought: “The Lady, Her Lover, and Her Lord” by T. D. Jakes

Footnote: While the book itself appears to be a meditation on “trust your instincts”, we’re drawn to the call for Righteous Shagging.

Instinct [Amazon]

Buy or Die [Stinque@Amazon Kickback Link]

Tile M for Murder

Words with frenemies.Title: “The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary”

“Corporate Author”: Merriam-Webster

Rank: 16

Blurb: “Updated to include new vocabulary such as fracking, hashtag, and selfie.”

Review: “This was sent to a state prison and they love it.”

Jeremiad: “Of course, what is urgently needed is a book that claims 75000 (or whatever the number turns out to be) REAL Scrabble words, in accordance with the pre-1976 rules that made the game wildly popular; in accordance with those rules, such a book would be based entirely on 21st-century dictionaries. It’s overwhelming likely that you do in fact play with the classic rules. The 1976 changes were implemented by a group of New York City ‘experts’, predecessors of today’s North American Scrabble Players Association (NASPA), who invented a game unpopular even with New Yorkers (the second-largest bridge club on Manhattan has more members than NASPA does throughout the continent, even though all polls show Scrabble to be slightly more popular than bridge!). In coming weeks, I’ll modify this review to show just what the impact of the degraded rules has had on the game.”

Customers Also Bought: “Oregon 54-026 Chain Saw Bar And Chain Oil”

Footnote: Chillax, dude.

The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary [Amazon]

Buy or Die [Stinque@Amazon Kickback Link]

Naked Lunchroom

Peel me a crayon.Title: “The Day the Crayons Quit”

Authors: Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers

Rank: 16

Blurb: “Poor Duncan just wants to color. But when he opens his box of crayons, he finds only letters, all saying the same thing: His crayons have had enough! They quit! Beige Crayon is tired of playing second fiddle to Brown Crayon. Black wants to be used for more than just outlining. Blue needs a break from coloring all those bodies of water. And Orange and Yellow are no longer speaking — each believes he is the true color of the sun.”

Review: “I read it to my first grade class and they got hung up on the fact that one of the crayons was naked. I had them illustrate their favorite part and about 80% drew the naked crayon. So although it is a great book, I would use it for grade 2 and up; the first graders really couldn’t grasp the theme.”

Customers Also Bought: “A Day With No Crayons”, “The Crayon Box that Talked”, and “Harold and the Purple Crayon”

Footnote: Four out of five first-graders agree: Trolling the teacher is fun!

The Day the Crayons Quit [Amazon]

Buy or Die [Stinque@Amazon Kickback Link]