Stinque Book Club

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.”

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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]

Everything is Gruesome

Minecraft is a flat circle.Title: “Minecraft: Essential Handbook: An Official Mojang Book”

Rank: 82

Blurb: “You’re alone in a mysterious new world, full of hidden dangers. You have only minutes to find food and shelter before darkness falls and the monsters come looking for you. What do you do?”

Review: “I have learned more about Creepers and spider jockeys than I ever wanted to know!”

Customers Also Bought: “Minecraft Iron Golem Action Figure”

Footnote: What we do is quickly head home, because clearly we’ve found ourself in the Gaslamp District during Comic-Con.

Minecraft: Essential Handbook [Amazon]

Buy or Die [Stinque@Amazon Kickback Link]

Token Tolkien

Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to finding something better to spend your time.Title: “Dungeons & Dragons Starter Set: Fantasy Roleplaying Fundamentals”

Authors: “Wizards RPG Team”

Rank: 14

Blurb: “Explore subterranean labyrinths! Plunder hoards of treasure! Battle legendary monsters!”

Review, Illustrating Everything We Hate About D&D…

Characters have races (e.g., human, elf, halfling, etc.), classes (e.g., fighter, wizard, rogue, etc.), backgrounds (i.e., backstory that both provides motivations as well as some specific skills), and equipment. Each character has six primary attributes called abilities that include the standard set of: Strength, dexterity, Constitution, intelligence, wisdom and charisma. These ability scores generate modern fires in ranges. For example, an average ability score in the 10 to 11 range has a modifier of zero.

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Comfortably Numb

No there there.Title: “The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment”

Author: Eckhart Tolle

Rank: 88

Blurb: “Tolle introduces readers to enlightenment and its natural enemy, the mind. He awakens readers to their role as a creator of pain and shows them how to have a pain-free identity by living fully in the present. The journey is thrilling, and along the way, the author shows how to connect to the indestructible essence of our Being, ‘the eternal, ever-present One Life beyond the myriad forms of life that are subject to birth and death.’”

Review: “After nearly three decades of practicing meditation to become enlightened (some day) I found it disheartening to conclude that I wasn’t really getting anywhere.”

Customers Also Bought: “Buddhism For Dummies”

Footnote: And here we thought Enlightenment involves embracing the world, not escaping it. You can’t rid your life of pain — that’s the curse of consciousness — but if you’d like to cut down on the drama, try letting some air out of your ego.

The Power of Now [Amazon]

Buy or Die [Stinque@Amazon Kickback Link]