Monday, June 11, 2012

Blogging Around: The "Things I Found This Morning" Edition

I will link to a lot of things at Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ just because it's so darned easy. Then I forget to do it here, for you dear readers. But not today ...

Fun Summer Reading
I’ve been reading Nathan Lowell’s Solar Clipper Traders series, which begins with Quarter Share. The books concern one Ishmael Wang, who at 18 finds himself parentless, friendless, and most importantly, jobless, on a company world. The company doesn’t want him, and he’s got to get off-planet PDQ. He can join the marines; or he can find a berth on a freighter plying its way from star to star. To make a short story shorter, he does the latter and becomes the most junior crew-member of the Solar Clipper Lois McKendrick. The “quarter share” of the title is Ishmael’s share of the profits from any voyage; by tradition, the owner gets 20%, the captain gets 10%, and the remaining crew split up the rest by shares: quarter, full, half, or double. The books in the series are named according to these shares, up to Owner’s Share (not yet released), and so I imagine that the rags to riches story continues until our hero is independently wealthy.
I agree with Will at The View from the Foothills about this series. Do go read his full review because he has some valuable observations about the content, especially the sex in the books. Frankly, the continual humility of "our hero" and the fact that he miraculously always happens to have the answer to the Terrible Problem they are facing at the moment is why I stopped listening to the series (via Podiobooks) after three or four. But, then I love Nathan Lowell's stuff and I go ahead and pick "just one more." Because, as Will says, they are perfect summer popcorn type books. If you like that sort of thing. And sometimes I do.

Man Bites Dog in Dallas?
From time to time here at GetReligion, we pause to wax nostalgic about what used to be in Dallas.

I refer, of course, to the not-so-long-ago days when The Dallas Morning News took religion news seriously and assigned skilled, trained professional journalists to the Godbeat.

Just a few years ago, the paper boasted a best-in-the-nation Saturday religion section with four or five full-time staff members devoted to faith and values news. Those same outstanding journalists regularly produced meaty investigative pieces, in-depth profiles and intriguing features for the front page.

Not anymore.

Now, if you check the Morning News’ religion news section online, you’re fortunate to find a new story every few weeks. And often, those stories are about as deep as a Texas river during a drought.

All of which leads me to this: I enjoyed a nice chuckle this week when seeing this headline on a Morning News Texas Faith blog post ...
Amen. GetReligion preaches it.

I used to look forward to Saturdays reading the Dallas Morning News. Not only was their religion section great, but the whole paper was interesting and well written. Then the DMN, evidently in an attempt to broaden readership, dumped their reporters and went to using national stuff, moms in the suburbs, and large type with lotsa leading. What a recipe for success, right? Yeah. You get more value from USA Today, believe me.

Lincoln, Catholics, and Conscience
RESOLVED: That the guarantee of the rights of conscience, as found in our Constitution, is most sacred and inviolable, and one that belongs no less to the Catholic, than to the Protestant; and that all attempts to abridge or interfere with these rights, either of Catholic or Protestant, directly or indirectly, have our decided disapprobation, and shall ever have our most effective opposition. –ABRAHAM LINCOLN at a Whig gathering
Yes it is a really, truly, proven quote from Abraham Lincoln, as Frank at Why I Am Catholic tells us. And it is an important viewpoint to recall as we near the bishops' Fortnight of Freedom for religious liberty.

The Joy of Car Talk
Can’t stop thinking about today’s announcement: That Tom and Ray Magliozzi of Car Talk fame are retiring.

Anne and I have listened to Car Talk almost religiously on Saturday mornings for years. Tom and Ray have been a joy because…
Yep. Love 'em. For all the reasons Jeffrey Overstreet lists.

Audio Resources for Writers (and Story Lovers)
My monthly post for the Catholic Writers' Guild blog. Featuring StoryWonk, Writing Excuses, Chop Bard, and Just the Books.

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