June 28, 2017

What books has Hillary Clinton been "losing [her]self in"?

"I finished Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels, I devoured mysteries by Louise Penny, Donna Leon, Jacqueline Winspear, Charles Todd... I reread old favorites like Henri Nouwen’s The Return of the Prodigal Son, the poetry of Maya Angelou and Mary Oliver. I was riveted by The Jersey Brothers and a new book of essays called The View From Flyover Country, which turned out to be especially relevant in the midst of our current health-care debate."

New York Magazine reports.

Sorry, I can't seem to get beyond New York Magazine this morning. That's where I landed after starting out in the South China Morning Post. Somehow, I only told you about the beer cans in China. I could have told you about...

1. The "pro-democracy lawmaker 'Long Hair' Leung Kwok-hung" and his fight to keep from getting his hair cut while he's in prison.

2. The tourist who fainted when informed that the jade bracelet she just broke costs 300,000 yuan (US$44,110).

3. The 80-year-old lady who threw coins into a jet engine for good luck and got the flight delayed for hours.

4. The man who was fined for cutting the roof off his car to make it into a "convertible."

5. The thing that got me to that website in the first place (because it was linked at Drudge): "Police in Shanghai on Monday closed down an unlicensed fight between two teams – one led by a tai chi master and the other by a leading mixed martial artist – just weeks after footage of a similar, very bloody, contest went viral online."
In late April, Xu [fighter and promoter of mixed martial arts] scored a convincing victory over [tai chi master] Wei, after making controversial remarks about tai chi in which he said he wanted to “expose” its lack of merit.

“[I] crack down on fake things, because they are fake. Fake things must be eliminated. No question,” he was quoted as saying...

86 comments:

rhhardin said...

From Derbyshire, who is a China expert, being married to one and speaking Mandarin,

A chap in south China died at age 75, which is a good age — no tragedy there. South Chinese people are generally conservative, and this guy's family did what traditionalist conservative Chinese people do in the circumstances: they went to the local cemetery to pick out a plot.

If you're a traditionalist Chinese that's no small matter. In fact you need an expert to tell you which plot is the most auspicious, based on the surrounding scenery, gradient, rocks, plants, and so on. You need a fengshui man. Fengshui means "wind and water." It's a body of traditional ideas — I refuse to say "knowledge" — about which places, heights, orientations and so on are lucky.

So this family, who must have a bit of money, hired the best fengshui man in south China, a chap named Zheng Guoqiang, surname first of course. They brought him up from Hong Kong, over a hundred miles away, and took him to the cemetery. Mr. Zheng did a diligent survey and at last announced he'd found just the right spot for the grave, a spot where all the forces of wind, water, earth, and sky were in harmony.

He gathered key family members in that spot and began explaining to them all its harmonious perfections. Before he could get very far, there was a sudden mudslide on the slope above him. Seven people were buried alive. Six of them, including the fengshui master, died before they could be dug out.

The death toll was given in the press as two of the relatives, three cemetery workers, Mr. Zheng, and, quote, "a Taoist named Wu."

rhhardin said...

A friend of Mr. Zheng's, metaphysician Lee Chengze, told TomoNews [that's a Taiwanese newswire] he was "puzzled" as to why Mr. Zheng had decided to visit the cemetery as that particular Sunday "was a bad day" to go there.

MayBee said...

I can't even believe Hillary read those books with the way she wrote (or spoke) that blurb. How phony!

rhhardin said...

It's fake if she claims to read Maya Angelou.

Fen said...

Show of hands. Who thinks Hillary read any of those books?

I would have asked her about her commission with Deep State apparatchiks to drag the country through six months of Russia Stole Election bullshit.

Headline: Hillary Steals SoreLoserman Title From Al Gore

Bill said...

It sounds like a focus-grouped list of books.

Sebastian said...

The one thing Hill never loses is herself. Emails, elections, friends, recollections -- sure. But not Herself.

Nonapod said...

It's amazing how many people believe in make-pretend superpowers of Tai Chi as a martial art. The practitioners themselves are convinced its real right up until they're head kicked.

Michael K said...

"It's fake if she claims to read Maya Angelou."

Has anyone ?

Fen said...

Collusion not commission. Stupid phone now randomly edits. Ugh.

MayBee said...

I finished ...I devoured .. I reread old favorites ...I was riveted by ..which turned out to be especially relevant i

florid means fake

exiledonmainstreet said...

"I finished ...I devoured .. I reread old favorites ...I was riveted by "

This would be much more believable if she was talking about the contents of her liquor cabinet.

Fernandinande said...

The 80-year-old lady who threw coins into a jet engine for good luck and got the flight delayed for hours.

And it worked! If the flight hadn't been delayed they would've run into the impenetrable cloud of Billary's fatuousness.

Mike Sylwester said...

Too many topics in this post.

tcrosse said...

Maybe this one is on her nightstand:
How to Talk About Books You Haven't Read

Saint Croix said...

here's the 10 second fight.

don't blink!

ya damn cameraman

Fen said...

The story about the lady throwing coins into the jet engine was amusing. But these days I regard all "news" as fiction.

rhhardin said...

Maya Angelou Cliff Notes.

I wonder if they exist.

rhhardin said...

Angelou would have been good on the Gong Show.

Nonapod said...

Too many topics in this post.

Althouse is clearly adopting Trump's "flood the channel" methodology.

rehajm said...

Yah. Fake News. Hillary's been binging The West Wing, Madame Secretary, and House of Cards on a loop while crying herself to sleep every night.

BDNYC said...

Can't we all agree that Maya Angelou just isn't very good?

Tommy Duncan said...

"It's fake if she claims to read Maya Angelou."

Has anyone ?


I once attempted to read a couple of Maya's poems. Seriously. It was hard to keep a straight face. Granted, I'm a STEM guy who does not always fully appreciate artistic genius. But I know crap when I see it.

BDNYC said...

Pardon me, she *wasn't* very good. RIP. But seriously, her "poetry" was pretentious garbage.

Bay Area Guy said...

I thought she'd be reading a little more non-fiction such as "Shattered" or maybe the galley proofs of her forthcoming autobiography, "Why I suck."

exiledonmainstreet said...

These selections from New York Magazine make me happy I don't live in New York.

Ann Althouse said...

"Maybe this one is on her nightstand:
How to Talk About Books You Haven't Read"

Hey, that's one of the books I'm reading. No lie!

That and "How to Talk About Places You've Never Been" (by the same author).

Ann Althouse said...

"It is all the more difficult to reflect on unread books and the discussions they engender because the concept of non-reading is itself unclear, and so it is often hard to know whether we’re lying or not when we say that we’ve read a book. The very question implies that we can draw a clear line between reading and not reading, while in fact many of the ways we encounter texts sit somewhere between the two. Between a book we’ve read closely and a book we’ve never even heard of, there is a whole range of gradations that deserve our attention. In the case of books we have supposedly read, we must consider just what is meant by reading, a term that can refer to a variety of practices. Conversely, many books that by all appearances we haven’t read exert an influence on us nevertheless, as their reputations spread through society."

Bayard, Pierre (2010-08-10). How to Talk About Books You Haven't Read . Bloomsbury Publishing. Kindle Edition.

BDNYC said...

Obviously, Hillary was given a list of titles and authors that worked for the message she wished to convey. Lots of female authors. Maya Angelou. Something about flyover states that she thinks is relevant to healthcare reform. She's still active in American politics, I'm sorry to say.

Bruce Hayden said...

"It sounds like a focus-grouped list of books"

My thoughts exactly. Real people don't read those books. Only people trying to convince everyone else that they are that much smarter and intellectual than everyone else. But, then, who takes seriously anyone who pretends to have read all that highbrow fiction? If she were really that smart, wouldn't she have been reading a lot of more non-fictiony type of books? Maybe some history? Economics? Even science? I probably would have been more impressed if she had admitted to being addicted to bodice ripping romantic novels. But that doesn't get you invited to the best parties (with all the other poseurs).

mockturtle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BDNYC said...

If Hillary is teasing another run in 2020, I wonder how she will monetize her prospective candidacy. The Clinton Foundation bribery scheme will no longer work. What mechanism will she develop to reap millions in personal funds from corporations and foreign donors? She will deny her intention to run, while winking at donors that she is definitely going to run ... but how will she get the money? Paid speeches would seem to be a given, although she may be wary of that after the Goldman Sachs fiasco. Perhaps more lucrative no-show jobs for Chelsea? Oh, what about paid speeches for Chelsea, a woman who has literally nothing to say? That might work.

traditionalguy said...

Once more, the Tai Chi, as with other oriental martial arts, are helpless when a wrestler shoots a quick take down to the ground and beats the helpless opponent's head from on top of him...fists or elbows optional. Like police are trained arresting a subject, you first throw him down to the ground ( body slam if possible) and then you control him from on top.

Standing there and trading blows is not the winning tactic.

Michael K said...

"How to Talk About Books You Haven't Read"

Hey, that's one of the books I'm reading. No lie!"

My daughter (one of the lefties) gave me a copy of "Killing Lincoln" one of O'Reilly's series of fake books. I'm sure she thoght it was just what a right winger (her Dad) would love.

I wrote an Amazon review and said it was OK, but not History because some of the "facts" are not factual.

I got a raft of comments to me review accusing me of not having read it. It was a gift so I did not have the Amazon "Purchased" tag.

It was interesting to be accused of being a Democrat because I didn't love O'Reilly's book. I haven't read any others.

mockturtle said...

Apparently, she failed to 'lose herself'. The New York Magazine found her. Unfortunately.

traditionalguy said...

As for half dead Hillery, what she pretends she reads is of zero interest.

Yancey Ward said...

Mockturtle wins the thread early.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

Perhaps if Hillary had read "How to Win Friends and Influence People,", "How to Start a Conversation and Make Friends," and "Crucial Conversations" she wouldn't have so much free time on her hands?

I suspect she has read "The Prince." She just didn't understand it.

robother said...

So, it turns out you CAN judge (indeed, even devour) a book by its cover.

Yancey Ward said...

It's a good thing for Hillary! that I was not interviewing her- I would have googled all of those books on the spot and asked her specific questions about the details within.

Yancey Ward said...

As I have been writing for the last 3 months, it is 100% certain that Hillary! runs again in 2020.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

It was interesting to be accused of being a Democrat because I didn't love O'Reilly's book. I haven't read any others.

Yeah, if I'm going to read a biography of an important historical figure, O'Reilly isn't going to be my go to guy.

I never had much respect for the guy, and didn't watch his program. However, I did happen to catch a few minutes one time where he was arguing, I forget with who, that it was useless for the US to try to expand oil production because it wouldn't help lower gas prices. His 'reasoning' was that China would buy up any additional oil, so it was futile for US oil producers to extract more.

Nonapod said...

Once more, the Tai Chi, as with other oriental martial arts, are helpless when a wrestler shoots a quick take down to the ground and beats the helpless opponent's head from on top

Wrestlers tend to be the most mentally tough opponents in the MMA world due to the years of hard disciplined training (some would say overtraining) they subject themselves to. They're not unbeatable, but if a guy was at least a Collegiate level wrestler it seems to give him a pretty serious edge.

William said...

I don't think Hillary's list was researched by a focus group. Except for Maya Angelou, I never heard of those writers. I don't think their fans are an important demographic....... I'm old. I read a lot of books, but they're exclusively biographies, memoirs, and histories. At a certain age, you give up comic books and after a certain age you give up fiction. I depend on movies for my wish fulfillment and fantasies. Books are an obsolete way of communicating fluff and nonsense.

William said...

As is Hillary.

clint said...

Bill said...
"It sounds like a focus-grouped list of books."

Yes it does.


Bruce Hayden said...
"My thoughts exactly. Real people don't read those books."

Regardless of whether Hillary Clinton has actually read any of those books, I would recommend Louise Penny's mysteries. They're sort-of cozy mysteries (low on tension and violence) but with an actual police detective solving the crimes.

William said...

The tai chi master was not allowed to use film editing and jump cuts in his fight, so naturally he lost. If he had been allowed to use these valuable techniques, he would have been able to take on ten MMA artists simultaneously. I've seen it happen frequently in the movies.

Achilles said...

Blogger traditionalguy said...
"Once more, the Tai Chi, as with other oriental martial arts, are helpless when a wrestler shoots a quick take down to the ground and beats the helpless opponent's head from on top of him...fists or elbows optional. Like police are trained arresting a subject, you first throw him down to the ground ( body slam if possible) and then you control him from on top."

Every martial art has blind spots. For MMA/wrestlers it is small joint manipulation and gouges. Almost every martial art practiced in the US is non-contact. They have no understanding of the underlying principles of the techniques they use because they never hit an actual person with them.

Ralph L said...

It occurred to me this morning that the best thing about Hillary losing is that all the wonderful people, foreign and domestic, who "invested" in her future powers for the last 15 years are now SOL.

That "How to" book sounds unreadable.

William said...

The story about the fengshui master being buried by a mudslide whilst picking a burial plot is beyond irony and into zen. This points to a powerful convergence of astral forces that are beyond our understanding. The plus side of being buried in a mudslide is that the family saves on burial expenses, and nature has chosen just exactly where the site should be. Organic burials are cool. You're one with nature.

Rene Saunce said...

I submit that if Hillary were not guarded by a security detail, some of her shadowy donors would want her dead.

PackerBronco said...

On Hillary's nightstand:

"A guide to hard liquor"

PackerBronco said...


The death toll was given in the press as two of the relatives, three cemetery workers, Mr. Zheng, and, quote, "a Taoist named Wu."


I know that song! "Just me and you and a Taoist named Wu."

Ralph L said...

Travelin' and a dyin' under land.

Sample Commenter said...

Who reads Maya Angelou unironically?

Bob Ellison said...

RE: tai chi, wrestling, MMA, etc.-- the story of Dan Severn, who was a top college wrestler that later became a top MMA fighter, supports the idea that wrestling might be the place to look for the best.

The MMA crowd seems constantly to wrestle with the question of which training is the most important. I think it depends on the rules imposed. Supposedly the very first UFC tournament was pretty much "no rules!". They've toned it down since then. The more they tone it down, though, the more it might turn into regular wrestling or boxing or fake wrestling, and the consumers will turn away.

Bay Area Guy said...

Do you know how happy this post makes me feel? Think about it:

Hillary is spending her nights reading obscure pointless books in her spacious Chappaqua mansion - and not signing any laws or bossing us around from the Oval Office.

This is practically like Heaven!

tcrosse said...

Maybe she should try to read this one. There are probably plenty of copies floating around.
Hard Choices by Hillary Clinton

exiledonmainstreet said...

Rene Saunce said...
I submit that if Hillary were not guarded by a security detail, some of her shadowy donors would want her dead."

Based on some of the stories I've read about how shabbily Hillary treats underlings, some of her security detail probably wants her dead.

Fen said...

"If she were really that smart - "

She would have come to Wisconsin :)

readering said...

Mom mom likes to read novels. An old lady thing.

readering said...

POTUS needs to find and absorb How to discuss bills you haven't read.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Blogger readering said...
POTUS needs to find and absorb How to discuss bills you haven't read.

6/28/17, 12:53 PM

Pelosi could have used it too.

"We'll have to pass it to find out what's in it!"

Rene Saunce said...

Exiled on..
"Based on some of the stories I've read about how shabbily Hillary treats underlings, some of her security detail probably wants her dead."


Between shabby treatment and unpaid favors - yep.

John Tuffnell said...

Seb says: The one thing Hill never loses is herself. Emails, elections, friends, recollections -- sure. But not Herself.

Her balance. She loses that too.

And she lost influence. Hard to peddle if you ain't got any.

mockturtle said...

William writes: The story about the fengshui master being buried by a mudslide whilst picking a burial plot is beyond irony and into zen. This points to a powerful convergence of astral forces that are beyond our understanding. The plus side of being buried in a mudslide is that the family saves on burial expenses, and nature has chosen just exactly where the site should be. Organic burials are cool. You're one with nature.

My compliments.

William Chadwick said...

Queen Cacklepants should be reading the Grand Inquisitor section of THE BROTHERS KARAMAZOV, for pointers in case she runs for high office again.

Bill Peschel said...

"I devoured mysteries by Louise Penny, Donna Leon, Jacqueline Winspear, Charles Todd."

I've read books by the last three. They're good. They're not popular mystery novelists --
not obscure neither -- but ones you'd find if you're reading a lot of mysteries.

I've been thinking lately -- difficult to believe I know -- but I don't remember her taking the lead in either promoting the Resistance, opposing the leftist violence, or anything other than dodging responsibility for losing the election. (If anyone knows otherwise, I'd love to hear it.)

It just seems like someone who wants to be influential in the party to say something about them. Instead, the silence implies that she was waiting to see if Trump would fall first, then jump out ahead of the parade.

mockturtle said...

If the Democrats are stupid enough to nominate Hillary again in 2020, then more power to us.

Patrick said...

My wife and I enjoy the Charles Todd books. They are written by a mother and son writing team. We have been reading the series about the near in WWI. Not fantastic, but enjoyable light reading.

tcrosse said...

When the Democrats are stupid enough to nominate Hillary again in 2020, then more power to us.

FIFY.

Danno said...

My guess is Hillary's reading list would have been this one I found on Barnes and Noble's website-

The Catcher In The Whiskey Rye
Underaged Holden has an affinity for scotch and soda, but his spirit drink has to be an Old-Fashioned. Make it yourself with some Angostura bitters, 2 ounces of whiskey, a little club soda, a flick of sugar, and an orange slice. Best enjoyed in a dark city bar while contemplating your existence.

The Gin Fitzey
People say F. Scott Fitzgerald loved gin because it’s undetectable on your breath. Sounds good. So we look to the Gin Rickey, a drink that appeared in The Great Gatsby and is made of gin, lime juice, sugar, and club soda to make it deliciously fitzey.

Madeleinita L’Margarita
Madeleine L’Engle’s works call for a traditional margarita—2 ounces tequila, 1 ounce Cointreau, and some lime juice. If you want that Wrinkle In Time effect, drink several of these fast.

The Taming of the Shrewdriver
The Taming Of The Shrew is the name of the play within the play put on for Christopher Sly, the protagonist who is tricked into believing he’s a lord when he is incredibly drunk (certainly not the worst trick that can be played on you when you’re three sheets to the wind). Since alcohol is the impetus of this tale, a Taming Of The Shrewdriver, a classic mix of orange juice and vodka, is the perfect drink.

Napa Grapes Of Wrath
In tribute to John Steinbeck’s The Grapes Of Wrath, this drink is a classic sangria recipe made with Napa wine.

Tequila Mockingbird
Combine a Tequila Sunrise (Tequila and orange juice) with an Alabama Slammer (gin, Southern Comfort, triple sec, Galliano, and more orange juice) and you’ve got the perfect drink to sip while reading To Kill A Mockingbird.

The Tequila Sunrise Also Rises
Another Tequila Sunrise recipe, this one with a splash of tomato in honor of The Sun Also Rises’s focus on the fiesta at Pamplona. Hey—nobody said these recipes had to be delicious.

Bloody Mary Shelley
There couldn’t be a more appropriate drink to honor Ms. Shelly than a classic Bloody Mary stirred with a stick of celery that is carved to look like the face of Frankenstein. Easy, peasy.

Sex On The Chisel Beach
Those who have read On Chisel Beach by Ian McEwan know that sex on Chisel Beach is nonexistent. This cocktail is 2 ounces vodka, ½ ounce peach schnapps, 2 ounces cranberry juice, and 2 ounces orange juice—but go ahead and hold the vodka for this sober, sexless party.

Roman Fever
In honor of Daisy Miller, the Henry James novel about an Italian-smooching American who (spoiler alert!) dies of Roman Fever, this drink combines the highly flammable Roman Black Sambuca with fire to make you really feel closer to death.

The Samuel Beckett
The Samuel Beckett is an empty glass. If you don’t get it, read Waiting For Godot.

Lucien said...

Quite a few older women I know read a lot of mysteries, so there's part of me that believes Hillary on that score. It seems to be a thing that old women do, the same way old men seem to read a lot of history. But count me with those who call bullshit on her reading Maya Angelou. Nobody actually reads Maya Angelou.

As to wrestling, it's probably the best approach for one-on-one fighting, i.e. get your man to the ground and control/beat him. But for one vs. two or more, a stand-up art is probably better. However, unlike in the movies, in real life one person vs. two or more typically gets his ass beat.

Wrestling and judo also benefit from the fact that much of their technique can be practiced at full strength against a resisting sparring partner, while practicing e.g. karate at full strength is a good way to get seriously injured.

David Boucher said...

Hillary reading "The View from Flyover Country" somehow makes me think of broomsticks.

Bob Loblaw said...

I can't even believe Hillary read those books with the way she wrote (or spoke) that blurb. How phony!

I never believe those "books I read" things from politicians and celebrities. They're doing the same thing I did in high school - claiming to read the book and reading the Cliff Notes instead.

tcrosse said...

I never believe those "books I read" things from politicians and celebrities.

Much less those "books I wrote" things.


Michael K said...

Yeah, if I'm going to read a biography of an important historical figure, O'Reilly isn't going to be my go to guy.

The best part was he had Lincoln using the "oval office" which was built by Teddy Roosevelt.

But I was still a Democrat for pointing this out.

I think the commenter might have been named chuck.

Just kidding.

madAsHell said...

2. The tourist who fainted when informed that the jade bracelet she just broke costs 300,000 yuan (US$44,110).


I was always told that a real jade bracelet wouldn't break.

John said...

I think "reading books", like "walking in the woods" is just another euphemism for "wandering around shitfaced"

There's no woods near her house or "books on her shelves" (IYKWIMAITYD)

John Henry

Scott said...

Coins? That's nothing. Here's a video of a man who gets sucked into a jet engine. He lived.

walter said...

Tai Chi vs MMA reads like sketch comedy.
"And in this corner...."

themightypuck said...

I heard the Neapolitan novels were good but now that Hillary is enjoying them I fear they are "good" in the "you should read this" sense rather than the "this is awesome" sense.

Njall said...

Well, all of the vibrant people have posted, and AA and Meade have stopped reading, so I guess it's time for Njall to kill the thread: for people who like to read - and like to earn virtue points for what they read - trendy fiction seems to be the ticket.

There is a reading group at work, of which I am not a part - it turns out that they are reading a book for which I was an (unpaid) consultant on things Slavic, I am mentioned by name in the dedication - when I excitedly mentioned that, they avoided me like the plague. They don't care about truth, only reputation.

I like to read difficult things - I think it's good for my mind - and I tend to go on in-depth binges, my current one being about 10 months of Nietzsche. I have heard him mentioned for years, usually disparagingly by both left and right, and have read interpretations of his thought, but I wanted to finally get the story straight from the horse's mouth, so to speak. He is prettty interesting, and not what the superficial believe.

Njall said...

By the way, I don't think Hillary has read any of those books, I don't think she's a reader. I think she like to booze of an evening, and maybe watch some light TV.

mockturtle said...

Njall, I agree about Nietzsche. I went through a Nietzsche binge in my early 20's so it's probably time to revisit him now that I have acquired age and wisdom. ;-)

Christy said...

Funny, I've found as I've aged that I'm reading more non-fiction.
Winspear fascinates in the look at a society devastated by the losses (and crippled survivors) from WWI in the UK. Ultimately I found them too depressing and lost track of them years ago. I read one of Angelou's autobiographies and enjoyed it, but not enough to read more, and I, typically will read everything by a writer I like. I used to look at Salon and Slate for books everyone was reading and talking about. Are they still around?