Life in during the National Shut-Down

There is one group who is digging it.


A Meme for our Times


Can you Relate?


Good Reads

It’s quarantine and while we all hope that it will soon be lifted, I’m going to make a few book recommendations. In this case, both have been made into a mini-series and a feature film. I made the selections for that reason to whet your appetite.

The Lonesome Dove Trilogy by Larry McMurtry

  • Streets of Laredo
  • Lonesome Dove
  • Dead Man’s Walk

This trilogy is best known for the mini-series of the same name. However, it is among the very best in Western American literature (in print).

The Sand Pebbles, by Richard McKenna

We’ve discussed the movie version of this book on the blog recently but the print version is really worth your time. One of the key plots to the movie involves the Chinese coolie system taking over the ship, extracting “squeeze” from the crew. We later learn that they were using the US Navy ship to smuggle opium, under the captains nose. If any of this seems to be familiar, it should be.

I have the book in my library but haven’t read it for a long time. I’m enjoying the re-read at the moment.

USS San Pablo


  1. Good choices on the reading material. Lonesome Dove was a great novel. Though over 900 pages long it certainly didn’t seem like it. The mini-series was classic as well, well acted and perfectly cast. I understand James Garner was originally slated to play Gus but had to back out due to health issues. While I do believe Garner would have been good in the role Duval was perfect. Garner himself said so.
    I have a copy of Sand Pebbles around here somewhere. Maybe I should look around for it.

  2. “I hate rude behavior in a man. Won’t tolerate it”. Great scene- especially the curiously detached examination he give the branding iron for heft and balance before using it as a mace. That weird, out of body focus that can come on at times.

    • Yes, and the Army officer saying, “Alright, scoop up what’s left of him and let’s get out of here.”

  3. Another excellent book/mini series combo is QBVII by Leon Uris. Courtroom drama with an all star cast from the mid 70’s. Dr. accused of being a Nazi war criminal suing for libel with good final twist.

  4. Who amongst the current crop of so-called actors could do a better job of being Homang than Steve McQueen.

    RE: Richard McKenna. Like Robert Roth, if you’re only gonna write one book, might as well write a good one. The Naval Institute Press edition has a great section discussing the man and his times and from whence he came, if you can find it.

    • The Naval Institute Press is a great institution. I buy books directly from them often to try and put $ in their coffers. They also gave Tom Clancy his start with Hunt for Red October.

  5. Another interesting read is The Earl’s Other Son, starting with The China Station. A British naval officer is sent, for his sins, to the China Station in the mid-1890s. The series ends shortly after the Boxer Rebellion.

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