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Sunday, August 28, 2016

The Writer's Life 8/28 - Treasures

American Treasures by Stephen Puleo will be published this week. It is the story of the preservation of historical documents in the early days of WWII. After the Nazis bombed the British Museum, destroying 1000 books, FDR assigned the Library of Congress the task of cataloging and safeguarding the originals of the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and other symbols of America, believing their destruction would be a blow to the nation's psyche and a coup for the enemy. Four storage sites were chosen: Fort Knox, the University of Virginia, Washington and Lee University and VMI.

More government insanity: an editorial in today's NY Post informs that the Department of Health and Human Services has issued a rule that doctors cannot refuse to perform gender-reassignment surgery, which is often irreversible, on teenagers who have received an okay from a "mental health professional." Teenagers are constantly changing their minds. Why the rush? If only government workers were subject to strict review from mental health pros.

The Coney Island Sand Sculpting Contest was held on August 20th. Here's one of the prize-winners:

 During my morning walk, I spotted a pile of at least six large boxes stacked at the curb at the rear of the Nissan service center on Coney Island Av., parallel to the Belt Pkwy.. They were filled with copies of a single book: The Forsaken: An American Tragedy in Stalin's Russia by Tim Tzouliadis. A blurb at Amazon summarizes it as: "A remarkable piece of forgotten history- the never-before-told story of Americans lured to Soviet Russia by the promise of jobs and better lives, only to meet tragic ends." I assumed the author had had his heart broken by disappointing sales of a self-published book and dumped them there. Since I'm overloaded with inventory at present, I didn't take even one. To my surprise, the book was published, a "reprint edition," by Penguin Press. At last check, it was ranked 442,982th at Amazon, where there are at least 13 million books listed, infinitely better than any of my own. That deepened the mystery. Were they put there by a disappointed thief or a disgruntled employee? It is the author's only work. I found this brief bio at the publisher's site: "Born in Athens, Timotheos Tzouladis was raised in England. A graduate of Oxford, he subsequently pursued a career as a documentary filmmaker and television journalist whose work has appeared on NBC and National Geographic television. He lives in London." 137 readers have rated it Amazon, forging to a consensus of 4.8 of five. Why in the world were they abandoned?

The floating book shop had only one customer today, but it was a good one. My thanks to the Asian gentleman who purchased two obscure works of non-fiction, and fiction by Arthur Conan Doyle, Harper Lee and Herman Melville.
Vic's Short Works:
Vic's 5th Novel:'s 4th novel:
Vic's 3rd Novel:
Vic's Short Story on Kindle:
Vic's Short Story Collection:
Vic's 2nd Novel: Kindle:
Vic's 1st Novel:

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