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Nobody told me this was a thing!!!

This is a Brother Scan N Cut. It scans line art and then cuts it out of stuff, like construction paper or adhesive stuff. Or you can feed it fonts and just tell it to cut stuff out.

It’s…I could make such fantastic…mandalas…doilies. Stuff. Shit, I don’t know. I’m not crafty. I just want to spend an afternoon playing with it.

I didn’t know such a thing existed in the world until Amazon offered me a replacement blade for one this morning.


Comment from Deborah HH
Time: August 24, 2020, 7:51 pm

Yeah, I understand. I want one, too. Scrapbookers use this, and elementary school teachers. I am neither, although I am homeschooling my teenage granddaughter.

Speaking of which, for all who want to answer (assuming Stoaty doesn’t mind), please tell me your favorite American novel. It doesn’t have to be A Classic Great American Novel, but your favorite. If you don’t have a favorite American novel, I take what you do have. Right now she is reading Ivanhoe, which isn’t American, but was a good place to start.

Comment from The Neon Madman
Time: August 24, 2020, 9:28 pm

A Canticle for Liebowitz (first choice)

Moby Dick (second choice)

Roughing It, Huckleberry Finn, ……. hell, I can’t pick just one.

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: August 24, 2020, 10:00 pm

I would have to say that my favorite novel by an American author is

The Mosquito Coast

by Paul Theroux

There are other books I love, but this one actually made me put down my book in amazement at one point.

Comment from Mitch
Time: August 24, 2020, 11:46 pm

Favorite books – “Dune” by Frank Herbert. Well, actually it’s “God Emperor of Dune” but you have to get through the first three books before that one. Science Fiction.

“King Rat” by James Clavell about Allied POWs surviving in a Japanese prison camp was very good.

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: August 25, 2020, 12:07 am

@Deborah HH — I’ve been an avid reader since age five¹ of all sorts of books but heavy on novels. A lot of them are eligible for Best Ever but my selection sort of depends on mood. Right now, reflecting current events, I have to pick Unintended Consequences by John Ross.

1. I even remember the first two books I ever checked out of the Niantic Connecticut library c. 1955. All About Volcanoes and Earthquakes and another in the “All About” series All About Dinosaurs. The geology one was better than the paleontology one.

Comment from CantHarkMyCry
Time: August 25, 2020, 12:40 am

The Lathe of Heaven, Ursula K. LeGuin
Giles Goat-Boy, John Barth
Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned, Walter Moseley

Comment from CantHarkMyCry
Time: August 25, 2020, 12:59 am

When I began high school in the fall of 1967 we were handed a list of books. I don’t remember how it was explained, other than that each teacher in the high school had been asked to contribute. Being the kind of person I was then, I assumed these were the books you needed to have read in order to be a literate and well read person. . .managed to read a surprising percentage of them. . .gee, I’d sort of like to have another look at that list. . .

Comment from OldFert
Time: August 25, 2020, 1:13 am

Uncle Tom’s Cabin
Animal Farm
Those are good starters.

Comment from MrsMGunz
Time: August 25, 2020, 3:05 am

Death Comes for the Archbishop, by Willa Cather.
Also, Cannery Row.

Comment from ExpressoBold
Time: August 25, 2020, 5:48 am

@Deborah HH,

How about looking at famous authors as well as novels? Often overlooked and criticized for for various reasons, James Fennimore Cooper wrote The Leatherstocking Tales (which includes The Last of the Mohicans) and whose efforts have been described as having the “objective of countering European prejudices and nurturing an original American art and culture” (wikipedia)

The works of Robert Louis Stevenson, a Scot, are entertaining and impactful.

Selected novels of Sinclair Lewis…

The “original SJW” Upton Sinclair, including The Jungle and Oil!

Progress on to Hemingway, Fitzgerald and the great southern author, William Faulkner, as well as, don’t miss this one:
Gone With The Wind, Margaret Mitchell’s praised and derided story of the Old South, the Lost Cause, Rhett and Scarlett.

Comment from durnedyankee
Time: August 25, 2020, 12:35 pm

@Expresso – Mr. Twain had some observations on Cooper’s characters in a little piece he wrote, rather sarcastic, as he was wont to be I think. No wonder I like him…

@Deborah – wow, tough call, hard not to suggest a classic when there are so many that are enjoyable, but not classic.

Twain jumped instantly to mind, especially since it is my feeling he was a humanist before his time, something educated #1@%$ can’t see because they’re having vapors over his use of the words that were in common use in his time, which you can hear repeatedly in “popular” music today any time you’d care to abuse your ears.

I’m going to go with books that stuck in my head over the last half century.

Stranger in a Strange Land by Heinlein
Armor by John Steakley
Nine Princes in Amber and Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny
The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum
Witch World by Andre Norton
The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy

And how could I leave out “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee.

I enjoyed prolific authors and stuck with them until I’d exhausted their works, Andre Norton…OMG, the woman could have personally populated a small town library with her books and it took me a long while to catch up with her, bear in mind I worked in a ‘small town’ library doing what Google does for everyone today and I might have been reading books on slow rainy New England afternoons when I was supposed to be returning them to the stacks.

Alas books, like many memories, sometimes are best not to revisit in person because, for example, I loved the John Carter of Mars series by Edgar Rice Borroughs and re-read them a few years back and…well…the adult me didn’t have the same appreciation for them the teenage me did.
That may apply to some books I’ve suggested, except Lord of Light, which I have re-read a couple times and enjoy ‘remembering’ each time.

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: August 25, 2020, 12:49 pm

CantHarkMyCry –

I had forgotten John Barth – Giles, Goatboy is a great book


I really really loved The Sot-weed Factor


Uncle Badger – if you have a penchant for historical fiction as I believe you might, I think you would find this hilarious.

Damn, I may have to dig this out and read it again!

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: August 25, 2020, 2:07 pm

Back to Mme. Ermine’s topic, that Brother Scan N Cut gadget looks like it would be really engrossing for a few days and trail gently off into disuse unless you had a practical application, such as the scrap-bookers and elementary teachers as suggested by Deborah HH.

Comment from cantharkmycry
Time: August 25, 2020, 3:30 pm

Some Vegetable–well, yeah, actually I think The Sot-Weed Factor is my favorite of his long fiction.
By the way–have you ever read the actual poem by Ebenezer Cooke? https://www.gutenberg.org/files/21346/21346-h/21346-h.htm

I first read it when visiting a College library in Regensburg, Germany …

Comment from Jon
Time: August 25, 2020, 6:24 pm

Ender’s Game for me. I can’t recall how many times I’ve read that, I always get something new from it when I do.

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: August 25, 2020, 11:55 pm

I love the Ender stories.

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: August 26, 2020, 3:20 am

If you love Ender’s Game, then you should hunt down a copy of Hellspark by Janet Kagan.

Spoiler: Through a friend we had in common I met the Scott Card on multiple occasions. I greatly enjoyed the brilliant Ender books, but Card is not a nice man, but rather an abrasive and aggressive jerk.

Comment from BJM
Time: August 30, 2020, 4:56 pm

I read mostly history with a smattering of historical novels now, but some of my favs from back in the day when I was young and impressionable:

Catch-22 -Joseph Heller
Dispatches – Michael Herr (may be hard to find)
Rabbit, Run – John Updike
October Contry – Ray Bradbury
Return Trips – Alice Adams
The Groucho Letters – Groucho Marx
Ragtime – E.L. Doctrow
The Hotel New Hampshire – John Irving
Goodbye Columbus – Philip Roth

May I throw in a Canadian who wrote the best Yukon poetry evah as it is an American experience and story?

Songs of a Sourdough – Robert W. Service

The imagery grabs you from the first verse…

The Shooting of Dan McGrew:

A bunch of the boys were whooping it up in the Malamute saloon;
The kid that handles the music-box was hitting a jag-time tune;
Back of the bar, in a solo game, sat Dangerous Dan McGrew,
And watching his luck was his light-o’-love, the lady that’s known as Lou.

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