14 March 2013

Random Awesome Shit About Which You Should Know- Don't Sleep On These Books And Bands

For those of you who hate it when I post these, get fucked.  I get perhaps ten texts, IMs, and emails a week asking for book, music, and movie recommendations, and making a blanket post is far easier than replying with the same information over and over.  To those of you who have asked for recommendations, enjoy- all of the books are linked to make it easier to find them.


Mark Lawrence's Prince of Thorns (The Broken Empire) series.
In looking for quotes from the book online, I was amused to read the blatherings of various feminist halfwits (and their dickless, simpering bitch boys) who reveled in giving reviews of this series, which they, to a person, had not read.  Instead, they based their reviews off other reviews, each confused Tori Amos t-shirt wearing idiot after another trying to out-inflame the previous waterhead's idiot remarks with tales of woe and injustice from the pages of Mark Lawrence's books.  Many of you have already clicked the hyperlink to buy the books, I'm sure, because with each purchase, an washed feminazi broad buys a bra the same day she loses her job at Starbucks.  I'm not going to link their idiocy, because i don't want to send them any traffic, and because self-professed "feminists" are perhaps the least well-educated, over-opinionated, illogical creatures on the planet.  For those females who read my blog, you've likely come to the realization that I don't hate women- I hate women who are "typical" feminine women- namely, stupid, materialistic, pop-culture obsessed, vain, lazy, greedy, soul-sucking broads who populate any college campus and think "like" is a word as important and ubiquitous as "fuck".  We'll have to add to that list penis-envying, man-hating, delusionally-seeing-oppression-at-every-corner, feminist cunts.

In any event, these books are phenomenal.  The protagonist is the ultimate anti-hero, and is a 13 year old killing machine bereft of empathy or compassion in the first book.  He literally guts a man and mocks him as he dies about having raped the guy's daughters in the first 10 pages.  From there, the books just gets better, as you discover the protagonist is not only an unstoppable killing machine surrounded by an entertaining cast of brigands, but that he's also well educated, highly intelligent, and clever as shit.  I won't divulge much of the plot because I don't want to spoil it, but know these books serve as an adequate pre-workout supplement if you left your stimulant of choice at home.

Larry Correia's Monster Hunter International  and Grimnoir Chronicles series.
Larry Correia is one of the most innovative authors currently working in the sci-fi/fantasy game, and these series are proof.  The former series chronicles the life of Owen Zastavia Pitt, a hulking behemoth of an accountant-turned monster hunter who also happens to be a former underground pit fighter and son of a psychotic survivalist.  Correia opens the first book with Pitt's brutal beating of his boss with his bare hands... after his boss turns into a werewolf.  He then gets invited to join Monster Hunter International, where he fights a litany of interesting creatures plucked from mythologies around the world.  Not only are these books fun as shit and violent as hell, but they're educational- you learn a hell of a lot about mythological creatures.

The latter series features a protagonist not unlike Owen Pitt, in a world wherein people began displaying magical powers in the mid-19th Century.  Not everyone has powers, however, and not all magical persons have the same powers.  As such, there's basically a constant chess match going on between combatants as they battle each others' magic.  All-American badass Jake Sullivan can control gravity with magic, and does so to dispatch any and all comers with ease.  Basically, he's the Hulk during the mob-enforcer story arc but with the added ability of controlling gravity.  Mash together a bit of steampunk, magic, and hard boiled noir and you get this series.  For those of you who like me are leery of books involving magic- this is no Harry Potter- you'll actually remain awake while reading this and no one wields a twig as a magical talisman/weapon.

Gordon Lavelle's Bodybuilding: Tracing the Evolution of the Ultimate Physique
This is pretty much a must have for any student of bodybuilding, the history of physical culture in the United States, or anyone curious about the roots of widespread bodybuilding in the United States.  This book really illuminated the drastic difference between the Golden Age of bodybuilding and now, detailed the battles between Bob Hoffman, Doug Lurie, and Joe Wieder, and covered some of the more modern competitions in pretty intense detail.  Prior to reading this book, I thought I knew a great deal about the history of modern bodybuilding, but after reading Lavelle's work decided that I'd really known quite little.

Interestingly, this well-written tome is the work of a bodybuilder and sometime author for the website Muscle and Strength.  According to his bio on Muscle and Strength, Lavelle's "competition record includes two runner-up finishes at the NPC California State Championships; he was also overall winner of the Contra Costa Championships, first place at the Orange County Championships, and winner of the AAU Mr. Western USA teenage division".  Thus, you're getting the historical perspective of an athlete, not a casual bystander, which is probably what makes the book so enthralling.

John Ringo's Troy Rising series
I've long been a fan of Ringo and have already recommended his Posleen series, I think.  Though Ringo's a bit hit and miss with his books, this hard sci fi trilogy is spot on the entire way through.  The series chronicles the arrival of two alien species to Earth, using a sort of stargate to transport from system to system.  One of the species uses kinetic energy weapons to destroy major cities on Earth, and then establishes themselves as the "protectors and liberators" of the Earth system.  The only man bright enough to figure out a way to toss them out is an out-of-work comic book artist who becomes the richest man on Earth trading a very cheap Earth commodity to the non-warlike aliens for exorbitant amounts.  With his wealth, he builds an orbital defense system that becomes the launching pad for an Earth fleet to take out the warlike aliens.  Yeah, these books are as badass as they sound.

Ernest Clines's Ready Player One
If you've not heard of this book, you're not paying attention.  Ready Player One has only been out for a year or so and is already considered a cult classic.  It's set in a dystopic 2044, wherein most of the world spends their lives in virtual reality, working, playing, and learning without moving a muscle.  The progenitor of this virtual world dies and leaves behind a massive fortune.  The protagonist, an impoverished prole who would not be out of sorts if dropped into a Dickens novel sets out to win that fortune by following the clues left by the virtual world's creator, battling other online players, corporate ninjas, and the occasional trailer park bomb to do so.  RPO is full of 1980s pop culture and video game references, so it's great for old fucks like myself.  Interestingly, the book's been so popular that it's extended into reality, and if you follow clues left online, you can apparently win an actual DeLorean, the hideously slow stainless steel deathtrap Michael J. Fox drove in Back To The Future.

David Wong's John Dies at the End and This Book is Filled With Spiders
Trippy, gory, and generally fucking awesome.  I'd try to describe the books, but they're insane enough that doing so would be more or less a lost cause.  Nevertheless, I'll try.  Two guys in an unnamed town take a sentient drug that kills nearly everyone else that takes it, whereafter they can see and must do battle with extra-dimensional aliens bent on domination of our world and who utilize a variety of horrifying means to do so, such as monsters made of frozen cuts of meat, flesh eating worms, spiders covered with legs like a Coosh ball, zombies, poop demons, and any other Cronenberg-esque horror of which you could think.  Equally awesome and bizarre, you must read these.

Katy Stauber's Revolution World
This is, to my knowledge, the only female-penned book not by Ursula K. LeGuin I've ever liked.  Generally I find that female authors spend far too much time on character motivations and emotions and not enough on the action.  not so with Katy Stauber, though she does have some amusing moments of insights into the wild and woolly depths of the female mind.  How women stand their own thoughts, I'll never know.  In any event, this is also a near future dystopia in which geneticists from Texas team up with online gamers to foment a libertarian revolution in an increasingly fascist United States.  If you have an ounce of Libertarian sentiment in you, you will love the shit out of this book.

J. Stanton's The Gnoll Credo
For those of you who don't know who J. Stanton is, he's a nerd who happens to lift decent amounts of weight while retaining the ability to do shit like fasted mountain climbs.  He's also a widely recognized paleo dieting authority and a hell of an intellectual.  the Gnoll Credo has nothing to do with any of taht, while simultaneously having everything to do with it- it's a social critique of modern society written as a novel.  in it, a man travels to the land of the Gnolls to study their behavior (Gnolls are mythical hyena/human hybrids).  For those of you (who like Paul Carter of Lift Run Bang) are woefully unaware, hyenas are probably the coolest animals on Earth- they're apex predators with intelligence greater than that of the higher primates.  They've gotten a bad rap from Africans for being scavengers, but Africans are notoriously poor protectors of the environment, scholars, scientists, and pretty much everything else at which one would need to be awesome to be an authority on wildlife.  Thus, forget what you know about them and read National Geographic.  In any event, Stanton's book skewers all of modern society, pointing out (from the perspective of the Gnoll), that modern humans focus entirely on the trivial and ignore the most important shit in life.

This is perhaps the only readable book you'll ever find with a philosophy that might echo your own, and thus you must read this forthwith- it's more life changing than Fight Club, and the perfect companion novel to that badass book.

“We are born and we die.
No one cares, no one remembers,
and it doesn’t matter.
This is why we laugh.”

In case you guys want some new shit to listen to, here's what I've been rocking of late.

Battlecross- Hostile
Best cover ever.  Officially.

Nasty- Love
Nasty's previous efforts have been marred by shitty, muddy production, but this album is the unadulterated balls.  Belgium's hardest bring the ruckus on Love.  Additionally, this is the best hardcore video ever produced, bar none.

Texas In July- S/T
For once, I recommend pretty much just straight up metal.  Though I suppose these guys are technically metalcore, it's well worth a listen, and for me is a nice change from the "chug chug blech" sound to which I predominantly listen.  Additionally, the song in the video below has one of the coolest, if tragically short, breakdowns I've heard recently.

Within The Ruins- Elite
What do you get when you cross crushing deathcore with At The Gates and maybe a tiny bit of syphonic death metal?  Probably the most ridiculous music of all time.  Within the Ruins pretty much defies description.  Just listen to it.  Not great for the gym, but great for pretty much any other time.  The title pretty much sums up this album- shit is too elite for words.

The Browning- Burn This World
Before you assholes flip out, consider this electroniccore band's pedigree- the singer is the original signer for As Blood Runs Black.  metal enough for you?  Now get over yourselves and enjoy something just because it's fucking fun.

Asking Alexandria- Stepped Up and Scratched
While we're at it, this song is the song that got me into dubstepcore in the first place- Big Chocolate's remix of an Asking Alexandria song,. complete with the coolest dubstep breakdown ever at :56.

If you like that, you should also like Skrillex's remix of Bring Me The Horizon off their remix album.

In the next Random Awesome Shit I'll give you some movie recommendations (I don't have cable, so I burn it up on Netflix nightly) and some new supplements you definitely need to grab.  You should have enough to tide you over until then.


  1. If nothing else, these posts will have me liking and listening to hardcore shit yet!

  2. I found you via a comment from Stanton. He warned of explicit language, filth, and naked women. I searched and clicked immediately.

    I need to read The Credo again.

  3. Not sure if you've read these, but Craig Clevenger's work is pretty mind-fucking awesome. Contortionists Handbook had me literally saying "fuck you" to my friend who recommended it and I threatened to fight him on the spot. Dermaphoria made me realize that I hardly know what drugs fucking are- or could ever be.

    If you haven't read them, they're pretty quick reads, and awesome as fuck.

    Also, Battlecross fuck yeah. I know you like a lot of the lyrical themes of Hatebreed, so with that in mind you might also like Bolt Thrower's lyrics; although musically their quite different. I'd check out "Zeroed," "Mercenary," and "Contact/Wait Out" from them.

    1. Craig Clevenger is outstanding. A good follow-up would be to read William Christopher Baers stuff.

  4. Hey Jamie,
    Two recommendations I'd throw at you are SILENCE's new Album, here's a track off it:
    Got some awesome heavy as fuck sections

    Same with The Plot In You's new album, gets so fucking heavy it's amazing:


  5. awesome! im 12 years old and this shit impresses me like heck!

  6. So far, Killing Floor doesn't appear to have me too excited, but I'm only halfway.

    JL, if you're only experience with Tarzan is a Disney movie, then I recommend you pick up the first in the series. Tarzan kills his second silver back gorilla with his bare motherfucking hands in the third chapter, and this served as my favorite pre-workout testosterone booster. It's a very old story, but it doesn't read that way.

  7. Appreciate the plug, Jamie. "Thus you must read this forthwith - it's more life-changing than Fight Club" is a $cash pull quote.

    Can I mention that Dan John and Jim Steel are also fans of The Gnoll Credo, and as such, it's very likely worth your readers' time?

    Thank you for helping inspire me to get strong. I'm not there yet, but I'm well on my way.

    JS - gnolls.org

    1. Hi J., please, can you elaborate why you're not selling the Gnoll Credo as an e-book (apart from fear of it being pirated easily).

    2. That's most of it, but the reasoning is more complex.

      For someone with many published books, piracy becomes a loss leader. Often people will pirate one of an author's books and read it. If they enjoy it, they'll seek out more...and if his/her books are conveniently available for immediate download at a reasonable cost, they'll often just buy them instead of spending the time to search for free downloads. (This is why prolific authors like Cory Doctorow can afford to be so cavalier about piracy.)

      In contrast, TGC is my only published work so far...so when a new reader enjoys it, I have nothing more to sell them.

      Result: piracy is far more damaging to me, as a new author, than to established authors with an extensive back catalog. (And Kindle DRM was cracked a long time ago, so all that does is inconvenience the people who actually paid.) So I expect TGC to become available as an ebook once my next book is published.

      JS - gnolls.org

    3. J, ever thought about recording it for say audible.com? I listen to a lot more books than I read - easier on the eyes, better for strap-hanger commuting.

      Either way I will read your book eventually - looks very intriguing.


    4. An audiobook of The Gnoll Credo would indeed be amazing! However, it will be very difficult to do well. The protagonist is a 7.5' tall humanoid hyena hunter-warrior with idiosyncratic speech patterns...did I mention she's female? So voicing her plausibly will be a huge challenge.

      However, I, too, want one to exist. Hopefully the book will continue to sell well, to the point that it makes economic sense for my publisher to finance a recording.

      Meanwhile, I'm sure you'll enjoy the print version and find it valuable -- it's short but powerful. A grip of glowing reviews can be found here.

      JS - gnolls.org

  8. Cheapskate note: Correia's books can be bought much cheaper at the actual publisher, Baen. I'd rather support them than Amazon.


  9. If you like Mark Lawrence you need to check out Joe Abercrombie. Start with the First Law trilogy.

    Also Asking Alexandria's Stand Up and Scream album is one of the greatest albums ever created. ever.

  10. NIce...I might have to check some of those out. If you haven't already done so, read American Sniper. Every time I pick it up I feel like I have wasted my life and should've done more. Great book.

  11. Yo Jamie, speaking of movie recommendations, I bet you'd like V/H/S, it's the fuck on Netflix instant view these days.

  12. Jamie, have you read "Muscle, Smoke, and Mirrors? If so, how does it compare to the Lavelle book?

    FYI, listening to that music makes me sad that I'm not deaf.

    1. Nope. I've got that and a book about Bernarr McFadden to read yet.

  13. Thanks for the book recommendations, been fumbling for what to read next. Have already read Ready Player One a couple times, great stuff for us 90's dorks.

  14. Dude gotta check out Breakdown of Sanity - Mirrors. Non-stop breakdown metalcore.... just fucking ridiculous.

    1. That's pretty good stuff man. good looking out.

  15. You forgot Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy.

  16. Good shit, I'll take a closer look at some of these when I get the time.

    When you said "typical feminine women", I think you meant "masculine". When I think of the typical feminine woman, I think motherly, caring, gentle, and selfless. It's good for a woman to be that, but not a man. Feminazis are typically illogical scum who try too hard to be masculine superficially, but end up fucking it up and then complain about it.

    1. why do you say that it's not good for men to be that caring, gentle, and selfless? this isn't an attack, i'm just thinking about male doctors, teachers, community leaders, etc.

      i'm just of the opinion that anyone can have stupid opinions and a loud mouth, regardless of sex or gender. call me a fucking hippie but i try not to judge people based on shit that they really can't control.

    2. I meant that in a motherly way. It's hard to put into words, but doctors, teachers, etc create a different feeling when they are caring, gentle, and selfless. It's like when the father shouldn't care about minor details and pamper the children as much as the mother in general. Or when the doctor would have no problem performing surgeries, but the mother would cringe at the sight of every cut. Or when you visit a grandmother or aunt, she might make you all kinds of food and buy you something. Your uncles and grandfathers still care, but they'd be more stern about things.

      I agree that anyone can have stupid opinions.

    3. When I used "feminine", it wasn't in a gender sense so much as an appearance sense- your average sorority broad, for instance. I've no idea how else to describe them.

  17. I see your skrillex bring me the horizon and I raise you one face ripping, clanging, drum mauling, current value track...


  18. Hey Jamie,

    I've been reading your nutrition posts and just to clarify--you train the way that you do on essentially a carbless diet? (Minus the rampage day etc)



  19. Thanks for this list Jamie. I tried a Kindle sample of the first Grimnoir and bought the whole book immediately. I am having a great time reading it and off the back of its greatness will be checking out the rest of the list.

    I also read the sample of the Gnoll Credo and have ordered a physical copy.

    Thanks man, thought you might appreciate hearing that people do actually follow your recommendations.

  20. Hey Jamie, I bought the first MHI book a while ago when you did another of these posts. I now own all of them, they are amazing books. The gun-nut stuff can be a bit annoying, but he doesn't go too far with it.

    I then bought the Grimnoir books as well, though I was wary of them being 'lame magic books'. Within 10 or 20 pages I was hooked there too, and I think those books are a lot better than the MHI series. I like to think of them as 'X-men in the 30s with less tights and more brutal murder'. I like the way he seamlessly adds in historical characters to the story. He is great at twisting existing ideas into awesome new ones - the warewolves and vampires of MHI are fucking badass, the perfect antidote for this age of Twilight.

  21. Just got The Gnoll Credo in the mail earlier today, I'm halfway through the book. Great recommendation.

  22. Read "Prince of Thorns" and am reading through "King of Thorns" , pretty damn good books , the author is wise, i like his style and the ideas and lessons told .

    You mentioned those Jack Reacher novels a while back, i read 3-4 of them and thought they were pretty good , though for some reason watching the movie kind of soured my taste for reading more. I thought the movie could have been better.

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