Tag Archives: books

Burning Libraries

A Saucy Roman History Book

We have Commodus killing animals (classical serial killer behaviour), and then getting himself strangled by a wrestler in a bath. We have Caracalla who allegedly enjoyed incest with his mother and certainly had his brother killed at a meeting arranged by this quondam lover: worst of all he wore a hood and a blonde wig and he gave Maximus several jobs. Macrinus got Caracalla’s mother to starve herself to death and then got himself killed in a temple. Then, best of all, what fun Suetonius would have had, there was Elagabalus ,,,, more Eurovision performer than Roman emperor. He divorced five women in his short life, married two men, worshipped a meteorite and used to hold competitions to see who could pimp themselves for the most money in the Imperial palace. He naturally took part.

Nate Silver and Nassim Taleb

I have read books by both Silver and Taleb in the last couple years. Both authors have significantly changed my thinking about the world.

The Signal and the Silence looks at Silver and Taleb. It is a good review. My only real question is about the opening section, where the fate of the 2011 Boston Red Sox is described as “the worst collapse in Major League Baseball history.” I still have not recovered from the 1969 Chicago Cubs.

Too many books

In Church this morning some announced that there was a group being formed to read and discuss the recent book Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth. I have heard good things about this and my first reaction was Sure, I should get the book, read it, and join the group. My second thought was Wait a minute, I am reading several books already. My third thought was Just how many books am I reading now? So I made a list. Here it is, in no particular order or organization:

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To the publishing industry:

Amazon Will Destroy You

Amazon is going to destroy the Big 6, destroy bookstores, destroy 95% of all agents, destroy distributors (Ingram, Baker & Taylor), and revolutionize the publishing industry by becoming the dominant force.

If you are any of the above I mentioned, you probably want to blame Amazon.

You’d be wrong.

Most of the blame falls upon that person you see in the mirror.