Friday, December 18, 2009

Help Wanted

Since juniority does not have its privileges*, Christmas came early to my house. Apparently someone was listening several months ago when I pondered getting a Kindle, then rejected the idea: spendy vs. how hard is it to get myself to the library?

Now that I have one, I need help knowing what to jam in it.

Over to you, with thanks in advance.

What this means is that there's not a snowball's change in Hades I will be around on, or even near, Christmas. Catch when catch can.


Blogger Bret said...

Conflict of Visions by Thomas Sowell.

December 18, 2009 10:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Postman's Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology.

December 19, 2009 4:42 AM  
Blogger erp said...

Paul Johnson's, The Intellectuals, mostly to start young minds on the right track.

December 19, 2009 6:30 AM  
Blogger Harry Eagar said...

'Managed by the Markets' by Gerald F. Davis

December 19, 2009 9:38 AM  
Blogger Hey Skipper said...

Harry, Peter:

Neither of your books are available for the Kindle. Any second recommendations?

Bret, erp:

I will download them both. There is a half-decent chance my wife will rue the day she got me this thing.

I hope there is some sort of intervention program available before I blow the kids' college savings on virtual books.

December 20, 2009 3:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I guess Brit was right. You really don't get irony. :-)

December 20, 2009 3:42 AM  
Blogger erp said...

Skipper, don't worry. You'll be able to pay for thousands of virtual books with your savings on health care insurance alone.

It's interesting that Thomas Sowell's book isn't available. Am I being paranoid in thinking that conservative books are deliberately being left out?

Peter, good one. I paused a second when I read your suggestion, but then I thought, no it can't be, not Peter.

December 20, 2009 6:51 AM  
Blogger Bret said...


Sowell's Conflict of Visions is available.

I considered a kindle at one point but too many of the books on my reading list weren't available. I don't think that there's a bias against conservatives books so much. It's just that they're old and not particularly high volume books.

December 20, 2009 8:07 AM  
Blogger Mike Beversluis said...

Lots of P.G. Wodehouse for sure.

I've been reading a friend's copy of William Easterly's The Elusive Quest for Growth and like it.

I bought my Mom a copy of The Cello Suites, which Tyler Cohen claims signifies the taste and sophistication of both the giver and giftee. Haven't yet read it myself, so caveat emptor.

P.J. O'Rourke is selling a new collection of essays, I think, about cars. If only he'd turn his attention to trains.

December 20, 2009 8:20 AM  
Blogger erp said...

Bret, thanks for the correction. I guess I shouldn't try to read before I drink coffee.

December 20, 2009 9:34 AM  
Blogger Harry Eagar said...

Hmmm. My pick was the most recent new book that I have given a 5 star review to. Maybe newness is a bug.

The book I have most enjoyed reading the last few weeks has been 'Guys and Dolls and Other Writings' by Damon Runyon, although I didn't think much of the editor's introduction and notes.

'Delete' by Viktor Mayer-Schonberger was interesting but unpersuasive.

December 20, 2009 11:04 AM  
Blogger Hey Skipper said...


I guess Brit was right. You really don't get irony. :-)

Well, it was 2:30 am Anchorage time when I read your post, but still...

I probably don't get irony.

The extra ironical irony being that "The Surrender of Culture to Technology" isn't available technologically.

But you probably already knew that.


Thanks. I have often read about reading Wodehouse; time to find out what all the talk is about.


Back in the day, when people still went to stores to buy music, I would always have mental list of what I wanted.

Until the moment when I actually got into a store, when it all vanished.

Same here. The moment I got the Kindle, I couldn't remember a single thing I wanted to read.

December 20, 2009 12:35 PM  
Blogger David said...

The Kindle is excellent, but dangerous for the reasons you've already noticed.

Take a look at the out of copyright books: cheap and good. Amazon has, for example, put together a 300 book collection of classic mystery stories and novels.

December 20, 2009 6:30 PM  
Blogger erp said...

David, do you have a link to that list? I've downloaded Kindle to my laptop and I'd like to add some books.

I've been reading books from Gutenberg and Gutenberg AU which has some books not released for the US using MS Word on my laptop and it's not at all bad.

December 20, 2009 7:08 PM  
Blogger Hey Skipper said...

Take a look at the out of copyright books: cheap and good.

The PG Wodehouse books range in price from nil to scarcely more than that.

BTW, I'm still standing by for your recommendations.

December 20, 2009 9:56 PM  
Blogger Harry Eagar said...

Up to today, I have seen exactly one (1) person using a Kindle in public. That was on a Manhattan subway last May.

December 20, 2009 10:06 PM  
Blogger Hey Skipper said...

I have only seen two, and that is among a group of people who should be the target audience: frequent travelers who want to pack lightly.

December 21, 2009 2:45 AM  
Blogger Harry Eagar said...

To a degree, I let Amazon choose my current reading. I am in its Vine program. Once a month, I get a list of stuff to review (almost all books but sometimes other stuff like sunscreen).

Most of the books I have chosen are ones I would not have heard of, and almost all have been mediocre or worse, although perhaps useful for leading me into current controversies that I didn't know much about.

One, however, was outstanding, although it will be difficult for the other posters here to get their heads around it:

'Crossing Hitler: The Man Who Put the Nazis on the Witness Stand' by Benjamin Carter Hett

Cognitive dissonance on crack.

It's on Kindle.

December 22, 2009 12:29 PM  
Blogger erp said...

Harry, do you have a link to Vine?

December 22, 2009 1:17 PM  
Blogger Barry Meislin said...

Harry, do you have a link to your review of the sunscreen?

December 22, 2009 11:51 PM  
Blogger Harry Eagar said...

It's by invitation and somewhat mysterious.


December 23, 2009 10:27 AM  
Blogger David said...

At the moment, I'm finishing up Lukyanenko's Watch series (Night Watch, Day Watch, Twilight Watch and Last Watch).

December 23, 2009 3:31 PM  
Blogger erp said...

Harry, thanks. I'm not interested in doing book reviews only on seeing the list of books they've asked to be reviewed.

December 23, 2009 3:42 PM  
Blogger Harry Eagar said...

Lots of juvenile and young adult fiction on the list, erp.

I am not sure of the purpose of Vine from the publishers' viewpoint.

December 24, 2009 10:40 AM  

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