Sunday, November 27, 2005

What I'm not reading:
This book A War Like No Other : How the Athenians and Spartans Fought the Peloponnesian War by Victor Davis Hanson. It's quite likely that I won't reach 50 books in 2005. When I was 17 and went to college instead of staying stuck in public school, one of the professors was, I think, a Straussian, or at least he'd come from the St John's great books program, and taught Thucidides' history of the war of the polo ponies to the other section, and taught me Plato and Machiavelli and Hobbes and Locke. I finally got around to reading some of Thucidides a couple years ago. The war between Athens and Sparta was a clash of cultures which still echoes. The Straussian neocons are said to be zoroastrians, who these days tend to call themselves fundamentalists, seeing humanity as engulfed in a great war between good and evil, jedi versus sith.

Instead, I've been reading Book, is it 44, Piers Anthony, Something or Other, Robot Adept, it'll come to me, who writes books of a clash between parallel words of magic and technology. It's his gimmick, the series goes on for dozens of books, and the main characters of this one are children of characters from earlier books in the series. A light and fluffy [Baude's term is "ephemeral fluff"] sci-fi novel should grab me by the first couple pages; here I had to wade through to about page 100 before I felt entertained, and then barely. I'm also still working through book 43, Act of Treason, which claims that J Edgar Hoover sat back and did nothing knowing New Orleans mafia boss Marcello was setting up a hit of JFK in order to pressure RFK who was at war with the mob. If I read 5 more books during december, they will likely be along the lines of "Dick and Jane go to the Zoo" or "Megatokyo". On the other hand, if I read a book next week, read something on the plane - I'm thinking of flying for the first time since 9/11- and get books from my mom and sister-in-law, 50 might be doable. Mostly I read blogs. Compulsively, from when I get up to long past dark.

One of those, he segways, is crescat sententia, where Will Baude is reading more and better books, and blogging better about them: Steve Martin's shopgirl: a few nice little razors tucked inside the candy.
It's not a book, but the reason I'm stil up at 4 am is I've been reading the Georgia Voter ID decision. Good stuff.

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