and now for some quick reviews

don't believe the historical record; inks on paper (page torn from an English text book).

* * * * *

How Stuff Works should really be called How Stuff Works When Two Guys Talk Shit. For a podcast that's supposed to be informative and entertaining, it's more about illuminating just how dangerous a little knowledge can be, as in: Hey, I just read this article about Anne Frank, and now I'm going to tell you all about Anne Frank, while any kind of context -- my knowledge about the Netherlands, the Second World War, the Holocaust, and even the specific self-narrative of diaries -- is superficial at best. MUST MISS.

The Thing (2011). This is not a remake; it's a prequel. Specifically, it's about what happened to the Norwegians who dug the alien out of the ice in the first place. It's also about what happens when you have a solid supporting cast and a really weak lead. Also, the ending is a mess. MUST MISS.

How Was Your Week: Julie Krasner can be *very* entertaining, especially when she's going after soft targets like Jenny McCarthy or Jillian Michaels, but more often than not listening to her is like a late-night phone call from some sort-of friend who just got divorced and has started to enjoy drinking alone a little too much. Add cats and New York Jewish-ness and there you have it. PUSH.

The Outfit. Parker broods, schemes and kills his way across yet another mob-infested landscape. The middle part of this graphic novel is a kind of explainer for the way certain heists are done. BUY OR STEAL.

HHhH. In a strange way this reminded me of I, Claudius – in both books the narrator shows his hands, and how unreliable he considers them, and why are they even writing this story anyway? A kind of how-dunnit about the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich. BORROW.

Memorial . I hardly ever buy poetry books but I bought this one. This is a litany of the fallen on the battlefields before Troy, where the repetitive gruesomeness of violent death numbs you in grey, majestic waves. BUY OR BORROW.

My Friend Dahmer. About a guy who went to high school with a monster, and even incorporated him into the outer orbit of a kind of pseudo-friendship. Weird. BORROW.

A History of Rome. Some guy took it upon himself to tell the whole history of Rome in successive podcast episodes. I've probably listened to about thirty of them now. FREE.

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