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{ Category Archives } bibliophile

Hacker’s Delight

x + y = (x XOR y) + (x & y)

The Myth of Sisyphus

Reading Albert Camus’s book. So far, I can’t say I’m impressed. He’s got a big vocabulary. So do I. I’ve experienced often enough the fact that people assume that this implies intelligence far beyond what actually exists. Now I have evidence: this book, which I’m reading because of a recommendation saying it was quite profound, [...]

Cyrano de Bergerac

Cyrano de Bergerac was the first rapper. What? Most rap is the singer bragging about their accomplishments. The most frequently bragged about accomplishments: The ability to compose verse on the fly. The ability to seduce women with the aid of said verse Proficiency with a weapon Cyrano was accomplished in all of this, before the [...]

Don Quixote

After 863 pages of the man from la Mancha, that book is finally finished. Normally such length wouldn’t be a real obstacle, but this time I found myself reading half a dozen more contemporary novels between the time I started and finished the classic, just to remind myself that I enjoy reading. I come away [...]

Summer Reading

I’m halfway through Anna Karenina now. Like most people who ever had a high school English course, I tend to be wary of big famous novels by big famous authors, but I’m actually finding it surprisingly accessible. It certainly helps that I’ve got a modern translation, but I suspect that even with an older one [...]

Apprentice Librarian

My weekend project: unboxing approximately 500 pounds of books and alphabetizing them onto their shelves. It’s finally done–allowing me to end my Amazon-fast and order new books again without guilt. My prediction: by the time I leave here, I’ll have at least one more bookshelf, and it will be at least half full.

in lieu of creativity

The following is a paragraph from a novel I enjoy. However, the author ran the published version through an auto-translator to Japanese and back, and this is the result: I stole the king woman from wheelbarrow king of sleep. I burnt under the town of Trebon. I passed the night of Felurian, my sanity and [...]


I just now finished Anathem. I’m a bit proud of that, actually; it only arrived yesterday afternoon, and it is by no means easy reading. It’s a great deal of fun, just not easy. Also, it is a thousand pages long. I’m going to have to take some time to really digest this book before [...]

Some Books I’ve Read Recently

(In reverse chronological order:) Shogun, James Clavell. It’s not a bad story, really; it’s extremely detailed, and he does a good idea of giving an impression of 16th century Japan. I just couldn’t get past the fact that he absolutely butchered the Japanese language, which he scattered throughout for a well-intentioned but disastrous attempt at [...]

Review: Little Brother, by Cory Doctorow

When George Orwell wrote 1984, the technology to implement the sort of surveillance state he feared didn’t yet exist. It still didn’t exist when 1984 actually rolled around; a person might be forgiven for having assumed at the time that the relevant tech would stay uninvented for the indefinite future. Just over two decades later, [...]