Look Both Ways. Good. I was pleased to learn from watching this movie that I can still enjoy something with relatively sedate pacing. I chose this due to a recommendation in a Maltin on Movies episode. I didn’t note anything about the recommendation other than that the film was one of Maltin’s 151 Best Movies You’ve Never Seen, and it’s entirely possible that it is.
I feel so whorish saying it, but I’ve really had some excellent customer service from American Express. Second-most recently was something of an exception, as they apparently didn’t think that I’d be buying a new iPhone 5 minutes after they first became available, but that was easily rectified.
Most recently, they sent me email about some other suspicious charges they had blocked, and those charges were, indeed, fraudulent. So it’s new-card time, and they just sent me email with all the merchants that look to them like folks I need to update my card number with, probably saving me a bunch of statement crawling. Not a huge thing, and not even the most outstanding thing they’ve done for me, but it’s the kind of thing that inspires loyalty.
Blindsight, Watts. Yes. This was just fine, despite misspellings (“miniscule” multiple times, “ordinance” when “ordnance” was called for), and the inescapable feeling that the book was, every few pages, asking “Did I just blow (what you think is) your mind? Well, did I?” And maybe if I hadn’t read so much Hofstadter, and Bruce Sterling’s “Swarm” (from 1982!), and Peeps, my mind may have been more susceptible to the proposed blowing. As it was, I just noticed how much Watts liked the word “blister”.
Followed by Echopraxia, which I’m at least going to look at.
The terrific Richard Wiseman has made a terrific video demonstrating some terrific forced perspective.
So, I got email from Google, whining about how this site wasn’t mobile-friendly, despite it working just fine for my tastes from my hand-held device. Rather than lose whatever tiny ranking I still have, though, I opted to add the Jetpack Plugin and activate its built-in mobile theme. And, really, it could be worse.
You’re welcome, I guess.
The Years of Rice and Salt, Robinson. Yes. This was a book club recommendation, based on the presence of similar themes to a movie I saw a little while ago. In addition to those resonances, parts of it also evoked Hofstadter, specifically I Am a Strange Loop. Writing was quite good, though somewhat variable (a certain amount of which might be expected in such a lengthy work).
The City & the City, Miéville. Yes. This was my first ebook (from the library), which may have affected my experience somewhat, though not that I was able to detect. To get the editing complaints out of the way, there was a bad “whomever” that probably would have been on the first page of the paper volume. Later, there was a bad “whoever”, which doesn’t quite make up for it, and a “these kind”, which I believe I’ve never encountered before in an edited work. Finally, there were a number of places where hyphens were used where em dashes would have been appropriate, including at least one instance of an appositive set off by an em dash at the beginning and a hyphen at the end.
The story itself was adequately intriguing, with an unusual hook. Miéville drew out the explication of that hook just a little bit longer than was strictly called for, but it was not disqualifyingly long.