Pay Dirt

For the past few weeks, I’ve been in a sort of dry spell when it comes to books; everything I’ve picked lately up has ranged from unsatisfying (Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology) to downright unpleasant (The Complete Works of H.P. Lovecraft). That all changed with today’s trip to the library, where I found not one but four intriguing reads:

Ghost Stories of the Lehigh Valley, by Charles J. Adams III and David J. Seibold. This is probably the only real B-lister in the lot, but it’s still not that bad, and full of local lore.

Professional WordPress: Design and Development, by Brad Williams, David Damstra, and Hal Stern. I’ve read a bunch of beginner books on using WordPress; this one delves into the WordPress architecture and underlying software.

Medieval Europe, by Chris Wickham. Medieval history is not new territory for me, but the author here makes it new by looking at it from a “structural,” maybe even a Marxist analytical viewpoint, tracing the economic, social and cultural underpinnings of medieval society, including the world lived in by peasants, and women, and ordinary people as well as the usual knights and kings.

Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy, by Cathy O’Neil. Written “from the inside” by a mathematician and former Big Data professional, the title basically says it all.


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