The Tummy Trilogy, by Calvin Trillin

Trillin wrote a series of articles for the New Yorker over the course of 15 years called “U.S. Journal”. As part of that, every now and then he’d throw in an article about eating, as he tasted some outstanding local cuisine someplace. Mind you, he’s not necessarily talking about fancy haute cuisine, something which he […]

Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Philosophy: Fear and Trembling in Sunnydale, ed. by James B. South

As a fairly rabid devotee of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and as somebody who likes thinking about deeper issues on occasion, this book was irresistible: a collection of articles by philosophy professors and students discussing how various philosophical theories are exemplified by Buffy. It’s interesting how many different ways the same episodes can be viewed. […]

21 Dog Years, by Mike Daisey

Mike Daisey’s website Subtitled “doing time @”, this is a memoir of Daisey’s two years at Amazon. It’s an entertaining account, starting with his being interviewed at Amazon because he fit their profile of being a freak (or as he more charitably describes himself, a dilettante). He suffers through life in customer service, figuring […]

Gearheads, by Brad Stone

Subtitled “The Turbulent Rise of Robotic Sports”, this book takes a look at the rise of Robot Wars, Battlebots, and the several other TV shows associated with robotic warfare. It’s interesting to me as somebody who watched a lot of these things develop from afar, from being a fan of SRL to cheering my friends […]

A Year at the Movies, by Kevin Murphy

Kevin Murphy, formally associated with MST3K, decided to embark on an unusual (some might even say foolhardy) quest. He decided to watch a movie a day, every day, for an entire year. And to watch movies under as varied conditions as possible. He sees movies at film festivals in Norway and projected onto a bed […]

Poker Nation, by Andy Bellin

This book is an interesting peek into the world of professional gambling from one of its practitioners. With chapters ranging from poker strategy to the history of Vegas, the book necessarily is shallow in its exploration of various topics. But it definitely whets the appetite. After Bellin describes the thrill of bringing a huge bet […]