Some favorite albums, books, TV shows, movies, and in-depth stories from 2013

Here’s a look back at some of my favorites from last year. Albums My pick: “Modern Vampires of the City,” by Vampire Weekend. Here’s “Obvious Bicycle“: And “Diane Young“: Runner-up album: “Beta Love,” by Ra Ra Riot. Here’s the title track. Honorable mentions: Sky Ferreira’s “Night Time, My Time,” Daft Punk’s “Random Access Memories,” and […]

There’s No E-Book Version of Nicholas Negroponte’s ‘Being Digital’?

More later on this topic, perhaps, but I wanted to post this for now. Is there truly no e-book version of Nicholas Negroponte’s 1995 book Being Digital? What’s wrong with this picture? The text I’ve circled in the image above is Amazon’s standard “Tell the Publisher! I’d like to read this book on Kindle.”* Is […]

Off Topic: An Excellent Book about Nutrition

I’m read several books, over the years, about food and nutrition. I’ve tackled Gary Taubes’s popular books “Good Calories, Bad Calories” and “Why We Get Fat,” as well as “In Defense of Food”, the hit book by Michael Pollan. I’ve also done some reading on “paleo nutrition,” which is popular in Crossfit circles. Perhaps the […]

7 Books

Some books and long-form works I’ve downloaded, bought in physical form, am reading, or have recently finished: The Ball is Round: A Global History of Soccer, by David Goldblatt Inferno: The World at War, 1939-1945, by Max Hastings The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right, by Atul Gawande The Great Stagnation: How America Ate […]

Now on Bizarre Thailand

A quick note to point out that Bizarre Thailand: Tales of Crime, Sex and Black Magic, a book by old Thailand hand and all around good guy Jim Algie, is now available on The book’s official site has info on its contents and details on Jim’s interesting background. I understand that the book’s first […]

Around the web: August 25th to August 30th

Some links that have caught my eye of late: Facebook Exodus [] — "Things fall apart; the center cannot hold. Facebook, the online social grid, could not command loyalty forever…" Bumpy Pitch — retro US soccer shirts. — Very cool. Love the Beth Steel FC tee, especially. The Chart of Fantasy Art [The Publisher Files] […]

John Updike, dead at 76

John Updike died yesterday at the age of 76. Here’s Michiko Kakutani in the New York Times: Endowed with an art student’s pictorial imagination, a journalist’s sociological eye and a poet’s gift for metaphor, John Updike — who died on Tuesday at 76 — was arguably this country’s one true all-around man of letters. He […]

Two paperback techno-gems from the 1990s

A bookstore here in Bangkok was having a going out of business sale a few months back, and I picked up a couple of titles that appealed to both the bibliophile and the Internet enthusiast in me. The first is this: I saw this slim, young adult paperback volume from 1996 and I knew I […]

What I’ve been reading

Some links that have caught my eye of late: — 2008 Year-End Google Zeitgeist (Via Steve Rubel on Twitter) ((Related: “StateStats: Analyzing Google search patterns“)) As the year comes to a close, it’s time to look at the big events, memorable moments and emerging trends that captivated us in 2008. As it happens, studying the […]

Michael Crichton, Master Storyteller, Dead at 66

Michael Crichton has died of cancer at the age of 66. His most popular books, of course, included “Jurassic Park,” “The Andromeda Strain,” and “Timeline.” And while I’ve read many of his thrillers — most recently “Next,” about genetic engineering — my favorite of his books was “Travels,” which I liked for its compelling stories […]