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I realize today is the last day of summer, but I don't think it's too late for a good list of Summer recommendations. This list from Edge should keep you reading through the winter. There are some interesting reads here. Happy Fall!

Summer Reading

I realize today is the last day of summer, but I don't think it's too late for a good list of Summer recommendations. This list from Edge should keep you reading through the winter. There are some interesting reads here. Happy Fall!

Posted by Joel Schettler on September 20 2005 • Books

A Briefer History of Time

Haven't read War and Peace? What about Proust? Many of the so-called "classics" often go unread, due largely to the fact that they are "too difficult." Well, believe it or not, the dumbed down versions are on their way to the bookshelves.

According to this article in England's The Guardian, publishers are working to bring many of the inaccessible classics into a more approachable format. Works include Proust's Remembrance of Things Past, Tolstoy's War and Peace (whose new version is being billed by its publisher Penguin as "the most melodramatic of soap operas," yuk), and even Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time--to be titled, no joke, a Briefer History of Time.

If you can't spare the time to read even the new truncated versions, here is War and Peace, according to Guardian writer Vanessa Thorpe: "The scene is Russia, 150 years before the birth of Roman Abramovich. Noble people, with names that all sound vaguely like Kalashnikov, dance and gossip and do evil things, sometimes all at the same time. Pierre Bezhukov, playboy bastard son of a rich count, rescues Natasha, falls in love, and marries her. Napoleon is meanwhile invading Russia, stupidly marching on Moscow, losing the war, and preparing to watch his army get cut to pieces by Cossacks on their way home."

Posted by Joel Schettler on September 14 2005 • Books

I'm Back

Call it my summer holiday. Many of my regular readers (family and friends) have noticed I haven't posted in a couple of weeks. I've been out to the U.S. Open in New York City, a trip Sarah and I have been wanted to take for many years. We had a great time; look for photos to be posted soon.

On a media topic. I noticed today in the New York Times, that the columnist in Miami who taped a phone conversation with a public official without telling him. "[Arthur Teele], a former city and county commissioner who had been indicted on federal charges of mail fraud, wire fraud and money laundering, committed suicide in July in The Herald's lobby, shortly after the anguished phone conversation with Mr. DeFede, a friend of 14 years," writes the New York Times. According to the district attorney, "There appears to have been no malicious intent on the part of Mr. DeFede to violate the privacy rights of Mr. Teele, or to utilize the tape for any commercial purpose or to harm or embarrass Mr. Teele."

Despite the legal ruling, executives at the paper are not reconsidering their decision to fire the columnist for his actions.

Posted by Joel Schettler on September 13 2005 • Current Affairs