December 13th, 2008

krazy koati

New ones come in as the old ones go

By the way, one of the things about the audio book I'd been listening to, A Short History Of Medicine, by Frank Conzalez-Crussi, is that it includes recommendations for other books one might like at the end of it. That's not inherently surprising, of course, since most books try to do something like that, even if the results are odd, such as the Borders employee recommendation which felt that someone who liked Rick Atkinson's An Army At Dawn: The War In North Africa 1942-1943 might also enjoy Stephen Ambrose's Citizen Soldiers: The US Army From The Normandy Beaches To The Surrender Of Germany, Thomas Cahill's How The Irish Saved Civilization, or Frank McCourt's Angela's Ashes. I can't assert that the Borders employee in this case was wrong. I just don't think she or he was necessarily using Bayes's theorem to its fullest extent.

Anyway. At the end of A Short History Of Medicine the Recorded Books folks suggested I might be interested in Eric J Larson's Evolution: The Remarkable History of a Scientific Theory. I was interested; in fact, I noticed that audio book for the first time (from the labels I believe they're new acquisitions) when I picked up A Short History Of Medicine, and had borrowed it simultaneously. Apparently I am that predictable.

The end of Evolution recommends a pair of other books, neither of them Medicine (Evolution is several years older), but one of the recommendations, Richard Pipes' Communism: A History, I found on a return trip was also a new acquisition. So apparently the librarians are going through this chain too. I borrowed the Communism book; I'm curious how long a chain I can get going. (The other recommendation was H W Crocker's Triumph: The Power And The Glory Of The Catholic Church. I can sort of make out this whole chain.)

Trivia: In 1411 the French Crown issued a patent that the only cheese which could be called Roquefort would be that of Roquefort-sur-Soulzon, a tiny village near the Combalou Plateau. Source: Salt: A World History, Mark Kurlansky.

Currently Reading: A Short History Of British Expansion, Volume 1, James A Williamson.