Books I Read in July

The amount of books that I have read this year is really down.  I just realized it’s probably because I’m working from home and that a lot of my reading happened while I was commuting on the train into Boston. So only two this month.

The Caliph’s House: A Year in Casablanca by Tahir Shah I think I discovered this one googling about books about traveling. British author Tahir Shah buys a mansion in Morocco which belonged to a caliph and needs renovating. Actually, now that I think about it, this is similar to Under the Tuscan Sun that I read last month except there are caretakers who believe that djinn inhabit this house and get angry about everything. Quite a culture shock on how to navigate through the red tape, slums, and gangsters of Casablanca. Shah is an immersive writer who brings you right into his world.

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller Whoa. I went into this book blind. It somehow made its way onto my library queue and it was the only book available when I finished The Caliph’s House so I figured I would read a few pages before returning it to the library. Instead, I was transported into Miller’s retelling of The Iliad. This is easily one of the best books I have read this year and may be one of my all time favorites at this point. Not even going to say more.  Just download a sample from Amazon, if you like the first chapter you’ll love the rest.

What did you read last month?

What I Learned Today – Monday, August 3

Good morning. I trust everybody had a good weekend where social-distancing was still being practiced and when human interaction was unavoidable, masks were worn by all? I guess we might as well start the week. My colleague is next to me full of anticipation about what we will find out is going on in the world today:


Florida broke a new record for weekly coronavirus deaths with 1,230. I’m sure Governor DeSantis has some convoluted spin on how this is a good thing but I just don’t feel like googling for it at the moment.

Pelosi is calling out Dr. Birx for being a Trump lackey. Well, I lost all credibility with Dr. Birx quite early on as soon as she stepped in front of a camera and said[Trump is] so attentive to the scientific literature & the details & the data. I think his ability to analyze & integrate data that comes out of his long history in business has really been a real benefit.” Well, we know that Trump has the attention span of a coked out sand flea who can’t even bother to have his daily briefings acted out for him with puppets, so the likelihood of him being able to spell ‘scientific literature’ is nil so we know either Dr Birx’s Hermes scarf is either too tight or she decided to cover for him. (A little while after this is when Trump turned to her during that press conference to declare that injecting disinfectants was something his experts were looking into and you could see the last of Dr. Birx’s credibility leave her in a huff, never to return.)

11,000 Americans were refused entry to Canada. Well, yeah, the border is closed so the surprising part about this is that thousands still tried. I can’t really blame any country right now for closing their borders to us Americans given how poorly we have responded to this pandemic.

GOP Michigan Senator who was anti-lockdown just tested positive for Covid-19. Because, of course he did.

The CDC is predicting 19,000 more deaths in the next 20 days.  This sounds like a lowball figure to me given that we are almost at 1500 deaths a day now. We are currently at 158,375 deaths as I write this.

My god, this chart:


The GOP is blocking journalists from their racist convention.  Ok, fine.  Don’t cover it. Don’t give them any attention at all. The only thing Trump is actually good at is getting publicity, so starve him.

Trump is still mad at Tik Tok and threatening to ban it unless Microsoft buys it.  I don’t use Tik Tok.  I don’t foresee myself ever using Tik Tok. I know whenever I post anything about Tik Tok that people tell me why Tik Tok is bad and riddled with spyware. Which could very well be the case, but there’s no way that is the reason why Trump wants to ban it.  He’s pissed that Tik Tok users messed up his Tulsa rally. That’s the only thing Trump can comprehend. And maybe it’s Sarah Cooper’s fault.


This is a real headline: Egypt tells Elon Musk its pyramids were not built by aliens. Sigh. I’m assuming Elon said something stupid on twitter again. I would delve into this but Trump has taken up all my patience of stupid rich people who think they are geniuses on the tweet machine.


34 blueberry recipes?  Yes please.


And why people think the world is flat?