Finished Two Books This Week

One was one of the best books I read this year. The other was the worst.

The Best:

Home Fire
Whoa. A retelling of Sophocle’s Antigones with a muslim family in the UK. The writing is incredibly sharp, poignant, and at 278 pages, a perfect read.

The Worst:

Spielberg is making this into a movie and there’s quite a bit of hype about it. I actually liked the concept of the video game setting. It’s just that the writing is so bad that it’s really difficult to get through. And the 80s nostalgia… Oh boy. I love 80s nostalgia but it’s jammed into every crevice of the book that it just becomes a distraction.

Ancestry

So I did the Ancestry.com dna test.

Going into it I did have some reservations about how accurate they can be but my wife did it a few months ago and her results certainly seemed to be fairly accurate. She is Haitian American and her results came back mostly West African/African Caribbean. So I decided it was worth the 90 bucks to check it out.

Going into it, all the research that my family has done on our genealogy was that we should mostly be Irish/English and French. The results just got back today:

Not too many surprises really. The Italy/Greece one is probably the biggest surprise that’s not in a low confidence region.

Who else has done one of the dna tests? Anything surprising? Feel free to share in the comments!

RSS Feed

I used to run my rss feeds through feedburner but stopped doing it quite some time ago. People have been emailing me that the rss feed is full of spam now. Unfortunately, I think it’s on Feedburner’s end so I can’t do anything about that but I don’t use that feed anymore anyway. The official feed (with full content) is right here.

The shitty thing about this announcement is that only the people who are already using the updated feed will get this. Sigh.

Question of the Day

What are your favorite reads of the year so far?

I’ve talked about how I love using Goodreads plenty of times. As book tracking software it does the job but where it really shines is being able to see what friends are reading. I’ve found so many good recommendations that way. Here are some of the books I’ve read this year that have been fantastic.


I’m currently reading The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. which is Neal Stephenson’s latest tome. I can’t fully recommend it yet since I’m only a third of a way through and sometimes his novels have a way of unraveling but I’m loving it so far.


The Stranger in the Woods. Totally engrossing story about a guy who walks off into the woods one day and lives there for a few decades. He isn’t exactly a sympathetic character considering that he manages to live in the woods by burglarizing the neighborhood community but the story is still compelling.


American Kingpin. About the founder of The Silk Road aka Amazon.com for drugs. I had heard of The Silk Road a few years ago but couldn’t understand why anybody would actually get illegal substances through the mail. That’s about as much thought I had put into it which probably helped when reading this book since I had no idea how it ended. Probably the 2nd best book I have read this year. I should probably mention my favorite.


My Favorite Thing is Monsters. Holy crap. I’m not a huge fan of graphic novels, or comics, or whatever you choose to call them. I heard about this from an NPR story and the library happened to have it in. The story of how the author wrote it is a story in itself, and this is her debut graphic novel. A girl transfixed by monster movies, who sees herself as a monster detective trying to unravel a murder of a survivor of the holocaust in 1960s Chicago. There’s a lot going on in that book and the graphics are breathtaking.

Question of the Day

We haven’t done one of these in a long time.

Are you traveling anywhere soon? Mrs. C and I usually book things at the last moment and we just got back from NYC two weeks ago so at the moment there’s no travel plans, at least not until July. But I would love to live vicariously through your plans.

Question of the Day

Am I the only one who, despite thinking Trump a vile bullshit-shoveling, third rate used car salesman type pitchman, dictator-worshipping orange blight on our country who may actually be the president who leads us into a nuclear holocaust, thinks that the election could actually have been worse if this guy

had been elected President?

During the Sally Yates hearing when he made an appearance, my instinct reaction was, “Oh thank Zeus he didn’t win!” followed by my train of thought doing a lot of calculations to figure out if I was an idiot or not before my brain crashed. I asked a few friends what they thought and every time, they paused to think it over before saying, “Oh, yeah, I guess it could have been worse.”

What say you Cynics? I’m sorry for even making your brain do this exercise.