Really, Michael Pollan?
Surely going to hell for this review.

Friday short takes.

Ah, the weekend, she's almost here. And I for one am glad.

Nothing particularly pithy today (or any day, yes, thank you, hecklers), just a few short takes on this Friday morning.

I went to look at Joseph Stiglitz's new book Freefall: America, Free Markets, and the Sinking of the World Economy yesterday, and it looked quite interesting. But I have to face reality in that 1. I don't have the heart to read it right now, and 2. it's well-written, but it's still pretty dense stuff and I'm not going to have the time to read it right now. So then I flipped to the back to take a wander through the index (I do this a lot; I find that doing indexing has helped me develop the skill of looking at an index and gleaning a lot of information about a book that way) when I was shocked to find that THERE WAS NO INDEX. What the hell? In a complex book about finance and economics? W. W. Norton and Co, and Mr. Stiglitz, you should be ASHAMED of yourselves. I'm no economist but I could tell you how to make one person's economy better: hire a freelance indexer, you cheap bastards.

I only got about two chapters into Ian Mortimer's book The Time Traveler's Guide to Medieval England: A Handbook for Visitors to the Fourteenth Century, and it's a bit too dense to recommend for pleasure reading, but it's a lot of fun nonetheless. I wish there were books like this for every century (and location)--Mortimer talks about every aspect of the 14th century, from costume to traveling to health to eating and drinking to the law (among many other topics), and it's all written in the form of a friendly guidebook introducing you to the culture. Super cool stuff.

Bellfield Anna Dean's Bellfield Hall: Or, the Observations of Miss Dido Kent. If you're a Jane Austen or Regency fan run, don't walk, to get this title. It has nothing to do with Austen, but is set in her time period and features witty writing somewhat similar to hers. And its heroine is named "Dido Kent." You've got to love that. At least I did.

And that's it! Enjoy the weekend, folks, life's too short not to. Or, alternatively, sometimes it feels too damn long. Either way grab a good book and tell the rest of the world to buzz off for a couple of days.