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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

The Fourmilab Reading List Returns to its Roots

When I began the Fourmilab Reading List in January 2001, it was just that: a list of every book I'd read, updated as I finished books, without any commentary other than, perhaps, availability information and sources for out-of-print works or those from publishers not available through Amazon.com. As the 2000s progressed, I began to add remarks about many of the books, originally limited to one paragraph, but eventually as the years wore on, expanding to full-blown reviews, some sprawling to four thousand words or more and using the book as the starting point for an extended discussion on topics related to its content.

This is, sadly, to employ a term I usually despise, no longer sustainable. My time has become so entirely consumed by system administration tasks on two Web sites, especially one in which I made the disastrous blunder of basing upon WordPress, the most incompetently and irresponsible piece of...software I have ever encountered in more than fifty years of programming; shuffling papers, filling out forms, and other largely government-mandated bullshit (Can I say that here? It's my site! You bet I can.); and creating content for and participating in discussions on the premier anti-social network on the Web for intelligent people around the globe with wide-ranging interests, I simply no longer have the time to sit down, compose. edit, and publish lengthy reviews (in three locations: in the Reading List, here, and at Ratburger.org) of every book I read.

But that hasn't kept me from reading books, which is my major recreation and escape from the grinding banality which occupies most of my time. As a consequence, I have accumulated, as of the present time, a total of no fewer than twenty-four books I've finished which are on the waiting list to be reviewed and posted here, and that doesn't count a few more I've set aside before finishing the last chapter and end material so as not to make the situation even worse and compound the feeling of guilt.

I will no longer post books I've read here, except those for which I write full reviews. If you'd like to keep up with new books as they are posted on the Reading List, subscribe to its RSS feed.

Posted at April 21, 2020 16:00