Quoting Ralph Waldo Emerson

I cannot remember the books I’ve read any more than the meals I have eaten; even so, they have made me. – Ralph Waldo Emerson (debated, see here)

April 29, 2024

Tor: from the Dark Web to the Future of Privacy

This one looks like a promising read: Tor, one of the most important and misunderstood technologies of the digital age, is best known as the infrastructure underpinning the so-called Dark Web. But the real “dark web,” when it comes to Tor, is the hidden history brought to light in this book: where this complex and contested infrastructure came from, why it exists, and how it connects with global power in intricate and intimate ways....

April 26, 2024

Quoting Benedetta Tobagi

For those who have found their meaning, their place in the world, and what they feel they want to live for, death is just one part - inevitable, but not frightening - of a good life—a death all woven with life, which has the smile and soft touch of a newfound embrace. I wish myself, anyone, such a death. – Benedetta Tobagi, La Resistenza delle donne

March 3, 2024
I pre-ordered a signed copy

REPLAY by Jordan Mechner

Jordan Mechner (@jmechner, creator of Prince of Persia) has written and drawn a graphic novel memoir, REPLAY. It’s out in French and will be released in English on March 19. I pre-ordered a signed English copy. More info here.

February 27, 2024

Content of Charles Darwin's personal library revealed for the first time

I’m always fascinated by these in-depth bibliography efforts, and this one, with its unique 300-page catalog detailing 7,400 titles from Charles Darwin’s library, is nothing short of extraordinary. John van Wyhe, the academic who has led the “overwhelming” endeavour, said it showed the extraordinary extent of Darwin’s research into the work of others. “It also shows how insanely eclectic Darwin was,” Van Wyhe said. “There is this vast sea of things which might be an American or German news clipping about a duck or invasive grasshoppers....

February 15, 2024

Digital books wear out faster than physical books

Brewster Kahle, at The Internet Archive Blogs: Ever try to read a physical book passed down in your family from 100 years ago? Probably worked well. Ever try reading an ebook you paid for 10 years ago? Probably a different experience. From the leasing business model of mega a publishers to physical device evolution to format obsolescence, digital books are fragile and threatened. […] Our paper books have lasted hundreds of years on our shelves and are still readable....

January 30, 2024

Books I read in 2023

I read 24 books for a total of 7070 pages in 2023. That’s seven more books than last year, which is quite an outstanding result considering the seemingly unstoppable decline in book reading I have suffered in recent years. Most have been fiction books, and that’s something new and influential with the final result, as I tend to read non-fiction more slowly. The bad news is that I did not review most of the books I read this year, and that sucks....

December 29, 2023

A few late book reviews

I’ve been reading a few books throughout the summer and needed to be more active in reviewing them here. Rather than writing five individual posts in a row (too lazy for that), I will catch up with this single post. Born to Run 2 I’ve been back to running after a long hiatus, and this book helped me get back on track with the right, lightly-hearted approach. The fundamentals are solid (the barefoot-like technique is the way), the 90-day training plan is a good platform, the nutrition hints are remarkable, and I appreciated the injury-treatment segments....

August 26, 2023

Book Review: La Mossa del Matto (The Fool's Move)

Alessandro Barbaglia’s La mossa del matto (The fool’s move) tries to be three things in one: the life story of chess champion Bobby Fischer, a reconciliation dialogue between author and father, who died too soon, as well the tracing of a daring parallel between Fischer’s relationship with Russian champion Boris Spasskij and that of Achilles and Ulysses of Homeric memory. In our neck of the woods, we say that too much is crippling, and this work runs the risk....

May 19, 2023

Book Review: Disastri (Disasters)

Daniil Charms was considered a children’s author and could not stand children all his life. While his whimsical fairy tales populated illustrated books and magazines, giving him something to live on in the silence of his room, he also feverishly wrote tales for adults, equally imaginative but inhabited by an excruciating melancholy, as in fairy tales went wrong. At the dawn of the USSR, this desperate fantasy of his was tolerable only if it was confined where it was least dangerous, in children’s literature....

May 14, 2023