Wednesday, December 14, 2005

The Story of Civilization

I have just (on eBay because for some odd reason it seems to be out of print) bought The Story of Civilization by Will & Ariel Durant. It is eleven volumes.
It'd surprise the heck out of me if I actually ever will have read all eleven volumes. But I'd like to. And at least I'll have an excellent place to look up periods and people as I get interested in them, like Leonardo da Vinci. Will Durant is the best guide. He had such a love of life and respect and understanding for great people.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Amazon reviews

I buy a ton of books and DVDs, and whenever I hear of a new title, the first thing I do is go to Amazon and read a handful of reviews. With a little experience, that can make the "success rate" of buying very high indeed.

One hitch to it is that old classics usually have much better reviews than recent hits, because only those who are really interested actually find them and buy them!
The same is true for genre products. For instance I bought a couple of horror films and was disappointed. Then I realized that all those five-star reviews came from people who love horror, and I only have a passing interest.