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TimSpalding

TimSpaldingVerified

Joined September 2017

LibraryThing member timspalding

TinyCat library

LibraryThing founder, Litsy guardian. Father, hacker, bibliophile, ex-classicist, Catholic. Married to @LisaCarey. I read ancient history, classics, archaeology, church history, language, technology, and fiction of various sorts. Portland, Maine, Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Kaş, Turkey.
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Les Miserables by Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
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TimSpalding
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A far better book than I was expecting. Mickle focuses on Tim Cook and Jony Ive, and it‘s clear the latter was a major source, but the author boats and truly demonstrates that his account rests on hundreds of other sources. After a zillion startup stories, I was ready for this.

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TimSpalding
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A fragment of the world‘s longest literary inscription, set up by one Diogenes in his home town of Oenoanda in Lycia. Diogenes loved his Epicurus, so he had 25,000 words from various Epicurean tracts inscribed on a stoa in his small mountain town, which I visited two days ago with MUCH effort. See FB for more details https://www.facebook.com/746862974/posts/10160550512882975/?mibextid=bVmsRV&fs=e...

DivineDiana That sounds like quite a literary adventure! What fun! 6d
18 likes1 comment
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TimSpalding
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Reading up on Idebessus at Idebessus in Lycia. Super-obscure site, not a single tourist. More photos at https://www.facebook.com/746862974/posts/10160546931082975/?mibextid=bVmsRV&fs=e...

staci.reads Incredible! Thanks for sharing the pictures. 3w
Dilara Those pictures are stunning! 2w
TimSpalding Thanks! 2w
36 likes3 comments
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TimSpalding
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Feynman is interesting, but, with all due respect, kind of an asshole. And he doesn‘t know when he‘s not being interesting.

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TimSpalding
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Apparently nobody ever made a full-length audiobook of this, but after his The Making of the Atomic Bomb, I had to keep going. All in all, six hours suited me better than whatever 700 pages would be!

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TimSpalding
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Definitely my science jam.

Nute Awesome books! 8mo
Chelsea.Poole Those look great! 8mo
44 likes2 comments
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TimSpalding
33 1/3 Armed Forces | Franklin Bruno
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TimSpalding
Making of the Atomic Bomb | Richard Rhodes
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I‘m not quite sure what to do with a book about the making of the atomic bomb that spends more than an hour on the pre- and immediately-post World War I atmosphere of Budapest. It‘s fascinating stuff, and has convinced me that I need to read something on the Austrian-Hungarian Empire and it‘s downfall. But I sometimes forget that it‘s a book about the atom bomb and will, one perhaps, eventually end up there!

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TimSpalding
AI Ethics | Mark Coeckelbergh
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Cashier: “Isn‘t that a contradiction in terms?”
Me: “No, it‘s one of those blank books!”

Chrissyreadit 🤣 8mo
31 likes1 comment
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TimSpalding
Chocky | John Wyndham
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Chocky is such a fascinating social document.

IamIamIam 👀 8mo
34 likes1 stack add1 comment
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TimSpalding
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Great book, recommended to me by a friend in pharma.

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TimSpalding
Artificial Intelligence For Dummies | John Paul Mueller, Luca Massaron
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Uh… okay.

Soubhiville What? Weird. 9mo
wanderinglynn So weird. Where did you find it? (edited) 9mo
TimSpalding Textbooks and, here, computer books are sometimes sold for cheap in India. If it costs $2 to make and you can get $6, you take it. But in the US you can sell it for $30. So you create different covers for different markets, and try this. Then some Amazon seller sells the Indian version to US people. (edited) 9mo
30 likes3 comments
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TimSpalding
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Absolutely fantastic book, following on his history of the three councils. It‘s up there for me now with analytical essays by M. I. Finley and Arnoldo Momigliano in ancient history. O‘Malley is very old now, and I am dreading he will die soon. I hope we get a few more books out of him. In any case, with the continuing decline and polarization in Catholic intellectual life, I don‘t know who can succeed him.

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TimSpalding
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Went to Boston, came back with four boxes of lahmejun from Eastern Lamejun Bakery, four loaves of challah from Cheryl Anne‘s bakery, and six books from ⁦‪@HarvardBooks‬⁩. Good day.

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TimSpalding
The Third Reich at War | Richard J. Evans
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Fantastic book—so far mostly a social history of German genocide and cruelty. Little is new to me, but the details and analysis are superior, and the account of the effort to exterminate Germany‘s mentally and physically disabled adults and children taught me a lot.

29 likes2 stack adds
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TimSpalding
Raven Used Book Shop (Northampton, MA) | Northampton, MA (Bookstore)
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Sunday book haul. Two parts internet, two parts New Testament, one part Roman History.

Suet624 You are an interesting person. :)
10mo
37 likes1 comment
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TimSpalding
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TimSpalding
Peril | Bob Woodward, Robert Costa
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The first half is fascinating, adding many piquant details to the (better) I Alone Can Fix It. But it was designed to cover both the end of Trump and the first months of the Biden administration. The latter is simply less interesting. I‘m very glad the Biden administration has been less interesting, but it doesn‘t make for an interesting story.

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TimSpalding
Peril | Bob Woodward, Robert Costa
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As good as I suspected it would be.

CoverToCoverGirl My Mom is currently reading this, so I expect she‘ll pass it along to me once she‘s finished. 10mo
34 likes1 comment
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TimSpalding
LibraryThing as a library service | Aina Manso Santolaria
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LibraryThing's new “Charts and Graphs“ feature is released! https://www.librarything.com/topic/334487

Texreader How exciting!! I look forward to checking it out. I mostly use the LibraryThing app though. I wish it had similar functions as the website 12mo
SkeletonKey I‘m dying to know what earthbound spirits reside in that blue part of the graph. 12mo
32 likes2 comments
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TimSpalding
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I sincerely hope this is some author‘s writing room. — Haskell Island, Maine

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TimSpalding
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Vacation!

TimSpalding Now the problem is: which one to go out in a literal kayak with… 🤔 12mo
Ruthiella Which ever one you don‘t mind losing if you capsize! 😆 12mo
quirkyreader Go with Pilgrim Confidential. 12mo
22 likes3 comments
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TimSpalding
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I have never laughed so hard while reading a tech book.

32 likes1 stack add
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TimSpalding

Well, that ended, thank God. The administration, not the book. I could have read more of the book.

Chrissyreadit It feels like we still have tremors and aftershocks unfortunately. 13mo
Susanita @Chrissyreadit Tremors and aftershock s describe the situation well. 13mo
25 likes2 comments
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TimSpalding
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Bananas. Absolutely bananas. That is all.

Karisa So glad that episode in U.S. history is over… um 🤞 13mo
30 likes1 stack add1 comment
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TimSpalding
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Author lays out the data that liberals and conservatives “exposed” to “voices” from the other side don‘t get more moderate, but the opposite. I‘m not sure this is news. Social media Is not designed to persuade. I doubt that, before social media, conservatives would have become more moderate being exposed to Cuban communist signs either! But social media is explicitly tribal. Pissing off the other side is a feature, not a bug. So, not surprising.

sprainedbrain So very accurate. 13mo
31 likes1 comment
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TimSpalding
Pickpick

Finished. The earlier bits were the most interesting to me, as I knew some of the participants and events. Everything to do with Aaron was just gutting. The latter bits were also engaging. So with the short-lived tenure of Ellen Pao, although the divergent narratives make we question if we have a true account, and I wish Lagorio-Chafkin had been clearer in attributing her sources. It was fun to hear about Ohanian's romance with Serena Williams.

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TimSpalding
Old Professor's Bookshop | Belfast, ME (Bookstore)
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Saturday haul, split interests.

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TimSpalding

Came back to this after a hiatus. Surfaces more of the story of Aaron and Reddit than I knew before—sad things I was only partially aware of. I was also struck by something that's probably well known; that Reddit's algorithm hid things with 5 down-votes, but showed them again, with a boost, if they got 100 down-votes, on the theory that the REALLY bad was fun. The future of social media was here; it just wasn't evenly distributed.

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TimSpalding
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An enjoyable non-technical introduction to AI history. It‘s even relatively sober; the history of AI failures and hype are a major sub-theme. Even so, as it approaches the present it gets carried away. The hype around self-driving cars was particularly strong, and I struggle to understand its 2021 publication date, in light of its unfulfilled predictions. The final chapter, in which Wooldridge does some philosophy is not impressive.

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TimSpalding
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One thing I like about A Very Short Introductions: no “let‘s me tell you about the time I got lost in Warsaw as a graduate student” or “let me tell you about the color of the sky that time I was bitten by mosquitos while I was digging for fossils with Sven, who was tall and wore sweaters that were…” and on and on.

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TimSpalding
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Panpan

I‘m a huge fan of Very Short Introductions, and therefore well versed in what can and can‘t be achieved in their short compass. Unlike every other such historical survey, this book is often little more than a dreary recitation of names and dates, dynasties and places. Not only is there little “why”—except on the topic of camels, oddly—there isn‘t much “what,” because listing names without any other context or elaboration tells us nothing.

TimSpalding I did learn a lot about camels in Islamic history and city planning. No, really. And that was interesting. Not worth it, though. 1y
26 likes1 comment
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TimSpalding
Ferdinandus Taurus | Munro Leaf, Elizabeth Hadas
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Ferdinand, which my kid is reading in Latin, has Ferdinand leap up from his beloved cork tree, dislodging a cork sapling. Munro/Lawson didn‘t understand how cork trees made cork! But I wish this were a thing.

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TimSpalding
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I adored Ariel Sabar's Atlantic article thoroughly and completely demolishing the “The Gospel of Jesus' Wife“ as a fake. So I was looking forward to his book-length treatment. There's much to recommend here, but he gets a number of basic historical and theological issues dead-wrong and it's killing me. Most of all, he seems utterly ignorant of views held by non-western, non-Latin Christianity. [continued in comments]

Lauram This looks great! I‘m going to add it to my book club selection next month. 2y
TimSpalding So we get this idea that the Church alleged that Mary Magdalene was a prostitute, which goes back to a homily in 591 by Pope Gregory, and which had no effect on the Greek tradition—let alone Armenian, Syrian, Ethiopic! The same goes for discussions of Augustine and original sin; Augustine was a big deal in the west, but not outside of it. From there he talks about clerical celibacy as if it were normative, universal, not a western, Latin thing. (edited) 2y
TimSpalding Non-Christians today often equate Christianity with Catholicism and its offshoot, Protestantism. This is silly today, but as eastern Christians are no better than 15% of the Christian population, somewhat understandable. But for many centuries and very much the centuries when the “Gospel“ was allegedly written and translated, the east was *by far* the more significant Christian center. So it just throws the whole thing off. (edited) 2y
TimSpalding There are a good many similar errors, and the overall effect is to reject the papyrus, but to swallow Karen King's larger (and, IMHO, overheated) ideological fixations, which work a lot better without east/west differences and against a modern religious context to which Christianity with origins east of Italy is a footnote. Anyway, I wasn't expecting this defect, and it irritates me. 2y
CarolynM I don't blame you for being annoyed. 2y
34 likes5 comments
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TimSpalding
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I read this before 20, but a reread with my son finds it not only excellent, but one of the best things I‘ve read in years. Douglass is an absolute master of his craft. My son was so caught he listened to it twice.

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TimSpalding
Fragile Things LP | Neil Gaiman
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I recently re-read Gaiman's Fragile Things, with “How to Talk to Girls at Parties“ which was turned into a movie so unlike the story, it's a wonder anyone paid rights for it. I suppose there are works you try not to pay rights for, and works you pay rights for, even if the result is devoid of any resemblance to the original.

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TimSpalding
Charlotte's Web | E. B. White
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Some candidate!

Traci1 ❤❤❤ 2y
AmyG 🙌🏻 2y
Megabooks 👍🏻👍🏻💜💜 2y
40 likes3 comments
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TimSpalding
Harry Potter | JK Rowling
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Prof. Trelawney. Prof. Flitwick and The Fat Friar (Hufflepuff ghost) #halloween

Chrissyreadit 🙌👏🎃 2y
sprainedbrain Great costumes! 2y
Bibliotekate Y‘all are the best. 2y
53 likes3 comments
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TimSpalding
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Beeman's history of the writing of the Constitution is exhaustive in its detail, explores possibilities creatively without being merely speculative and is vivid without being amped up. Chapters on the Founders and slavery are particularly good. Oh, the title is absolutely not the thesis statement. Any account of the Constitution is liable to jingle jangle against American history again and again, but particularly so at this weird moment of crisis.

33 likes1 stack add
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TimSpalding
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Nancy Pearl! The authors are letting me interview them for the @LibraryThing State of the Thing. So I‘m zooming though it now.

41 likes2 stack adds
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TimSpalding
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Chrissyreadit Hey Tim! I saw you are a hacker- any good book recommendations? My teen son is doing dual enrollment with classes is cyber security and programming, so very interested in all things hacking. @Cats4_days 2y
31 likes1 comment
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TimSpalding
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I hate this book. But I‘m giving it a little more time because it cost good money.

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TimSpalding
The Power and the Glory | Graham Greene
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Rereading, or rather listening. God, I love this book.

Crazeedi A classic 2y
29 likes1 comment
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TimSpalding
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I enjoyed Facebook so much—and of course Levy‘s Hackers, which was massively influential on tween me—so I got this. Still, I‘m not sure I can stick through it—it‘s a 2011 book about Google and that feels passé.

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TimSpalding
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Levy is losing steam at the end. His bizarre framing of PHP vs. native development had me gasping—THIS is the guy who wrote “Hackers“? Now he's grinding his gears on a facile debate about free speech and censorship. Damn, I wish I could read this with someone with my level of engagement with these issues!

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TimSpalding
The Anubis Gates | Tim Powers
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Listening to the Anubis Gates with my son. It's odd to have his introduction to Romantic poetry be an adventure involving, among other things, time travelers at a lecture by Coleridge and a magical clone of Lord Byron brainwashed to kill the king!

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TimSpalding
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Fascinating account. Also, as someone who started a social site in August 2005, and followed products and news closely, it's weirdly nostalgic.

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TimSpalding
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Reading Levy's Facebook book, which includes a lot of Zuckerberg biography, it occurs to me that biography hasn't progressed much intellectually since antiquity. We do not see the young Alexander or Zuckerberg except as a crude mirror of the adult one. Success is assumed, and the effects of success on the progress of an individual are ignored. Even lay history couldn't get away with this today, but it's standard in biography.

DGRachel That‘s interesting and something I never really noticed, but admittedly I don‘t read a lot of biographies. 2y
30 likes1 comment
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TimSpalding
Station Eleven | Emily St John Mandel
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Mehso-so

I was not impressed by Station Eleven. I didn't care about the characters and didn't find the observations or descriptions particularly apt. Certain stylistic tics drove me completely up the wall. A “literary“ style does not consist of constantly interrupting dialogue to say that something makes a character think of . It had its good points, but I'm baffled that anyone could *admire* this book.

Rissreads I loved this book! 2y
TimSpalding @Rissreads What did you love about it, though? Honestly, I'm baffled. 2y
readingjedi I agree. It really didn't move me at all. I particularly disliked the plot structure. 2y
See All 6 Comments
Rissreads I loved the story, the characters, everything! It just really resonated with me! 2y
Bklover I‘ve bailed on this book at least three times. I keep trying because everyone else seems to love it. Thank you, Tim. Now I can happily ignore it. 2y
TimSpalding @Bklover Glad I could help :) 2y
38 likes1 stack add6 comments
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TimSpalding
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Latin “novella” to do with Liam. I have to admire the cover design.