Book Log #43 – The Last Kingdom (Saxon Tales Book 1)

The Last Kingdom (Saxon Tales Book 1) by Bernard Cornwell [Amazon, Kindle, $6,99]

This was recommended by my buddy Curt (who is starting to rival Nick Hornby in level of responsibility for my reading list as of late) as a Since You Liked Game of Thrones sort of thing.

And he was right! It’s not as complex as GoT, but it does have the benefit of being the real world. Set in the late 800s in primordial England, we follow the story of the pagan Danes attacking the English Isles. I know scant little of this period, so everything came as a surprise to me.

The writing is solid and engaging, and it was one of those books that drags you in and doesn’t let you go until you finish. Had I the uninterrupted time, I likely would have absorbed it in a single sitting.

It looks like there are 10 books in this series, so I’ve got a good backlog to dive into at will.

Books read: 43
Week number: 43
Ratio: 1:1

Book Log #42 – Flim-Flam! Psychics, ESP, Unicorns, and Other Delusions

Flim-Flam! Psychics, ESP, Unicorns, and Other Delusions by James Randi and Isaac Asimov

This is one of the staples of the skeptic community, and I’d had it on my wishlist for quite a while. Originally published in 1980, much of the perpetrators of the flim-flam have faded into obscurity, having long been debunked.

This book describes a lot of the trials people went through trying to win Randi’s (then) $10,000 prize for proof of the paranormal. Mental metal benders, psychics, water diviners… all failed spectacularly.

You don’t hear so much anymore about lots of these things having fallen out of fad, but I did note Randi’s one error in prediction: he estimated that the Scientologists movement would fizzle out after not too long. Boy… he was off.

Randi’s prize is now at $1,000,000, and no one has yet met the challenge of the double-blind experiment.

Books Read: 42
Week Number: 42
Books/Weeks: 1:1