by Terry Pratchett. I admit it, I’m somewhat addicted to these Terry Pratchett Discworld novels, which I find somewhat humorous in their self-referential tongue-in-cheek fantasy humor. Night Watch is not a place to start in the series, but might follow naturally after Men At Arms. In this novel, Sam Vimes, who holds the job of police commissioner, is about to apprehend a vicious serial killer when he gets zapped back in time (with the criminal) to his youth. He naturally has to assume the identity of the copper who trained him when he just joined the force, train himself, thwart the criminal, and so on. All very formulaic, but after one Discworld novel you just start looking for the little humorous bits. I fell like in this novel Pratchett gets a bit more into some Deeper Issues, like what it means to look back on your life and your experiences, the values of naivete, and all that rot. But in the end it’s just an entertaining read. Good for airplanes, that’s for sure.
I just picked up one CD from 69 Love Songs by the Magnetic Fields, and was groovin’ to it this morning while working on some research, but was disturbed by the crazy skipping action on my CD player. Turns out that Amoeba sold me a skipping CD — first time ever with them. I’m a huge fan of buying used media, but with books you can flip though and see if the pages have been dog-eared (a pet peeve of mine) or if there’s gratuitous underlining, whereas with CDs you cannot. I think it goes back to an underlying problem with the way in which music is marketed. You cannot judge a CD by its cover any more than you can judge a book by its cover, and many CDs get little to no radio airplay. Especially if they are older. So how are you supposed to tell if that 1995 album is one that you want? All of this is old news and old thoughts of others, of course.