Comments: 27
Well, if I manage to whittle down my TBR this year, it won't be as a result of reading your reviews. But I guess we knew that anyway ...
Murder by Death 2 weeks ago
Ditto, my friend. :)

The good news is that this one is a fast read, and it's mostly funny (there are at least two sections that are distinctly un-funny - I'm never buying anything from IBM again if I can avoid it).
Oh, come on ... you can't drop a statement like that and then just walk away. So what did IBM do?
Murder by Death 2 weeks ago
Read the book and find out! ;)

(VERY briefly - they leased their punch card systems --and the staff to run them-- to Hitler during WW2. They were tasked with cataloguing all the people hitler didn't like.)
Sorry, couldn't wait that long -- I googled it. Now that *is* despicable ... even though I'm somehow not very surprised (and I don't even mean IBM specifically).
Murder by Death 2 weeks ago
Isn't it? I was just flabbergasted. In school our teachers made a point of telling us that General Electric was a big part of building bombs during the way (not b/c they thought it was a good thing, btw), so how did this NOT come up too? It's appalling.
Especially in light of the fact that the Nazis prided themselves on the methodical way in which they went about the whole thing -- looks like IBM had a big hand in making that approach possible in the first place. Aiding and abetting in the worst possible sense.
Murder by Death 2 weeks ago
That's what got me - it wasn't JUST that they sold to them, they leased and supplied the staff to them as well. Each camp had an office - just thinking about it leaves me sputtering... how? HOW?
Yep. And then talk about claiming ignorance as to what the equipment was being used for ... IG Farben didn't get away with that one and IMB shouldn't have, either.
Elentarri's Book Blog 2 weeks ago
Sounds interesting - must see if I can get my paws on it. :) You are not helping my TBR pile either, but most of my TBR are history books and I find those booooooooorrrrrrrrrrrinnnnnnnnng (I bought them because I thought I should learn something about historical events and have them on hand as reference books, but convincing myself to read them is another story entirely).
Murder by Death 2 weeks ago
I'm guessing you might know a lot more about some of the entries than I did (although I don't know which field of science is your specialty?), but as I said to TA, it's a quick and mostly entertaining read. DEFINITELY more entertaining than history books. :D I have quite a few of those on my TBR too, for the same reasons, but I know myself well enough to stick to the popular history titles - and even those languish on my piles for too long.

If you can find this, I hope you enjoy it. :)
Hey, some of us LIKE history books! (That said, many are poorly written, or written for other historians, not a general audience.)
Murder by Death 2 weeks ago
I do like the ones I read! (Especially the ones I've found through you btw - the Belle Epoch books come immediately to mind.) But they do require more concentration and commitment than the average book in my piles, which makes them harder to pick up and start. :)
I have a large stack of them, which I do intend to get to, but I have to be in the right frame of mind for them. Sometimes anything more than a Golden Age or historical mystery is right out.
Bookish Blerd 2 weeks ago
This sounds super interesting. I'm intrigued now.
Murder by Death 2 weeks ago
It really was very good and a quick read, too. I had to do some research on the author because of those errors, and because he's just so freely expressive of his feelings on each subject. It seems he's primarily an etymologist and has done some column writing for a few newspapers, which likely explains his narrative style (and the fact that he doesn't know a tortoise from a turtle). If you like fun facts about science that go a little bit deeper than average, this is a great book. :)
Elentarri's Book Blog 2 weeks ago
I've noticed that most american's refer to any reptile with a shell as a turtle - doesn't matter if it has flippers or feet. The rest of the world differentiates between turtles, tortoises and terrapins.
I think this book's author is British ...
Elentarri's Book Blog 2 weeks ago
In that case... his research is shoddy!
... and I guess it's not exactly an excuse that he's a linguist first and foremost ...

(I'm still planning to read it, though.)
Murder by Death 2 weeks ago
Don't know about the American thing - I'm a Yank and I've always known the difference, although as a kid I do remember just calling them all turtles. Probably because, living in Florida, the statistical probability is that they are all turtles (except for the rarely seen box tortoises), - or terrapins, which is a rarely used term in Florida, although most of our non-tortoises are, in fact, terrapins.

The author of this book though, is, as TA said, British, and it's a UK publication, so it seems odd it wasn't caught, especially as he was discussing the Galapagos Tortoises; even as a kid we knew to call them tortoises. ;)

Overall though, the book was worth reading.
I've only used the term "terrapin" to describe members of the team at the University of Maryland. (They are the Maryland Terrapins. Their motto is "Fear the Turtle.")

My experience is that everything is called a turtle. Box tortoises are "box turtles," sea turtles are sea turtles, and the critters on Galapagos islands are "Galapagos turtles." It's like the generic term for animals of that shape is "turtle." Maybe it's just a Carolinas thing; I don't know.
I read a very good bio of Chanel a couple of years ago. Calling her a Nazi agent (the most incompetent imaginable) is probably fair.
Murder by Death 2 weeks ago
Ok - what little I read has always left it as "nobody really knows"; I remember when I read The Hotel on Place Vendome, the author leaned towards calling her out as a nazi spy, but stopped short and said the evidence was inconclusive and could be argued either way. It would be nice to know for sure, although I can't afford Chanel and never liked the scent of No. 5 anyway. :D
It's one of the two areas of her life about which Chanel lied the most. (With her childhood and adolescence.) But it's pretty clear she went far beyond "I kept quiet to survive the Nazis" or "I collaborated with the Nazis to make a lot of money" (which was not the case, as she closed her salon in 1939) to something worse than that.

Review of bio: http://susannag.booklikes.com/post/1124624/coco-chanel-and-the-pulse-of-history .
Murder by Death 2 weeks ago
Thanks - it seems that there's more to prove her nazi connection than not. Disappointing and disgusting.
Midu Reads 2 weeks ago
This looks so good!