75 Books 26-30: Ehrman, Hitchens, Taibbi, Logue and Conradi

26. The Lost Gospel of Judas – Bart Ehrman

This book is very similar to most of Ehrman’s other books, but it focuses a bit on the Gospel of Judas.  It’s an interesting subject, if only because seriously, Judas had to do what he did for Jesus to save humanity, so why is it that he isn’t praised rather than condemned?  I didn’t love the book, but it was pretty good.  B

27. Forged – Bart Ehrman

I loved this book, it felt more focused than some of his other work.  I cannot over recommend it to anyone who is interested in the history of the Bible. A

28. Monarchy – Christopher Hitchens

This barely qualifies as a book, but I’m counting it because it took me over a month to get my hands on it.  I had to have it shipped from an out-of-state library.  It wasn’t that great, if only because anti-monarchy arguments are fairly, you know, obvious.  It was interesting to see how Hitch wrote 20 years ago, though. B-

29. Griftopia – Matt Taibbi

Read this.  Right now.  Not even kidding.  The most fascinating read about the financial crisis and melt down and who is to blame for it.  I learned a lot about Alan Greenspan who I now despise.  Also, he makes fun of Ayn Rand, which really always makes me happy.  I feel obligated to find and read a lot more Taibbi. A+

We live in an economy that is immensely complex and we are completely at the mercy of the small group of people who understand it — who incidentally often happen to be the same people who built these wildly complex economic systems. We have to trust these people to do the right thing, but we can’t, because, well, they’re scum. Which is kind of a big problem, when you think about it.

30. The King’s Speech – Mark Logue and Peter Conradi

Pretty good, interesting to see the actual history and how it got changed and consolidated for the film.  Very very good.

Hitchens on 60 Minutes

I'm a member of a cancer elite. I rather look down on people with lesser cancers.

I went to my mom's house for dinner last night and, as luck would have it, Hitch was on 60 minutes.  My adoration of Mr. Hitchens is well covered on this blog, but suffice to say that while I don't agree with all of his opinions, I have a not insignificant admiration for his incredible intellect and his willingness to be wrong and correct himself.  He has never sought perfection, except perhaps in being a scoundrel, and I respect that.  People who are willing to look human in front of others are rare, people who can do that and still be a towering intellectual asshole, well… what's not to love?

The piece was pretty good, even though I have some issues with Mr. Kroft from the way he handled the interview with Assange.  I don't mind biased reporting, but hostile reporting is a bit much.  It was ultimately probably good for Assange, because Assange stayed calm in the face of some obnoxious questions, but it still rankled.  Kroft seems to be madly in love with Hitchens, though, so there was less of that.

They mentioned a book by Hitchens called "Monarchy" which was released in 1990.  It is apparently out of print because to buy it online I can only find prices from $122-$270.  I'm trying to convince my library to get a copy.  I've got to call them in a minute to see if there's any library they can get it on loan from.  Why aren't all books available digitally yet?  Isn't it the future already.  My library will lend books digitally, but mostly just really bad ones and not on the kindle, which I'd be upset about if the book quality was more convincing.

Also, Christopher Hitchens has grown a sweet beard, it makes him look 90% healthier than he did 6 months ago.