Candide - Voltaire

This book is meant to make fun of Leibniz. It's fairly funny and I enjoyed it as a teenager, before I was familiar with Voltaire's other works.

Leibniz has a spotty record as a philosopher, but his contributions to mathematics go far beyond the calculus you normally hear about. His fingerprints are all over pure math and formal logic and computer science and computer hardware and engineering in general. Next time you're in an airplane and it doesn't crash, thank Leibniz twenty times over.

Voltaire, on the other hand, was a rich, sarcastic dickhead whose rants against Jewish and Black people were extremely racist even by the standards of the 18th century. Screw this book.

More English Fairy Tales - Joseph Jacobs

I was looking for a neat little traditional poem that Wordsworth mentioned, and Google gave me this extremely lively mix of familiar and less-familiar stories. Jacobs does an excellent job of finding good stories and retelling them in his own voice.

Clone High

Fifteen years later, this holds up really well, in spite of the odd dated pop culture reference and the Jack Black episode you can comfortably skip. Maybe the sharpest parody ever made.

Silence (2016)

Here's a picture of some Portuguese Jesuits executing people who were secretly practicing Judaism. As key members of the Portuguese Inquisition, the Jesuits searched for and massacred entire communities of hidden Jews from 1531 to 1773.

The Clouds - Aristophanes

Socrates farts.

Prometheus Unbound - Percy Shelley

This painting accurately represents the pain of the boredom I felt when reading this book. I can't believe someone read Prometheus Bound and thought this was the direction the story was supposed to take.

Brooklyn 99 - Season 5

Commedians in Cars Getting Coffee - Season 2

You can safely skip all these, even if you are a fan of the people being interviewed. The ones with Obama, Letterman, Carl Reiner, and Will Ferrell are just barely mildly entertaining. It's interesting to see Rickles drop his bit here and there, but he also makes weird comments at a waitress.

So The Wind Won't Blow It All Away

It's his most beautiful novel, the complete product of all his years of excellent prose and poetry. It's also painfully bleak and morbid in a way even his darkest books hadn't been.