Assorted links

1. Markets in everything: New York City garbage cube.

2. Follow Tyler Cowen's Ethnic Dining Guide on Twitter here.

3. The fingernails of James Blackshaw.

4. Favorite Haydn recordings; I say start with the late piano sonatas, Op.76 string quartets, and save the choral works for live performance.


Not much of a Haydn fan, but I admit that I keep coming back to Richter's charming 1960 Carnegie Hall performacne of Sonata no. 60...

The garbage cube is the best cube since the time cube.

If you skip the Haydn choral works on record, you are missing John Eliot Gardiner's versions of the masses, which are revelatory. Trust me on this one.

I don't agree that Haydn can be hard to really love, 'cause I really love him. With the typical myopia of the infatuated, I find it hard to understand how anyone could really fail to respond to his wit, grace, and invention.

Listening to Haydn's late string quartets is an exciting but ultimately frustrating experience. To put it bluntly, it feels like a lot of sex but without climax.

the post below, normblog, reminded me of some of the blowhards around here that pride themselves on their reading skills

September 09, 2009

Unread books

Suppose you read four books a week every week for 70 years. Allowing for a day here and there where you're unable to read, we can call that 200 books a year, and 14,000 books over the whole three score years and ten. It's a lot of books. But relative to all the books there are, it's a tiny, tiny fraction. According to the guy who manages the Google Books metadata team, at the latest count the books in the world now total 168,178,719. Your 14,000 books are just 0.008324477724 per cent of that. You can think of it as follows. Suppose all the books in the world made up a single calendar year, and you were reading through the pages of that year, cover to cover. Then, 14,000 books - and that's going some - would only get you through the first 44 minutes of the year. There'd still be 364 days, 23 hours and 16 minutes that you hadn't read. And if you get through fewer than 14,000 books in your lifetime, it will look even worse. Comforting in a way.

strongly disagree with the Haydn advice:
If you safe the vocal recordings for live performances, you'd miss some of the most exciting vocal recordings of the last decades -
the period instrument recordings by Hengelbrock and Jacobs of Schöpfung and Jahreszeiten respectivelz that Steven Smith cites are breath-taking and since neither of the tours much in the US (and neither is a big fan of repeating repertoire much), you're not likely to hear them live.

I think your posts are extremely well done and your choice of topic makes them even more interesting. An occasional bit of irony or an elegant twist in the phrase is a welcome relief.

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