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May 19, 2018

I'm trying something new. Twenty years ago, before Amazon revealed its monopolistic intentions, I signed on to their associates program, where I'd get a % of any purchases made via my links. It worked great for about a year or two, then they arbitrarily changed the linking conventions. So, if I wanted to get paid, I had to manually recode all my old links. Not surprisingly, those links still worked to get customers to the right pages at Amazon--they just wouldn't give me my fair share of the sales. This became a pattern which continues to this day--a continually changing set of rules and rates which benefits Amazon and screws the so-called associate. Over two decades, I created scores upon scores of links, all of which still work to deliver customers, none of which result in payment for me. Classic bait and switch and I loathe them for it, but it shouldn't be a surprise--exploiting peons is their business model. Even worse, I still buy stuff from them when it's convenient/cheap enough for me. I am a selfish hypocrite! But I'm working on it. Part of my penance is to go through PoD and replace every amazon link with a link to Powell's, an independent bookstore in Portland, OR, that has a partner program of its own. I predict their links won't go stale. Won't you join me in the disentanglement? 
West with the Night book
1959 book cover
Lost Connections book cover
West With The Night
Found this in a free book kiosk, a single blurb on the back saying Beryl Markham put most "professional" writers such as himself to shame; the quote was from Ernest Hemingway. Markham was the first woman to fly the Atlantic solo from east to west, but that adventure is treated almost as an afterthought to a rich and varied youth in British colonial Africa. Worth a look!
1959: The Year Everything Changed
Once you get past the hype of the subtitle and a slightly over-the-top introduction intent on proving that point, this is an interesting cultural assessment of significant events, some of which really can be pinpointed to 1959, while others are blips on a broader historical continuum. Everybody's gotta have a gimmick. Regardless, this book goes down easy and is quite informative.
Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression & the Unexpected Solutions
Heard an interview with the author and was so impressed I listened twice. You don't have to be depressed and/or anxious to read this. In diagnosing what we get wrong about mental health, it confronts larger social, economic, and cultural maladies.