Amazon – my river of shame

I’m feeling confessional, so here are the 15 things that Amazon recommend that I buy, based on previous purchases.

With sheepish explanations.

Make that “embarrassed and sheepish” explanations.

1. Carrying the Fire: An Astronaut’s Journeys
by Michael Collins, Charles Lindbergh

I’ve always been fascinated by the space race, child of the 60s, “space the final frontier” “a giant leap for mankind” and all that. It is the one bright and shining thing that America has done as a nation in the last 50 years.

2. Monstrous Regiment (Discworld)
by Terry Pratchett

I’m a Pratchett fan. So sue me.

3. Night Watch (Discworld)
by Terry Pratchett

Ok, a devoted Pratchett fan. Sub poena me and make me appear in court while you’re at it.

4. Thornography
~ Cradle Of Filth

My friend goes out with the lead singer of a band called “My Dying Bride” – I bought a copy of their latest CD so that the band can sign it and I can send it to my 22 year old former step-son. I either gain loads of kooldos or else he has something to sell on ebay. Either way, better than sending him vouchers.

5. The Last Man on the Moon
by Eugene Cernan

See (1) above.

6. Diaries: Into Politics: Into Politics Vol 2
by Alan Clark, Ion Trewin (Editor)

I bought the Alan Clark diaries three years ago for the father of the former step-son. They’ve been haunting my Amazon recommendations ever since. “How the ghost of you clings, these foolish things, etc.”

7. Corinthian
by Georgette Heyer

Comfort reading. Actually, I rather like the Corinthian. Nonsense, but such fun.

8. Going Postal (Discworld)
by Terry Pratchett

See (2) above

9. The Right Stuff
by Tom Wolfe

See (1) above

10. Moondust: In Search of the Men Who Fell to Earth
by Andrew Smith


11. Scenarios: The Art of Strategic Conversation
by Kees Van Der Heijden


12. The Nonesuch
by Georgette Heyer

Comfort reading, see (7), though I find the heroine’s virtue rather tedious. I prefer Heyer’s more “rackety” couples, such as Venitia and Demerel or Mary and Vidal. I know too much about this, don’t I?

13. Apollo 13: Anniversary Edition
by Jim Lovell, Jeffrey Klugar

See (1)

14. Competitive Advantage
by Michael E. Porter


15. Scenario Planning: The Link Between Future and Strategy
by Mats Lindgren, Hans Bandhold


No Booker-prize winners. No modern fiction. No grownup stuff at all really. Mind you, I buy off their resellers whenever I can – why buy a book for 12 quid when you can buy it for 4? Recent parcels had the “Time Traveller’s Wife” “To Kill a Mockingbird” and a book by Sokal debunking post-modernist academia. But I have a horrible feeling that it boils down to a habit of comfort-reading, and certain geekiness, the fact that I don’t trust myself in the “business” section of Waterstones, and the belief that there is no better gift than a book.

How about you? What does Amazon think you’d like to read next?

3 responses to “Amazon – my river of shame

  1. Oh, good grief. Amazon thinks that the things I would like to read consist of:

    Budget-priced black and white reprints of comics from the 1950s-1970s. Well, yes, I would like to read some of the ones they suggest, but not all of them. They have eight suggestions for me, ranging from Superman (too boring) through Teen Titans (rather fun, in a guilty pleasure sort of way) to Jonah Hex (seriously odd). I already have the volumes in the series that actually interest me.

    Vocal selections from various modern musicals, suggested because I recently invested in some relatively up to date collections of songs for tenors. Some of the suggestions aren’t bad, actually, but I don’t know if I have the stamina to learn the ludicrously complicated songs for ‘The Last Five Years’. Four suggestions.

    The works of Neil Gaiman. Well, the ones I don’t already own. Gaiman is good.

    A P.G. Wodehouse anthology. I must have purchased my book group copy of the Jeeves book we read from Amazon.

    Nothing work-related. Nothing particularly worthy. Oh well.

  2. Well, you space-lovin’, fantasy-readin’, conscientious worker you! Amazon is still trying to sell me babycare books, which is beyond the pale. Don’t they know I no longer have any under-ones in the house any more?

  3. Actually, that’s rather poor, Charlotte. If they were clever they would be offering you books for five year olds by now, and notching it up a year every 12 months. With the option to not be offered children’s books ever again, in case.

    Singing Librarian, you are right, it is the unworthiness of my selections which depress me. I must read pretentious and impressive stuff, surely? Apparently not.


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