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The 2008 Christmas List

December 3rd, 2008 Leave a comment Go to comments

1. The BFG, by Roald Dahl (1982). The Big Friendly Giant is good for kids and adults
both. It has the flavor of science fiction, and the way the BFG talks is hilarious.

2.Netflix instant movies. Netflix appeared in a previous list, but what is new is being able to watch
movies instantly on your computer. Netflix.com.

3. The Coincraft coin shop across from the British Museum. Roman coins for only one pound each, and
wonderful browsing in the shop, catalog, and website.

4. The
by Donald Knuth (1984). This famous computer manual will teach you TeX,
typesetting, and a lot of good quotations. It’s for reading through, not looking up.

5. Evidences of Christianity, by William Paley (1794). Paley’s watch-in-the-forest
argument for God, from another book, is better known. This book argues for Christianity specifically, using
historical rather than design arguments. Free at Gutenberg.org/etext/14780.

4. Economics and Jewish Law: Halakhic
by Aaron Levine (1987). The questions in this book on ethics and economics are as good
as the answers.

5. Stomp Rockets . It’s amazing how high a rocket powered merely by jumping-propelled air can go. Even
Faith could make it rise a few feet. See

6. Youth hostels . These are better than hotels for families, as well as cheaper. We stayed at the Eu
castle kitchens
in Normandy,
Melrose in Scotland, near the Abbey (the best), and Hawkshead

7. English country walks. The countryside and weather are ideal for walks, with varied scenery, marked
paths, villages, and sheep.

8. Britanny’s gites (farmhouses). We rented one near Languenan. In France, having your own kitchen is

9. To Teach the Senators Wisdom; or, An Oxford Guide Book by J.C.
Masterman (1952). This is a mix of travel guide and novel, as college fellows converse about what sights are the
essence of Oxford. It’s the best Oxford guide I have seen.

10. Watching the English: The Hidden Rules of English Behavior by Kate Fox (2004). Dr. Fox
is an anthropologist who studied English manners and conversation and wrote them up humorously but analytically.

11. Wacky Wednesday, by Theo LeSieg (Dr.Seuss) (1974). I didn’t know the LeSieg Seuss
books, a bit different from his usual style. This one is about a day when detached feet appear on ceilings and
mice chase cats.

12. Portsmouth. The Victory, other old ships, helicopter simulations, the modern naval base,
museums, an artillery museum (the Royal
Armoury), a partly Roman castle, the sea… It’s easy to get to and good for many visits.

Lists of good things from other years are at

Some other items this year: Fraser’s Flashman, McCall-Smith’s African mystery
books, Sights of Britain,
Cathedral, Bern, St. Malo, Walking with Dinosaurs,
HREF=”http://wwsdsd.housemdddd-guide.com/”> Rummy,
English sausages. The World of Peter Rabbit and Friends music CD. The Silver Chair
movie (1990, Alex Kirby),
pommeau aperitif,
Harry Potter books. British Museum coin exhibit.
Bernard Cornwell’s Sea Lord , Richard Fortey’s The Secret Life of the
Natural History Museum
, Carreg
Cennen Castle

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