So I sometimes buy books from Amazon. Generally the cost is a little prohibitive because of postage, especially if I'm buying lots of secondhand ones which need to be sent from different dealers. But it seems I've bought enough to receive recommendations for other books or DVDs, because I get emails from them, which generally recommend books about (a) Russia, or (b) Jane Austen. Well done, Amazon! Spot on.
This latest recommendations email, however, was a bit weird. Granted, the first few items made sense.
Picturing Russia: Explorations in Visual Culture, by Valerie A. Kivelson and Joan Neuberger.
This because I bought a book a few months ago about a woman who was sent to the gulag during the Stalinist purges. Makes sense.
Koestler: The Literary and Political Odyssey of a Twentieth-Century Skeptic, by Michael Scammell.
This because I bought a book a couple of years ago which Arthur Koestler contributed to in the 1950s, about Soviet Communism, called The God That Failed.
Intimations of Austen, by Jane Greensmith.
A book of short stories based on Austen's novels. This for obvious reasons: I like Jane Austen and read/buy/watch-in-DVD-form a lot of her novels. (Although I am getting a bit sick of Austen-related books... is it just me or are we a bit oversaturated in Austen kitsch at the moment?)
Puppy's First Steps: Raising a Happy, Healthy, Well-Behaved Dog, by Nicholas H. Dodman
Dogs are fine, dogs are nice for other people, but I'm not a huge animal person and never - NEVER - have I bought animal-related literature on Amazon.
WEIRD. Why, Amazon? Why?