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Literary fiction, classics, dystopian, history, memoir, prize winners, and of course the 1001 books. You really might catch me reading anything!

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Empire of Cotton: A Global History
Sven Beckert
Progress: 220/656 pages

Numero Zero

Numero Zero - Umberto Eco, Richard Dixon

I loved the buildup and idea of this novel: creating a newspaper that will guess/investigate upcoming scandals. But it's not meant to ever exist--it is meant to get the creator/owner into the "inner circle" of publishers. By scaring the existing paper publishers with his incredible newspaper that will not report what has happened, but what might happen. And to do this, his team will create 12 "fake" papers based on past dates. Because it's easy to predict the news when it is in the past. And the paper isn't really the point at all--it's actually to be a book on the fake paper that will be ghostwritten by one of the staff. Only the editor and the staff writer know this.

It all sounds so absurd.

And then one of the editors begins researching a conspiracy theory involving Mussolini, his double, the WWII left-behinds, the CIA, the Vatican, Argentina, etc. His fellow staff think it sounds crazy (and suspect he is crazy).

Great build up, but I found the ending to be a let down. That guy ends up dead. Was it random, or did the CIA/Mafia shut him up? "Paper" is shuttered. But then the BBC has a documentary that is even crazier than his theories--complete with participant interviews. So was his murder random after all?