Black Francis, Abbabubba – This B-side collection is fairly standard for such records, including some really good songs that didn’t really fit on albums, some stuff that you can see why it didn’t make it to an album, and some oddities. Included are studio versions of some of the songs on Christmass and remixes of “The Seus.” Highlights include the catchy title track and “Virginia Reel,” much of which consists of Frank rambling about bus fares and student discounts. I’m still not sure what “Il Cuchaiao” is about, although if you add another C (“Il Cucchaiao”), it’s apparently Italian for “the spoon.” I think the most notable thing about the song is how much Frank seems to be straining in his vocals.
Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible (And Why We Don’t Know About Them), by Bart Ehrman – I’ve read other works by Ehrman, a Biblical scholar and former fundamentalist Christian who’s now an agnostic, and I find his style pretty engaging. In this one, he talks about contradictions between the Gospels, and suggests reasons why they aren’t so widely known. Most of what he writes about is hardly new or controversial, having been discussed by scholars even in seminaries for years, but a lot of people choose to close their eyes to it because they’re so attached to the idea of the Bible being without contradictions. Ehrman also writes about his own experience, and how, while he no longer considers himself a Christian, it isn’t because of these contradictions. There’s no reason why learning about problems in the Bible would have to make someone lose their faith unless they’re just THAT attached to the literal interpretation. I didn’t like this one as much as the other Ehrman books I’ve read, but it was a good read.