* Courtesy of neoconjames, enjoy the hilarious snark as The Internet Theologian Explains The Da Vinci Code. I'm very glad that other people are carrying most of the burden of kicking Dan Brown, as I'm too busy and dispirited to do so satisfactorily.
* I can definitely recommend Steven Mithen's After the Ice: A Global Human History, 20,000 to 5000 BC. It's passed my First Reading with flying colors -- the book it most closely resembles is Geoffrey Bibby's still-unsurpassed Four Thousand Years Ago, only with serious discussions of the state of archaeological controversy as we go along. (It's also a useful framework for discussions of climate history, which I was into before Al Gore was.) A model for future works, one devoutly hopes, although I think we can lose the weird conceit of a wandering ghostly viewpoint character. Many thanks to the nice lady at Harvard University Press who gave it to me at BookExpo.
* And belatedly for Memorial Day, this sobering map. Many thanks to iamnikchick for pointing me toward it.