Amazon has an annoying (and highly profitable) habit of suggesting books I might like, based on my past searches and purchase history. Occasionally their software for figuring out what else they can sucker me into impulse buying goes horribly wrong, often with amusing results. Here’s a recent example:

I searched for 88 Reasons Why The Rapture Will Be In 1988, by Edgar Whisenant, a former NASA rocket scientist turned apocalyptic 1970s prophet. Since it sold more than a quarter million copies before obsoleting itself, I figured I could pick it up on the cheap. No such luck: one copy, used, $50 bucks.

But I noticed this in the “You Might Also Enjoy” box: 21 Life Lessons From Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb. Presumably folks that buy a book with a number in the title (88) will be interested in any other book with a number in its title (21). On an off topic note, 88 Reasons also happens to have the best review ever on Amazon:

This book really stands the test of time. Looking back, the world clearly ended on September 11, 1988 and everything since has been an illusion. I highly recommend this book for anyone who loves irony.

Which is actually what piqued my interest in the first place.