Sunday, May 29, 2011

reviewing books

After clearing out my files and storing records, I ended my spring semester. This past week I have determined to do nothing productive. That is, take a vacation of sorts. What I like to do when doing nothing is read. I have quite a backlog of titles, mostly gifts, that I haven't had time for in the past year.

I started with Niall Ferguson's The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World. Despite its grandiose title, it is accessible to the general reader and written in an interesting fashion. If you could read only one book on the financial/banking crisis, this would be the one. It takes the reader by the hand from the beginning of modern financial markets less than four hundred years ago to the present, explaining how financial markets are inherently unstable. By the end you are not too surprised but still impressed by what happened in the past few years.

After this I purposed to stay away from anything having to do with economics. After all, I am on vacation. I started a recommended Indian (South Asian) novel, which will remain nameless. I read one hundred pages before I gave up. If it hasn't got you by then it is unlikely to ever do so. My wife also had a similar reaction. However if you want a real page-turner of an Indian novel, try Rohinton Mistry's A Fine Balance (an Oprah's Book Club selection).

On Thursday I grabbed off the shelf an unread book given as a gift, Robert Moore's On Hallowed Ground: The Story of Arlington National Cemetery. A great read and I didn't even realize when I started that I'd be finishing it over the Memorial Day weekend!

I'm about to pick up another given-some-time-ago-as-a-gift-but-still-unread book. I'll let you know how it goes.

Be blessed!

P.S. Tired of reading, last night we watched a very good film, End of the Spear. It is available on Netflix, DVD and on

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