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Old Mar 24, 2015, 05:05 PM   #2976
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Excellent, excellent. It was a fun, easy, and very interesting read.
Well, it is sitting on my sofa begging to be read, and I look forward to reading it.

However, it must contend for space with a few others. Last week's reading comprised books on the Amish (four), and Aspergers (also a few), along with Susan Cain on Introversion.

Now, also on the sofa are a few works on medieval stuff: A few books on King John (his life, times, wars, Magna Carta and all that), a beautiful, fat, heavy, solid, exquisitely produced hard-back (full of maps and pictures) called 'Castle - A History Of The Buildings That Shaped Medieval Britain' by Marc Morris, and a lovely book - for children, which I bought in a museum - called 'Knight - The Medieval Warrior's Manual' by Michael Prestwick.

Also seeking my attention are books on counterinsurgency, and a few on the economics of conflict and war (serious, solid, thoughtful heavy books, both physically and mentally), some on actual economics (I have yet to read Thomas Picketty's book though it is attempting to prod my conscience, sitting on the back of the sofa); however, before I read that, I am more likely to slip into the fascinating 'Debt - The First 5,000 Years' written by David Graeber which arrived last week.

Then, there are two on IS - one of which - 'The Rise of Islamic State' is by the serious and informed journalist and excellent writer Patrick Cockburn, while the other, 'Temptations of Power - Islamists And Illiberal Democracy In A New Middle East' is written by Shadi Hamid, and a door-stopper of a book by Richard Sakwa with a publication date of 2015 called, simply, 'Frontline Ukraine'.

But I often seem to be reading a few books simultaneously, frequently on similar or related subjects.
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Old Mar 24, 2015, 05:21 PM   #2977
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Originally Posted by Scepticalscribe View Post
Well, it is sitting on my sofa begging to be read, and I look forward to reading it.

However, it must contend for space with a few others. Last week's reading comprised books on the Amish (four), and Aspergers (also a few), along with Susan Cain on Introversion.

Now, also on the sofa are a few works on medieval stuff: A few books on King John (his life, times, wars, Magna Carta and all that), a beautiful, fat, heavy, solid, exquisitely produced hard-back (full of maps and pictures) called 'Castle - A History Of The Buildings That Shaped Medieval Britain' by Marc Morris, and a lovely book - for children, which I bought in a museum - called 'Knight - The Medieval Warrior's Manual' by Michael Prestwick.

Also seeking my attention are books on counterinsurgency, and a few on the economics of conflict and war (serious, solid, thoughtful heavy books, both physically and mentally), some on actual economics (I have yet to read Thomas Picketty's book though it is attempting to prod my conscience, sitting on the back of the sofa); however, before I read that, I am more likely to slip into the fascinating 'Debt - The First 5,000 Years' written by David Graeber which arrived last week.

Then, there are two on IS - one of which - 'The Rise of Islamic State' is by the serious and informed journalist and excellent writer Patrick Cockburn, while the other, 'Temptations of Power - Islamists And Illiberal Democracy In A New Middle East' is written by Shadi Hamid, and a door-stopper of a book by Richard Sakwa with a publication date of 2015 called, simply, 'Frontline Ukraine'.

But I often seem to be reading a few books simultaneously, frequently on similar or related subjects.
Ahh, now Debt - The First 5,000 Years by David Graeber is something I picked up and looked through while browsing one day. I was sorely tempted to buy it, but I was already laden with other purchases (a trip to the bookstore can be just as dangerous to the wallet as hanging around the espresso thread).

Let me know what you think.
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Old Mar 24, 2015, 05:34 PM   #2978
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Ahh, now Debt - The First 5,000 Years by David Graeber is something I picked up and looked through while browsing one day. I was sorely tempted to buy it, but I was already laden with other purchases (a trip to the bookstore can be just as dangerous to the wallet as hanging around the espresso thread).

Let me know what you think.

Agreed.

Wallets get mauled in the most unlikely of spots. Espresso threads are only the start of the matter.

Mine was in my hand this very afternoon (though not actually called upon) when I somehow (don't ask me how and why) happened to alight on a website with the inviting name of 'theethiopiancoffeecompany.co.uk…….I shall find it hard not to make a visit of a more personal, and pressing nature, with wallet to hand, naturally.

You are quite right, though. Mine also gets a battering when I visit my wine merchants, (alas, I am on their mailing list, and horribly attractive offers appear most weeks).

This does not even begin to address my book buying habit - every week, parcels arrive……..and their contents are mostly read, and sometimes are actually devoured.
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Old Mar 25, 2015, 06:05 AM   #2979
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Currently I am reading the Robert Langdon series. I am about half way through the last book(Inferno).

I would highly suggest the series.
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Old Mar 25, 2015, 06:13 AM   #2980
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Old Mar 25, 2015, 06:44 AM   #2981
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and a few on the economics of conflict and war (serious, solid, thoughtful heavy books, both physically and mentally)
Try the Wages of Destruction by Tooze. Really, really interesting. Basically an economic history of the Germany's war effort (WWII). I think it's particularly interesting at the moment - bearing in mind Germany's current economic strength we tend to put our modern assumptions back onto that period.

I've just finished...



Well, what the heck was that all about?

I've loved his previous stuff (my favourite along with Remains of the Day was Never Let me Go which I found profoundly moving) so I rushed out and bought it in hardback the day after it was released. Hmmm...

Anyone on here read it and loved it?
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Old Mar 25, 2015, 09:39 AM   #2982
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Try the Wages of Destruction by Tooze. Really, really interesting. Basically an economic history of the Germany's war effort (WWII). I think it's particularly interesting at the moment - bearing in mind Germany's current economic strength we tend to put our modern assumptions back onto that period.

I've just finished...

Image

Well, what the heck was that all about?

I've loved his previous stuff (my favourite along with Remains of the Day was Never Let me Go which I found profoundly moving) so I rushed out and bought it in hardback the day after it was released. Hmmm...

Anyone on here read it and loved it?
Re Kazuo Ishiguru, I read 'The Remains of the Day' and really loved it (and also loved the movie, one of the rare examples of a sensitive and superb adaptation faithful in tone, setting and content to the original), a wonderful book, elegiac, subtly disturbing, beautifully written and deeply sad.

However, I haven't read anything else by him.

Adam Tooze? I have heard of him, but haven't read that particular book. At one stage in my life, I read what seemed like an staggering - nay, almost embarrassing - amount of books on Nazi Germany - how many biographies of that man can one have on a book shelf and still claim a grounded connection with the human race? and eventually cried a halt. With Hitler and Stalin, and their respective horrible worlds battling for space on my bookshelves, one has to issue a cease and desist order eventually.

Nevertheless, if you truly recommend this, I will take a look.

Re the German economy, the beginning of the postwar recovery, and the choices made to enable that, over twenty years ago I read a deeply disturbing book called 'Blind Eye To Murder', written by the 'Panorama' journalist Tom Bower.

Re economies and grey areas, along with conflict, legitimate and illegitimate, Misha Glenny (a writer I have long liked a lot) has written an excellent and very disturbing book called 'McMafia'. Well worth a look.

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Old Mar 25, 2015, 10:02 AM   #2983
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Re Kazuo Ishiguru, I read 'The Remains of the Day' and really loved it (and also loved the movie, one of the rare examples of a sensitive and superb adaptation faithful in tone, setting and content to the original), a wonderful book, elegiac, subtly disturbing, beautifully written and deeply sad.

However, I haven't read anything else by him.

Adam Tooze? I have heard of him, but haven't read that particular book. At one stage in my life, I read what seemed like an staggering - nay, almost embarrassing - amount of books on Nazi Germany - how many biographies of that man can one have on a book shelf and still claim a grounded connection with the human race? and eventually cried a halt. With Hitler and Stalin, and their respective horrible worlds battling for space on my bookshelves, one has to issue a cease and desist order eventually.

Nevertheless, if you truly recommend this, I will take a look.

Re the German economy, the beginning of the postwar recovery, and the choices made to enable that, over twenty years ago I read a deeply disturbing book called 'Blind Eye To Murder', written by the 'Panorama' journalist Tom Bower.

Re economies and grey areas, along with conflict, legitimate and illegitimate, Misha Glenny (a writer I have long liked a lot) has written an excellent and very disturbing book called 'McMafia'. Well worth a look.

Couple of quick replies - thought the film (Remains of the Day) was great but thought Emma Thompson (great as she is) was miscast - far too attractive to be convincing etc


The Wages of Destruction - I hear what you're saying about becoming unhinged if you read too much of that sort of stuff but do look at the reviews of this one on Amazon. You might be tempted by it! I suspect Tom Bowers book would make me angry. (Don't get me started on Speer...) I'll check out McMafia.
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Old Mar 25, 2015, 10:26 AM   #2984
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Couple of quick replies - thought the film (Remains of the Day) was great but thought Emma Thompson (great as she is) was miscast - far too attractive to be convincing etc


The Wages of Destruction - I hear what you're saying about becoming unhinged if you read too much of that sort of stuff but do look at the reviews of this one on Amazon. You might be tempted by it! I suspect Tom Bowers book would make me angry. (Don't get me started on Speer...) I'll check out McMafia.
Tom Bower's book was superbly researched, (meticulous, rather than screaming sensationalism), and all the more unsettling for that. I might need to take a fresh look at it myself, as it is decades since I read it, but I thought it excellent.

Having promised myself, over two decades ago, that I would never again buy another biography of Adolf, a decade or so later, when I was teaching Modern European History (specialising in communist, post communist and Tsarist Russia and its various worlds, hence several biographies of Mr Stalin, too, on my shelves) in one of those venerable universities that go back some centuries, one of my colleagues, who taught the history of Weimar Germany, - and who was Jewish, and thus, held understandably strong views on these matters, strongly recommended Ian Kershaw's biographies of Hitler to me.

I explained my position which was that unless this was an absolute 'must-read', - a once per half century masterpiece - (several of the biographies of Hitler are derivative and are utter dross) I never wanted to buy another biography of the man. My colleague assured me that Kershaw's work falls into the 'must read' category, and one or two of my very good students made a similar argument.

Re Albert Speer, did you ever read Gitta Sereny's outstanding, meticulous, exquisitely written and clinically forensic biography, called 'Albert Speer - His Battle With The Truth'?
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Old Yesterday, 12:38 PM   #2985
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Having spent much of the past few days reading 'Quiet - The Power Of Introverts In A World That Can't Stop Talking' by Susan Cain - as recommended by at least two of the denizens on these fora - my grateful thanks to you, mobilehaathi, and also, to you, SandboxGeneral, it is a topic I would like to read more about.
I'm glad you enjoyed it.

For more reading of a similar theme, check out the blog 'The Introvert's Corner' by Sophia Dembling on the website Psychology Today.
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