Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Book spinner on the side

...and what those books are.

I've read 8 of these 10, some more then once. If it's up there, its because I personally belive it to be an an eye opener, a perspective re-setter, fundamental for realistic beliefs, or just crazy interesting. So, quick summary for each book is here for your enjoyment, enlightenment, or boredom-at-work-killer.

Freakonomics: The Hidden Side of Everything by Levitt and Dubner
Taking an economist's approach to other issues or conundrums in the world, Stephen Levitt lays out the Chicago School system, the 90's crime solutions in New York, a person's first name and its effect on their life, and the danger of Handguns vs. Swimming Pools. Rife with memorable anecdotes, historical examples and statistical analysis, Freakonomics meanders through a wide range of topics with stunning clarity. It begins and ends with a person's incentive, and how these incentives govern how we collectively act.
I've read this 3 times, and listened to the audio book once.
It's an eye-opener, a perspective re-setter, and crazy interesting. (it'll come in really handy at some boring Christmas party, mark my words.)

Empire of Wealth: An Epic History of the United States by John Gordon Steele
Epic History is a broad, over arching look at a topic, and an Epic History is what Steele has penned. From Jamestown to Independence to agricultural expansion to industrial revolution to civil war to Wall Street to the Depression and through Pax Americana, it is a focus on US economy rather then the military conquests. Such a perspective is seldom presented, and it is pivotally important. I've read this book twice.
It's a perspective re-setter, and a eye-opener

Basic Economics: A Citizen's Guide to the Economy by Thomas Sowell

Being home schooled, this was actually my economics textbook in high school, and I learned far more from it then from my Keynesian nut ball economics book in college. Easy to read, easy to understand, with no charts nor baffling statistics. It's economic fact and theory presented with analogies and historical examples from a personal liberty perspective.
It's a fundamental book for realistic beliefs, and maybe even a perspective re-setter.

My Grandfather's Son: A Memoir by Clarence Thomas
I have not read this, but Gino said too. So, it's probably good. At least a little.

Generation Kill by Evan Wright

Evan Wright was an embedded reporter with the Marine Recon battalion surging into Iraq in Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003. Its gritty, its raw, its the war as seen from the back right seat of a Marine's Humvee. Fascinating portraits of men who grew up blasting pixels on video games, now rolling through Iraq, and their 21 day journey of conquest. Riveting in detail and subject, its the finest piece of modern history I have read, and I am doubtful that anything will surpass it for years to come. HBO even made a series off of it, similar to the Band of Brothers.
It's eye-opening and crazy, crazy interesting.

Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Red wing by Marcus Luttrel
I have not read this, but Gino said too. So, it's probably good. At least a little. Probably.

A Splendid Exchange: How Trade Shaped the World by William J. Bernstein
An epic history of the world, and how the vagaries of trade formed the world we live in. From the Chinese and the Arab traders, the black plague, Portuguese, Dutch, Spanish, British, and now American dominance of the seas, Bernstein has traced a marvelous condensation of world history through the eyes of economic development.
Its both eye-opening and perspective re-setting, and crazy interesting.

Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto by Mark Levin
A bed rock book for any budding conservative, questioning moderate, or even the die-hard republican, Levin's Manifesto is a exemplary distillation of conservative ideals.
It's fundamental for realistic beliefs.

The Post-American World by Fareed Zakaria

This is not a eulogy to the United States, but a celebration of the rise of other nations. Its a prediction about the future, where the US is only one power player, albeit a very powerful one, in a world of regional powers. China, India, Russian, Brazil and South Africa rising the occasion, in a world of peace carved out by the United States. Globalism come to nest, and the benefits to be reaped are enormous.
Its eye-opening, perspective re-setting, and crazy interesting.

General book discussion starts in the comments!


Solameanie said...

I have to confess the sin of envy. How do you have time to read so many books? I have a pretty sizable library that I can't even get to. I'll be six feet under before I have time to read these days, and I love to read.

It's depressing.

Palm boy said...

I read at night before bed and on my lunch breaks, and since I have frequent long car rides for trips and such, I get good reading done there.

It only took me 7 weeks to get through Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged.

Gino said...

i read lone survivor in two nights. it was that riveting.

you really do need to read it. i mean it.

and any fan of clarence thomas will love his book. what i like about is that he's often times hard on himself, doesnt shirk blame for any of his mistakes, and calls them how he sees them. very straight forward critiques of some of those involved in his political rise.
he names names, without blinking.

Celestial Fundie said...

They sound really interesting.

The Marchioness said...

I read "Lone Survivor", and I found it more sad than interesting. Maybe my feminine emotions got in the way, but when there's no Christian forgiveness or healing at the end of such a tragic story, it's sad!

The Marchioness said...

By the way, I'm reading "1776" and loving it. Have you read that yet?