Jan 05, 2015

(latter part of) 2014 reading list

Books I read over the last few months: [1]

1. We Are Not Ourselves by Matthew Thomas
Irish-American family saga. A bit depressing, in a realistic way. I saw the author give a reading at the Ferry Building in San Francisco. Vivid imagery, which his reading brought out. I worry that I read the rest of it too quickly.

2. The Big Short by Michael Lewis
Read on a plane to Burkina Faso. The story of bankers who made a lot of money by remaining ignorant during the subprime lending scheme, and traders who made a lot of money by betting against this scheme.

3. The Forever War by Joe Haldeman
Really good. Sci-fi alien war with (mostly) realistic physics. Each time soldiers return to Earth from the front, Earth-time has galloped centuries ahead of soldier-time. May or may not serve as a memoir of the author's experience in Vietnam.

4. Global Economic History: A Very Short Introduction
by Robert C. Allen
Good quick explanation of why England industrialized when it did, and everything that followed.

5. Submergence by J.M. Ledgard
Oceanography. Somali Al-Qaeda affiliates. Old French chateau, now a hotel. Skinny dipping. Excruciating, long-term imprisonment. Love at first sight. What more could you want?

6. The Idealist by Nina Munk
Chronicles Jeffrey Sachs' Millennium Villages Project. Good examples of why development is very hard.

7. Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast
How do you deal with the decline, decay, and death of your parents? If you are a cartoonist, you write a cartoon memoir.

[1]: Excludes online media, academic articles, and books I am currently reading but have not finished.
[rereads: 1, edits: 0]