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June 8, 2011

So as most of you know I like to read and about a week before leaving for India, I bought the Barnes and Noble Nook.  It has been wonderful.   It reads very similar to a book, not very much strain on the eyes, the only annoying thing is that you see the book has 200 pages, well on the Nook it means it has 400 or 600.  That can take you down an octave.  I have downloaded about twenty books, all for free, many of those are older books and so their copyrights have expired, and I didn’t have to take twenty books in my luggage.

So what have I actually read while I’ve been here:

In Spite of the Gods by Edward Luce.  This is a book about the emergence of India as a power, and how some of its culture, especially its religions, and the government is holding it back.  This was the one book I took with me, given to me by the Calhouns, and was a great book because some of the trends and events it outlined, I could ask about and feign knowledge of.

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Phillip K. Dick.  This is a pretty famous sci fi novel.  Blade Runner was based on this book, and I watched it one night last week, and although it does a good job, it doesn’t quite capture the whole of the novel, it makes it just an action movie–as almost always the book was better than the movie.

The Alchemist by Paul Coehlo.  I had already read this once about five years ago, but saw that it was a free download and so downloaded it and read it again.  It is a very short novel and a very easy read, but also very inspirational, it’s all about going after your dreams.  Also has some very good quotes.

The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells.  So this was an older book and I knew the basic storyline before I started it, I mean it is called the Invisible Man, but it was still good.  It was more about human nature than just being invisible.  It was a good book, not great.  I got it from a site called project Gutenberg.

The Case for Gold, a Minority Report by Ron Paul.  Well, Ron Paul talks all the time about ending the Fed and going to a gold standard and while I agree I had not read anything specifically about that.  In addition to his reasoning of why we should end the Fed and go gold, he gives a fairly brief economic history of the US.  Even though this was written in ’82 I think, it is probably even more relevant today.  You get to see how Paul was wrong on some points, but also very right on some.  It was a free download from Ludwig von mises site.

The Great Stagnation by Tyler Cowen.  This is an extremely short book, I think 15000 words, and Cowen basically talks about how the US and other developed nations are stagnating because of the lack of innovation that helps all sectors of society, excepting the internet, and because of how large the public sector has become.  A pretty short read, here is Cowen talking about his book on a radio show called econtalk.

The Law by Frederic Bastiat.  This is actually an essay more than a book, I guess its about the same size of the Great Stagnation, but it is about how law has been perverted from its true objective, justice.  Written in about 1850, this is also more relevant today.  You can find it on the Mises site or just search for it online.

The Princess Bride, A classic tale of …. by Morgenstern, abridged by Goldman.  So I had seen the movie, many many times, but didn’t know anything about the book.  Goldman says that the original P Bride was written right after WWI, a satire about Florin society.  His father had read the book to him, but left out the boring parts.  Goldman says the book inspired him to become a writer and so gave the original to his son to read and found it was awful, so Goldman just had to do the abridging, as per his father, to make it a great book.  All of that is just another layer of fantasy!!  Fooled me good, I didn’t know until good old Wikipedia told me.  I just want to say that the movie is a fantastic reproduction of the book…but if you like the movie you should read the book too, why not?

So that’s all the reading I’ve done so far(some of those were fairly short so don’t expect me to keep up the pace).


2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 11, 2011 12:58 pm

    I love your book reviews! Keep it up! Have you ever read anything by Rohinton MIstry? He is an Indian-born Canadian author. “A Fine Balance” is a must-read.

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