Wednesday, July 1, 2009

What's That You're Reading?

I've done a fair bit of reading - I finished The Lost City, which was great until the end, which included a hallucination sequence that left me as confused as the afflicted character. Really a poor end to a well-told tale.

I also knocked through The Conscience of a Liberal, by Paul Krugman. I can say that I didn't expect to like or agree with this book, and for the most part I don't. Krugman is obviously a smart guy, and a pretty good writer, but there are certain statements in the book that are just so obviously laced with blind left slant that they seem to erode the general credibility of the message. One such passage describes the potential for vote-rigging and how this means the Republicans could steal elections. Is this not true for Democrats as well?! Anyone been to Chicago lately?? This is a shame, because much of the book is solid and somewhat eye-opening. I must admit to having my view on public health care softened somewhat by his well-written chapter on national health insurance. Overall it was worth my time to read this one.

After that, I read George Pelecanos' 'The Turnaround'. This was another in a long line of dark tales set in the DC area. This one wasn't AS dark as usual, and actually had a pretty happy ending, which was kind of refreshing. This is a good tale about family, responsibility, and moving forward in life by facing the past. I love pretty much all his books, but I particularly enjoyed this one.
I then read James Patterson's '1st to Die', which was a good book. Sometimes I have to read a fluffy mystery thriller here and there, and this fit the bill. I finished it in a couple days. Not great not bad.

On the plane rides to and from SD, I was able to push through another David Baldacci book, Last Man Standing, which was a standard fluffy mystery book. Always enjoyable and fun stories in my opinion.

Finally, on the way back, I read Clay Shirky's 'Here Comes Everybody'. This was a good follow-up to Don Tapscott's 'Wikinomics'. It's about the power of decentralized knowledge, and how the new technological advances have made barriers to entry for previously hard-to-breach industries so much lower. It was a good read, with a little more hard-core sociology to it rather than anecdotal tales that were the basis of Wikinomics. I'll probably check out the Long Tail pretty soon as the final word on this sort of 'new economy' reading.
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