1. The World is What It Is, by Patrick French. This authorized (yes, authorized) biography digs up all the dirt on V.S. Naipaul; I’ve never read anything like it. Here is a Paul Theroux review. Here is another rave review. Theroux’s own self-loathing, quasi-fictional biography of his "friendship" with Naipaul — Sir Vidia’s Shadow — remains one of my favorite books but this is a wonderful sequel. And if you haven’t read through Naipaul’s ouevre you should, especially A Bend in the River, A Turn in the South, and Among the Believers, among others. There is something to be said for misanthropy raised to an art form and packed with intellectual content.
4. Problems with farm price futures, worth a read.