What I’ve been Reading

1. Gail Hareven, The Confessions of Noa Weber.  This newly translated Israeli novel was a great deal of fun, without being too light.  Recommended.

2. 1,000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die, by Tom Moon.  It's mostly popular music but a mix of everything.  I was amazed how much this guy's taste, including on particular classical recordings, matched my own.  This is a more serious book than the packaging indicates.

3. Miles, Ornette, Cecil, by Howard Mandel.  I never considered putting this one down.  It appeals to readers who are already fans but it is also a good start for expanding your horizons beyond "traditional" jazz.

4. Jason Scott Smith, Building New Deal Liberalism, The Political Economy of Public Works, 1933-1956.  A very good book arguing the case for New Deal public works projects, primarily on grounds of growth (not stimulus).  I also enjoyed Robert D. Leighninger's Long-Range Public Investment: The Forgotten Legacy of the New Deal.

5. Keith Thomas, The Ends of Life: Roads to Fulfillment in Early Modern England.  His Religion and the Decline of Magic is one of my favorite history books ever (he tells us that, in equilibrium, a certain number of people should pretend to be witches, to get what they want).  The new one is impeccably researched and written, but I don't see so much original material there.  I can honestly call it a good book but for me it was a disappointment.


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