What I’ve been reading

1. John Carey, William Golding: The Man Who Wrote Lord of the Flies.  The subtitle gets at the point and I still can't finish his other books.  Much of his life he wasted in a state of repression.  Alcohol and boarding schools play roles in this story.  Recommended.

2. Why Europe: The Medieval Origins of its Special Path, by Michael Mitterauer.  How many of the preconditions for the European miracle were in place by the Middle Ages?  This isn't a fun book (translated from the German), but specialists should pick it up.  Here is one very serious review of the book (JSTOR).

3. Being Wrong: Adventuers in the Margin of Error, by Kathryn Schulz.  Why do we so enjoy being right and thus so often end up being wrong?  This is a good book for many people, but if you've been following Robin Hanson, you won't find it novel or rewarding.

4. Debra Satz, Why Some Things Should Not be for Sale: The Moral Limits of Markets.  How many books are there now on this topic?  Lots.  How many of them take seriously the notion that our moral intuitions can be badly misguided for judging the operation of an impersonal market economy in the modern world?  Not so many, though all seem to think they do.  

5.  Let me get this straight.  You, the beautiful and brilliant Hannah Arendt, are courted by a German philosopher, he writes lots of gobbledy-gook, becomes a Nazi, refuses for decades to apologize for his complicity, and, after the war, you dedicate books to him and arrange for translations of his work?  Here is a new book on this romance, Stranger from Abroad: Hannah Arendt, Martin Heidegger, Friendship and Forgiveness, by Daniel Maier-Katkin.  Is there perhaps a word missing from that title?  Who is it that buys the Heidegger-Arendt books, men or women?

6. Super Sad True Love Story, by Gary Shteyngart.  I didn't like his previous two books and I usually dislike pomo novels about cool-talking young people in major U.S. cities.  Still, the flood of very good reviews nudged me to read this and I'm glad I did.


Comments for this post are closed