What I’ve been reading

1. Among Others, by Jo Walton.  I loved this book.  It won a Nebula Award, but is more about the power of books than being a work of science fiction per se.

2. Frances Ashcroft, The Spark of Life: Electricity in the Human Body.  One of the remaining popular science topics which has not been exhausted by popular books and so this volume is both instructive and entertaining and comes across as fresh.

3. James C. Scott, Two Cheers for Anarchism: Six Easy Pieces on Autonomy, Dignity, Meaningful Work and Play.  He really is an anarchist, left-wing at that, but I couldn’t quite find a central core here, much as I admire his other books.

4. Derek S. Hoff, The State and the Stork: The Population Debate and Policy Making in US History.  Good survey of early 20th century debates on population and birth rates and eugenics; these topics are making a comeback.

5. Roger Scruton, How to Think Seriously About the Planet: The Case for an Environmental Conservatism.  I like Elinor Ostrom as much as the next guy, and this book is well-written, but I am not persuaded by the argument that environmental issues fundamentally can be handled on a local level.  At least a few important ones cannot.

Also of note are:

6. Political Arithmetic: Simon Kuznets and the Empirical Tradition in Economics, by Robert Fogel, Enid Fogel, Mark Guglielmo, and Nathaniel Grotte.

7. Gary B. Gorton, Misunderstanding Financial Crises: Why We Don’t See Them Coming.


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