What I’ve been reading

1. Penelope Lively, Moon Tiger.  It is an above-average Booker Prize winner and probably her best novel.  She remains undervalued in the United States.

2. John le Carré, The Naive and Sentimental Lover.  This is supposed to be one of his failed works, and it should have been much shorter, but at least half of it is pretty damned good.  It’s also a classic literary text on attitudes toward business and commerce.  No spies.

3. Alyn Shipton, Nilsson: The Life of a Singer-Songwriter.  Very good for fans.

4. Javier Marías, The Infatuations.  I’m not sold on the ending, but most of the time this feels like one of his two or three best books.  I don’t think it will be his breakthrough book to “truly famous like Rushdie or Coetzee global author” status, but that moment likely will come.

5. Tomoko Shiroyama, China During the Great Depression: Market, State, and the World Economy, 1929-1937.  A good introduction to an understudied but increasingly relevant topic.

Also arrived in my pile are:

6. Rachel Laudan, Cuisine and Empire: Cooking in World History.

7. Jacob N. Shapiro, The Terrorist’s Dilemma: Managing Violent Covert Organizations.

Both appear to be of interest.


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