What I’ve been reading

1. M. John Harrison, Light. I thought I was sick of cyberpunk but this held my attention from the first page through the end.  It falls in the category of “don’t worry if you don’t get everything that is going on, enjoy anyway.”

2. John Williams, Stoner.  This is not quite the great lost American novel, as some critics are making it out to be.  Nonetheless it is good, brisk, absorbing read about the horrible life of a stultified academic.  First published in 1965.

3. Gary J. Bass, The Blood Telegram: Nixon, Kissinger, and a Forgotten Genocide.  The story of the India-Pakistan-Bangladesh-USA relations in the earlier 1970s and the conflict of that time, a very good book.

4. Lane Kenworthy, Social Democratic America, I will quote my blurb: “If you wish to read the case for a big increase in social welfare spending, this is the very best place to go.”   Here is a related piece from the book.

5. Pete Earley, Comrade J: The Untold Secrets of Russia’s Master Spy in America After the End of the Cold War.  A fun look at the Russian spy world behind “The Americans” (TV show), also with a fascinating discussion of the KGB in Ottawa spying on the Canadians.

6. John Limbert, Negotiating with Iran: Wrestling the Ghosts of History.  Four detailed case studies of past failures and successes negotiating with Iran, from a scholar who knows his topic very well and can write clearly.


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