What I’ve been reading

1. Daniel Schreiber, Susan Sontag: A Biography.  I never tire reading about her, or reading her, for that matter.

2. Richard Bernstein, China 1945: Mao’s Revolution and America’s Fateful Choice.  A very good book on how the Americans had a decent relationship with the Chinese Communists in 1945 and how rapidly that fell apart and why.

3. Paul Vigna and Michael J. Casey, The Age of Cryptocurrency: How Bitcoin and Digital Money are Challenging the Global Economic Order.  A good and useful introduction to the beliefs of those who believe in the subtitle being true.

4. Michael Pye, The Edge of the World: How the North Sea Made Us Who We Are.  The topic is so intriguing to me that I’m going to start this book over again fresh.  My first crack at it yielded no success, as I felt it was too much about Bede and Frisia and didn’t tie together a larger picture.  But I paid extra shipping charges to get it early from the UK (it’s not yet out in America), so perhaps I am not treating sunk costs as sunk…

5. Pramoedya Ananta Toer, This Earth of Mankind, volume one of the Buru Quartet.  These are the greatest books which most educated people never read, and I am giving them a reread.  So far volume one is as good as I remember it, maybe better.  I think of the set as an extended, four-volume meditation, by an Indonesian political prisoner, on what a life really consists of.  Here is a short essay on the quartet.


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