1. Stephen Witt, How Music Got Free: The End of an Industry, the Turn of the Century, and the Patient Zero of Piracy. Most of all, Learned how much hard work and ingenuity was behind the MP3 standard, in any case a good and useful book.
2. P.W. Singer and August Cole, Ghost Fleet: A Novel of the Next World War. More of a speculative exercise than a traditional novel — what if the Chinese could beat the Americans? — but still a fun read and a book that people are talking about at high levels.
3. Vendela Vida, The Diver’s Clothes Lie Empty: A Novel. To the point and lots of fun. A recently divorced woman travels to Morocco and surprises start to happen. Occupies that intriguing space between “not deep” but also “not superficial.”
4. Elena Ferrante, My Brilliant Friend. This writer has been called a “female Neapolitan Knausgaard,” arguably a deliberate oxymoron. It took me my second read through to “get it,” which I suppose means I am not the natural target audience. But I am very glad I gave it that second read, and this is in fact the female Neapolitan Knausgaard, in four volumes by the way.
5. Red Army, a film documentary about the hockey team of the Soviet Red Army, its rise and fall. Chock full of social science, I loved this movie, philosophical too, even though I am not especially interested in hockey. One of my favorite documentaries.