Stuff I’ve been reading, or not

The Pavlov biography and volume two of Moore on Thatcher — both superb — having been taking a lot of my reading time, so you should not take my limited attention for some of these books as a mark against them.

James A. Harris, Hume: An Intellectual Biography.  I quite liked and admired the parts I read, my main hesitation is that such books have to compete against…reading Hume himself.  In any case many commentators seem to consider this the definitive study.  If you think maybe you should read this, you should.

Paul Murray, The Mark and the Void.  He is the author of the novel Skippy Dies, which has a strong cult following, this one.  Australian, snarky, deals with a financial crisis.

Richard McGregor, The Party: The Secret World of China’s Communist Rulers.  As Chris Blattman wrote, a very good book.  In China, never underestimate the role of The Party.

Louise O. Fresco, Hamburgers in Paradise: The Stories Behind the Food We Eat.  A  pro-capitalist, pro-globalization, pro-technology food book, or so it seems.  I am eager to spend more time with this one.

Jamie Holmes, Nonsense: The Power of Not Knowing.  How to turn uncertainty and ambiguity to your advantage as a thinker, I kind of enjoyed it.

Riad Sattouf, The Arab of the Future: A Childhood in the Middle East, 1978-1984.  A graphic novel set in Libya, Syria, and France, very moving and effective.

The new Umberto Eco novel, Numero Zero, didn’t do much for me.


I'm looking forward to reading the Hume autobiography ...


It is worse than that because the expectation of reading a book, pleasurable or otherwise, has no material existence. It is not based on a real world object of which Enrique has direct knowledge. Anything he may be feeling is nothing but sophistry and illusion. Therefore he cannot be looking forward to reading it.

Why, thank you!

I can't believe I've already read a book that Tyler Cowen is just reading ("The Party", highly reccommended)

My brother-in-law runs a pest control business in Australia and is the son of a former KGB officer (now deceased, in sketchy circumstances). I wonder if I should give him a copy of the The Mark and the Void. Your advice, loyal readers?

The book is described as Australian even though the author is Irish, educated (in a loose sense of the word) at the University of East Anglia, and the book appears to be set in Dublin.

Would your brother-in-law be interested?

For the pest control?

As SMFS says, I don't see any obvious KGB connection (without any spoilers I'm not aware of; I intend to read it since it looked well written, I think I know how it's going to end however from the Amazon preview). As for sketchy KGB officer deaths, that seems to be the norm from witnessing my Russian friends friends.

Nonsense. I've always admired Being There, Peter Sellers last movie in which he played the character Chauncey Gardner (Chance the gardner), a veritable blank slate whose utterances were either insipid or brilliant depending on one's point of view. Of course, that's the point, I mean point of view. I know that I've been limited as an investor because of my point of view, which is to say my life experiences. One cannot grow to maturity in the 1950s and 1960s without a certain attitude about (for example) stocks and hustlers and hucksters. It wasn't just that my parents were Depression era (I inherited their skepticism about the stock market), but stocks did little or nothing for decades. And then came the conglomerate era, fast buck artists selling hot air. And so on, one era soon followed by another, mostly marked by speculation in this or that industry or company, mergers and acquisitions, leveraged buyouts, one apparent scam after another. What about Apple? I've never liked roller coasters: I'm afraid of heights. I vividly recall the tech era bubble, when young people would borrow on their credit cards (and pay 18% plus interest) in order to invest in the bubble. Are these youngsters crazy, have they no knowledge of history, was my point of view. And so it has gone all of my adult life, my point of view shaped decades ago, an observer of one bubble after another, an observer of the mania. Of course, many of those without a point of view invested and prospered, while others without a point of view invested and crashed when the bubble burst. If only I were Chauncey Gardner and had the advantage of not knowing, I would have invested in Apple and would be spending my old age on easy street.

I found in those Amazon searches Ridley's Evolution of Everything. Has anyone read that?

I thought this guy "reads" 2 books a night…so how does one explain this?

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