Hey AD, long time no see. Welcome back.
I recently started working downtown, so have been taking the bus. I get a couple hours of reading in a day. Kind of nice. Here’s the recent stuff.
What with the election coming up, it’s been kinda heavy on the political side.
It’s Even Worse Than it Looks by Norman Omstein and Thomas Mann – 6 out of 10.
This is all about the aggressive partisan tactics currently stymieing any sort of progression in Washington. The book goes pretty heavy on attacking underhanded republican procedures, but does its fair share of attacking partisan democrats as well. Pretty heavy on attacks and blame, but light on resolution. Pretty boring book (if you can imagine that).
End this Depression Now! by Paul Krugman – 8 out of 10.
If you are into economics and such, this is a pretty interesting book. Krugman is most definitely a Keynesian economist and really makes no effort to argue otherwise. His ideas are extremely aggressive and bold, but he makes a pretty good case for them. I felt like I had seen some of the charts in this book before and It got me thinking.. I went back and looked at my Macro-Econ 300 textbook and, sure enough, written by Paul Krugman. I found it really interesting that college textbook are written by such a liberal and aggressive economist, but… the fundamental ideas are solid and Keynesian economics make for great theoretical discussion. Anyways, if you are looking for a book that makes a great argument from one side of the spectrum, this is a pretty good one. Just make sure that you read something from the other side to balance it out.
I thought this would be a fun exercise (turns out, it was)
See, I told you so by Rush Limbaugh – 2 out of 10.
Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot by Al Franken – 6 out of 10.
The title of the second book pretty much sums up this entire reading excursion pretty well. Rush Limbaugh is a moron. But, Rush does have a certain genius about him. He has an incredible ability to spin every single situation to suit his needs and agendas. I could tell him that I forgot to do the dishes last night and he could probably make a pretty good argument as to why that it the Democrats’ fault. Franken’s book was pretty light on politics and actually said that he does not have a great grasp on economics (which is an interesting thing for a soon to be senator to say), but, admittedly, the book is quite funny. Franken seems to have a genuine honesty about him, which is somewhat refreshing.
It’s the middle class, Stupid! by James Carville and Stan Greenberg – 7 out of 10.
This book is quite good and entertaining (the Carville parts, anyway). It is a book basically in two parts. The first being how the two came to their political beliefs (both stanch democrats) and where their careers have taken them. Carville being a chief advisor to the Clinton campaign, Greenberg mostly academic. The second being about how a lot of changes since 1980 have hollowed out the middle class and will continue to do so and how continuing on this path is detrimental to our economy. They are persuasive, but they do cherry pick some numbers that make the Clinton administration appear almost Kennedy-like and others that make Reagan and the Bushes sound like corporate controlled devils. All in all, I liked it. Just remember when reading these types of books that they all have an agenda of some sort. This one’s agenda is getting Obama reelected.
Sex, Drugs and Cocia Puffs by Chuck Klosterman – 8/10
Those of you that read grantland know Klosterman quite well. This book is just a series of short essays on Pop Culture, music and sports. For the most part, quite hilarious. Also, a quick read. I recommend.
Blood Maridian by Cormac McCarthy – 7/10
There is so much ado about Cormac McCarthy that I had to give this a shot. I read The Road and through that I was basically just bored and depressed. I can’t really say this was much different. I get the power in his writing. He is, undoubtedly, an exceptional writer. From an academic standpoint, he might be the first writer that I recommend. But, from an entertainment standpoint, he just doesn’t do it for me. Chapter by chapter it’s just a lot of work to read. You definitely look back at the book and think to yourself, “that was really good.” But, it’s just such a laboring process that I can’t give it the rating it deserves.
How to win friends & influence people by Dale Carnegie – 9/10
Everyone should really read this book. There’s really nothing groundbreaking here, but everyone gets so caught up in the grind of work and life that they forget how to treat people. This book is a great reminder. Not just a reminder of how to treat people, but also a reminder of the benefits that come with treating people the right way. Everything in here is, ultimately, pretty obvious and, yet, we forget it all the time.
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald – 10/10
This is about the 10th time I’ve read this, but there is a movie coming out and thought “why not?” It only takes about a day to read, it’s pretty short. I don’t really need to go into a synopsis of what it’s about. We’ve all read it. But, go ahead and read it again, you’ll enjoy it as much as you did last time.
Looking for any good suggestion on any political books anyone has read. I prefer them to be a bit economic in nature but, whatever. Also, as you can tell, most of the books I have read have been from the democratic side. So, if anyone has a good one from the other side of the isle, that would be great.
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