Latest Reads

* “Shibumi”:amazon by Trevanian. The first Trevanian I’ve read, a lot of fun. OK the characters are a caricatures but still a fun romp.
* “A flag for sunrise”:amazon by Robert Stone. A bunch of Americans stumble around like bulls in a china shop in a fictional central American country during the cold war. They demonstrate just how ineffectual an intrusive foreign policy can be. It is difficult to navigate in and have impact on a culture in which you have no basis.
* “The lessons of history”:amazon by Will and Ariel Durant. This is a slim tome, hard to find. Recommended to me by my historian partner Jon Roberts, it is an excellent set of essays on the broad sweep of history and what it all means. A key observation made is this: while we have made all kinds of gaudy technological progress, human nature has not changed, and our societies and governments and current events look a lot like they have looked for the past 4000 years. Of course the particular mixture is always new but the broad sweep of events hasn’t changed much. Nationalism, religious fervor, rich and poor, class strife — none of this is new or surprising.
* “Promise Me”:amazon and “The Final Detail”:amazon and “Backspin”:amazon by Harlan coben. Three good bolitar tales. Backspin by Harlan coben. I’ve read a lot of coben’s tales but these are the first in the myron bolitar series I’ve read. Quite fun! Bolitar is a sports agent cum detective with a collection of quirky associates.
* “Pandora’s Star”:amazon by Peter F Hamilton. Galaxy spanning epic. A host of unique ideas about human society and alien life, not quite enough character development. A bit wordy in explaining some of the concepts, would have been better served to just let characters make the point, but this is typical for the science fiction genre. Entertaining enough for me to get the concluding book.