My Year In Books - Understanding Eli

Monday, October 14, 2013

My Year In Books

This year was a successful year of book reading for me. By that I mean, I was able to tick off from my list quite a few of the ones I has stacked up on the table next to my bed. I keep them there as I generally only read before I sleep, and the stack continuously grows due to not being able to say no to buying more. Nonetheless, the stack did get smaller over the past year, and that makes me smile.

Besides two Stephen King books, and the 'true story of Newfoundland's Confederation with Canada' as told my Greg Malone - I've discussed both of those already - I read a few more delightful books, mostly non-fiction, over the past several months. I dove head on into a lot a economic and political writings in fact, which all kind of lead into each other as I became more and more fascinated with the discussion being had.

It all sort of began with a book I randomly picked up one day while I browsing Chapters - 'Freakonomics'. It was a book I had heard much about before actually buying it, but I had no idea how good it was until I cracked it open. Economist Steven Levitt and journalist Stephen J. Dubner explore the hidden side of everything, and basically come to the simple conclusion that economics is truly a study of incentives. It doesn't take a huge leap to get you there, but the the Steve's take you there in an fun way.

At the same time I purchased 'Freakonomics', I picked up a great book by James Rickards called 'Currency Wars: The Making of the Next Global Crisis', which I couldn't put down when I started it. I became quite enthralled by the topic of how countries manipulate their currencies, and how that behaviour affects the world all over. It was because of this book that I then turned to John Perkins and his tale of the Corporatocracy via his hit novel entitled 'Confessions of an Economic Hit Man'. This was another very quick read for me, as became more and more engrossed in John's tale of how big business, banking, and governments have become so entwined that we no longer really have real democracies any longer. I highly recommend both these books to anyone.

From there I became caught up in the topic of globalization, and as luck would have it there were a couple of books regarding that very subject on my night stand, which I recently bought at a local second hand bookstore: 'A Brief History Of Globalization ' by Alex Macgillivray , and 'The Collapse of Globalism: And the Reinvention of the World' by John Saul. Both of these were pretty dry, I must say. There was some great information contained within, but I just wasn't all that interested, or perhaps not a fan of how it was all presented... not to say I won't ever read anything by those authors again. It wasn't that bad. Just not amazing reading, that's all.

I fell into libertarian land after those globalization books were complete, starting with Ron Paul's book 'The Revolution: A Manifesto'. That was a nice primer on the topic from a man who I admire for his contribution to spreading liberty, not only in the U.S. but, all over the world. I then dove into economics with a fascinating look into the economic clash of the century between John Maynard Keynes and Friedrich von Hayek, with a book simply entitled 'Keynes Hayek' by Nicholas Wapshott. This I followed up with Hayak's much beloved 'The Road to Serfdom'. Those books, combined with Milton and Rose Friedman's 'Free To Choose' which I read next, helped solidify my basis in libertarian thought of truly free market ideals. I highly recommend all these if interested on the topic.

I've now taken a break for the economic and related topics however, and am instead reading 'Marvel Comics: The Untold Story' by Sean Howe. I'm about half way through and really am having a hard time putting it down. The inner workings of the comics industry from the early days to present time is pretty great reading. It's a must for Marvel fans.

Oh, and I almost forgot about 'Lies They Teach in School: Exposing the Myths Behind 250 Commonly Believed Fallacies ' - a fun little book that I read between all the ones mentioned above. It was basically a book of mini articles on popular fallacies throughout history. Pretty fun stuff.

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