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8 More Ways To Read (A Lot) More Books — Neil Pasricha
* I saw Neil on Vassy Kapelos, Power & Politics, February 14, 2020 (Smartphones are harming Canadians' mental health, says Neil Pasricha)

If you need your left brain scratched, then check out the 2011 The Annual Review of Psychology which says that reading triggers our mirror neurons and opens up the parts of our brain responsible for developing empathy, compassion, and understanding. Makes you a better leader, teacher, parent, and sibling. Another study published in Science Magazine in 2013 found that reading literary fiction helps us improve our empathy and social functioning. And, lastly, an incredible 2013 study at Emory University, MRIs taken the morning after test subjects were asked to read sections of a novel showed an increase in connectivity in the left temporal cortex. What’s that? The area of the brain associated with receptivity for language. Priming the brain. And the MRIs were done the next day. Just imagine the long-term benefits of cracking open a book every day.
books  fiction  howto  Neil_Pasricha  productivity  reading 
7 days ago by jerryking
Opinion | I Was Wandering. Toni Morrison Found Me.
Aug. 9, 2019 | The New York Times | By Jesmyn Ward.
Ms. Ward is the author, most recently, of the novel “Sing, Unburied, Sing.”
African-Americans  authors  books  fiction  obituaries  Toni_Morrison  tributes  women  writers 
august 2019 by jerryking
Anthony Price, British author of thrillers with deep links to history, dies at 90 - The Washington Post
By Matt Schudel June 15

Add to my reading list saved on the Toronto Public Library (TPL)'s website.

his favourite Le Carré novel, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, was pipped to the 1974 Gold Dagger award by his own Other Paths to Glory.

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For two decades Price juggled careers as a newspaper editor, book reviewer and author, with his wife Ann acting as his unofficial business manager. The success of his first novel resulted in rapid election in 1971 to the Detection Club, where he met and befriended many of the authors he admired, including Eric Ambler, and gained international recognition with the Martin Beck award from the Swedish Crime Writers’ Academy in 1978.

All his novels reflected his deep interest in military history, and sub-plots and background settings could contain elements of Roman legions on Hadrian’s Wall, the Camelot of King Arthur, Napoleonic warships and the battlegrounds of the American civil war and the first world war. In his research for Other Paths to Glory he visited western front battle sites well before there was an established visitor trail there, and taped interviews with survivors in the Oxford area.

The second world war got the Price treatment in two thrillers: The Hour of the Donkey (1980, Dunkirk) and Here Be Monsters (1985, D-day).

Price also used military history in his cold war spy thrillers as, in effect, long diversions, – almost “shaggy dog stories” – providing red herrings for the characters, and for readers. The actual espionage in his plots, which Price always insisted were straightforward and simple, would be resolved in last-minute flurries of action and recrimination. It was a technique which, as one reviewer pointed out, put him “in the upper IQ spy story bracket”. With such praise, and the constant use of the adjectives “ingenious” and “intelligent” by the critics, Price’s books were never likely to appeal to a mass readership, which preferred more blood with their thunder.
books  Cold_War  espionage  fiction  journalists  military_history  obituaries 
june 2019 by jerryking
What tech hasn’t learnt from science fiction
APRIL 3, 2019 | Financial Times | Elaine Moore.

Never mind the future: where are the books tackling Silicon Valley’s current challenges?

There is a myth that Silicon Valley is stuffed full of nerds who have never picked up a book in their lives. Like a lot of tales about the Valley, it is not true. The tech industry is acutely aware of the value of storytelling.......Whenever a tech founder is asked about their favourite novel it is usually worth paying attention. Uber founder Travis Kalanick’s admires Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead.....Jeff Bezos’s is taken by the quiet despair of Kazuo Ishiguro’s Remains of the Day......and Theranos' Elizabeth Holme is attached to Moby-Dick.

It’s true that reading lists on the West Coast tend to skew towards science fiction.......For Silicon Valley, the genre seems to offer both inspiration and validation. .......But the connection between tech companies and sci-fi novels runs deeper. To make their futuristic projects reality, some seek the help of the authors themselves......Less is made of its focus on the downside of humanity interacting with a virtual world (jk: sci fi doesn't pay enough attention to the the downside of humanity interacting with a virtual world). .....The affection tech founders feel for sci-fi often seems to lack this dimension.....If founders are not paying too much attention to cautionary sci-fi themes, at least some people are. Amazon Go shops can feel like a vision of the future as you pick up milk and walk away, without scanning anything. But cities such as San Francisco have begun to wonder whether cashless shops will end up marginalising the country’s poorest citizens, who do not have access to online bank accounts......does any sci-fi novel offers a way to think about Silicon Valley’s present, as well as its future? The singularity and inter-planetary travel are well covered in literature..... are there book out there that address privacy scandals, electric scooters and $100bn IPOs?
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
* Counting Heads' (2005) by David Marusek is a novel set in 2134.
* Mars trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson.
* Idoru" by William Gibson.
* Count Zero" by William Gibson.
* "Black Mirror" TV series Charlie Brooker.
* The Circle by Dave Eggers.
* ‘Minority Report’ Phil K Dick.
* Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson
* Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson.

People who don't read science fiction (SF) are handicapped in today's world really, because usually they form part of the 99% of humans who are unable to look ahead more than a few months or so and see where society is going. ......Or the people that think Elon Musk is a visionary. He is not a visionary! He is just a smart person, which necessarily includes reading SF, and taking things from there. People who do not read SF think that Musk is the only person on the planet thinking about and developing our future society on Mars...  But there are millions - it's just that he is one of a few billionaires working concretely on it. For example, if you read the Mars trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson, you'd realise that one of the reasons that Elon Musk now has a tunnel boring company is that we will NEED tunnels on Mars... You'd also realise that the TV rights of the trip to Mars will pay for (most of) the cost of the trip... etc. etc. etc.
Amazon_Go  augmented_reality  Ayn_Rand  authors  books  cautionary_tales  Elon_Musk  entrepreneur  fiction  founders  future  futurists  novels  pay_attention  reading_lists  San_Francisco  science_fiction  Silicon_Valley  start_ups  storytelling  virtual_reality  William_Gibson 
april 2019 by jerryking
Goldman Sachs | Careers Blog - 2017 Back-to-School Reading List
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Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls, by Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo
With three children under four coupled with a career in investment banking, I find it challenging to find time for reading books. But, I also struggle to find good books to read to my children, especially books for my daughters that aren’t about princesses and living happily ever after. I received “Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls” from a good friend who also has two daughters. Comprising a few hundred short stories depicting strong female leaders from recent history, the book provides great female role models for my daughters that aren’t princesses.
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The Three-Body Problem, by Liu Cixin
I’ve been a science fiction fan my entire life but had never read any Chinese works until this book. The plot is super-ambitious; since I don’t want to spoil anything I’ll just say it starts off with a wave of scientist suicides in the wake of experimental particle physics results that suggest science is broken.
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Network Thinking: Beyond Brockhaus Thinking, by Ulrich Weinberg
An unusual roadshow to the most innovative locations and people around the world. Where network thinking drives actions. The book leads behind the scenes of large corporations that are leaving the analog 20th century “Brockhaus Thinking” mode, but also to small companies that never practiced it. It shows how a network thinking approach can make corporates and individuals extremely successful.
books  booklists  book_reviews  Edith_Cooper  fiction  Goldman_Sachs  nonfiction  science_fiction 
march 2019 by jerryking
Michael Moritz, the tech investor backing books
March 1, 2019 | Financial Times | by Richard Waters.

Michael Moritz, the biggest individual investor in funds managed by Sequoia Capital, the blue-chip venture capital firm where he has worked since 1986. Forbes estimates his wealth at $3.4bn, but Moritz himself puts it “a bit higher”.

Some of that wealth was put to work this week when Crankstart, the charity he set up with his wife, Harriet Heyman, agreed to provide financial backing for the Booker Prize, one of the top awards for English language fiction, for the next five years......Moritz continues to court controversy, writing approvingly in the Financial Times of the relentless pace of Chinese tech start-ups, where workers put in so many hours they barely see their children. He contrasted them with “soul-sapping” debates about work/life balance in the US, calling them “concerns of a society that is coming unhinged”.

It is tempting to ascribe his success as an investor to tireless networking, luck and timing....entrepreneur Randy Adams tipped him off to Yahoo, which was creating one of the first web indices. That led him to Google. He took over leadership of Sequoia from Don Valentine — one of Silicon Valley’s first start-up investors — in the mid-1990s.

The firm then moved well beyond its venture capital roots, setting up arms to manage family endowments and handle public market investments. While he was at the helm, it became the most successful foreign start-up investor in China. “We understood that the world had changed and that Silicon Valley was not going to be the centre of the universe for the next 50 years,”....he still works full time making investments and sits on 10 corporate boards.

Through Crankstart, Sir Michael and his wife have made substantial gifts to education, including £75m in 2012 to fund scholarships for the poorest students at Oxford university, where he was an undergraduate. He said that the financial support his father had been given after fleeing Nazi Germany as a teenager was his motivation.....After funding some of the world’s most disruptive companies, it might seem perverse that Sir Michael is now backing something as traditional as a literary prize. But he says: “Like music and video, I think the future is brighter than the past.” Printed book sales are rising again, and audio books allow readers to consume them in new forms. “The novel is the underpinning of many forms of entertainment,” he says. “I don’t think anyone’s lost their appetite for good storytelling.”
books  charities  contrarians  Don_Valentine  fiction  Google  investors  Man_Booker  Michael_Moritz  Oxford  novels  philanthropy  prizes  Richard_Waters  Sequoia  sponsorships  venture_capital  vc  Yahoo 
march 2019 by jerryking
When Charlie Munger Calls, Listen and Learn
Jan. 25, 2019 | WSJ | By Jason Zweig.

Mr. Munger was calling to say that he had read the novel Mr. Taylor was about to self-publish, “The Rebel Allocator.” He was “surprisingly engaged,” recalls Mr. Taylor, 37, who had sent the book to Mr. Munger without much hope the great investor would read it. Mr. Munger proceeded to reel off roughly 20 minutes of unsolicited, detailed advice, mostly about plot and character.

In an interview, Mr. Munger tells me he tends to “skim” or “at least give some cursory attention” to any book that mentions Berkshire Hathaway......“The Rebel Allocator” is the opposite of most business novels. Here, the rich capitalist isn’t an evil genius using genetic engineering to hijack the brains of newborn babies. Instead, he is a hero: an investing mastermind who regards allocating capital as a noble calling that improves other people’s lives.

In the novel, a business student named Nick is on a field trip with his MBA class when he meets a 77-year-old billionaire, Francis Xavier, a restaurant mogul also known as “the Rebel Allocator” and “the Wizard of Wichita.”

Blunt and bristly, with zero tolerance for stupidity, Mr. Xavier spouts proverbs and zingers. A mash-up of Mr. Munger and Mr. Buffett, he often invokes their ideas.

Taking a shine to Nick, Mr. Xavier asks him to write his biography. Like many young people today, Nick wonders if becoming a billionaire is inherently immoral when poverty is still widespread.

Mr. Xavier teaches Nick what separates great businesses from good and bad ones. He uses three drinking straws, labeled “cost,” “price” and “value,” to demonstrate: When a business can charge a higher price than its goods or services cost, the difference is profit. When the value its customers feel they get is greater than price, that difference is brand or pricing power—the ability to raise prices without losing customers.

As Mr. Xavier moves the straws around, Nick learns that investing decisions can make the world a better place: “Good capital allocation means doing more with less to create happier customers,” says Mr. Xavier. “Profit should be celebrated as a signal that an entrepreneur provided value while consuming the least amount of resources to do so.”
asset_management  Berkshire_Hathaway  books  capital_allocation  Charlie_Munger  fiction  intrinsic_value  investing  investors  Jason_Zweig  novels  Warren_Buffett 
january 2019 by jerryking
Where is San Francisco’s Bonfire of the Vanities?
December 21, 2108 | | Financial Times | by Janan Ganesh.

Victor Hugo’s Paris. Tom Wolfe’s New York. Charles Dickens’s London. Whose San Francisco? Even a brief visit confirms its resemblance to these other cities at their most feverishly written-about. It has the same street-level squalor, the same inventive genius, the same jittery, barricaded rich.....Careering down the Bay Bridge in an Uber (founded in San Francisco), I gawp at the superior physical setting. The raw materials for a classic, a Les Misérables of the Tenderloin, are all here. And yet 18 years into a century that it has shaped, and almost 50 since the journalistic coinage of “Silicon Valley”, this place remains near-absent from literature. What fiction there is about modern San Francisco, including the first novel published on Medium, by former Google executive Jessica Powell, tends not to detain the Nobel committee.....The biggest story in American commerce and, when you think of tech’s displacing effects, in American society too, has been left to journalists and the occasional biopic to tell. The result is a story half-told. We have the numbers but not the anthropological nuance. Imagine trying to understand 1980s New York with stock indices and crime data, but without Bonfire of the Vanities. Except, an east-coast powerhouse would never suffer a literary snub. That a western one does suggests more about the writers, perhaps, than about the subject.....Seven of America’s 10 biggest cities are now west of the Mississippi River. .....Where San Francisco blends into the low-rise Anyplace of Santa Clara, you can see their point. But the city itself, with its layers of desperation and opulence, is Dickensian. It just lacks a Dickens, or even a lesser chronicler.....A planet-moulding capital of technology deserves its due, too. The stories are there, if writers can accept the western drift of their nation’s energies.
Bonfire_of_the_Vanities  fiction  Janan_Ganesh  literature  San_Francisco  Silicon_Valley  Tom_Wolfe  writers 
december 2018 by jerryking
‘Farsighted’ Review: How to Make Up Your Mind - WSJ
14 COMMENTS
By David A. Shaywitz
Sept. 11, 2018

..mission planners first systematically widened their thinking to define their options as broadly as possible, seeking a “full-spectrum appraisal of the state of things and a comprehensive list of potential choices.” Then they coned down the alternatives by playing out multiple scenarios, exploring all the ways the mission could go wrong........When faced with complex choices we tend to frame problems in a narrow fashion. .......seek participation from as broad and diverse a group as possible.....a diversity of viewpoints isn’t enough. Citing the legal scholar Cass Sunstein, Mr. Johnson observes that, although “groups often possess a rich mix of information distributed among their members,” when they assemble “they tend to focus on shared information.” Thus it is important to design a process that exposes “unshared information”—by meeting individually with stakeholders, for instance, instead of merely convening a town hall. Similarly, he cites research revealing that two-thirds of organizational decisions never contemplate more than a single option. There is a “gravitational pull toward the initial framing of the decision.” To overcome it, he suggests considering what might be done if the presumptive path forward were suddenly blocked....“Uncertainty can’t simply be analyzed out of existence,” ...What scenarios and simulations can offer is a way to “prepare you for the many ways that the future might unexpectedly veer.”..... Linear value modeling, for example, weighs the relative importance of different goals, while a bad-outcomes approach examines worst-case possibilities........given the challenges of making high-stakes global decisions. How should we respond, as a planet, to the challenges of addressing climate change, communicating with alien life forms or managing computers with superintelligence? The answer seems to be: by convening diverse experts and hoping for the best. ....... Great novels matter [JCK; great novels = *fiction*] because “they let us experience parallel lives, and see the complexity of those experiences in vivid detail.”........ fundamentally, choices concern competing narratives, and we’re likely to make better choices if we have richer stories, with more fleshed-out characters, a more nuanced understanding of motives, and a deeper appreciation of how decisions are likely to reverberate and resound.
books  book_reviews  Cass_Sunstein  choices  decision_making  far-sightedness  fiction  howto  narrow-framing  novels  presumptions  scenario-planning  shared_experiences  Steven_Johnson  systematic_approaches  thinking_tragically  uncertainty  unshared_information  wide-framing  worst-case 
november 2018 by jerryking
Open books, open borders
OCTOBER 20, 2017 | FT| Janan Ganesh.

The globalised Booker also confirms this medium-sized country’s knack for cultural decorations — degrees from its universities, air time on the BBC — that are coveted worldwide. The unfakeable emotion from Saunders and Beatty upon receipt of the prize was a larger compliment to Britain and its soft power than a Booker for one of its own would have been.....There is a strategic imperative to open up that goes beyond the aesthetic one. As the gap narrows between the superpower and the rest, it becomes more important for America to understand the outside world. Better foreign news coverage can help, but mere politics is downstream of culture. The real prize is to comprehend another country’s thought patterns, speech rhythms, historic ghosts and unconscious biases — and these seep out from the stories it tells and the way it tells them....Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker cites the spread of literacy as a reason for the long-term decline of human violence. To read another person’s story is to end up with a larger “circle of sympathy”. But even if America’s concern is the narrowest raison d’état, rather than world peace, it would profit from reading beyond its borders.

The minimum return is that more American readers would have more fun. The headiest writing tends to come from places that are ascendant enough to matter but raw enough to retain some measure of dramatic chaos: 19th-century Britain and Russia, mid-20th-century America, and now, perhaps, early 21st-century Asia. It is not just in economics that protectionism stifles.
books  cosmopolitan  cross-cultural  cultural_products  empathy  fiction  George_Saunders  Janan_Ganesh  literature  Man_Booker  middle-powers  national_identity  novels  open_borders  open_mind  parochialism  prizes  protectionism  reading  soft_power  storytelling  United_Kingdom  writers 
november 2017 by jerryking
Review: David Chariandy’s Brother and Catherine Hernandez’s Scarborough bring a community to life
OCTOBER 6, 2017 | The Globe and Mail | HANNAH SUNG.

Scarborough By Catherine Hernandez
Arsenal Pulp Press, 258 pages, $17.95

Brother By David Chariandy
McClelland & Stewart, 180 pages, $2
books  fiction  Scarborough  Toronto  novels 
november 2017 by jerryking
American War by Omar El Akkad — north-south divide
OCTOBER 27, 2017 Randy Boyagoda.

American War, by Omar El Akkad, Picador, RRP£14.99/Knopf, RRP$26.95, 352 pages
Omar_el_Akkad  novels  book_reviews  books  civil_war  fiction 
november 2017 by jerryking
David Ignatius — Charlie Rose
11/07/2017 | Charlie Rose Show|

David Ignatius, columnist for The Washington Post, talks about Saudi Arabia, President Trump's China visit, and his new spy novel, Quantum Spy.
G-2  China  Saudi_Arabia  David_Ignatius  U.S.-China_relations  U.S.foreign_policy  Charlie_Rose  interviews  security_&_intelligence  authors  books  quantum_computing  novels  fiction  CIA 
november 2017 by jerryking
Spies Like Us: A Conversation With John le Carré and Ben Macintyre
AUG. 25, 2017 | The New York Times |By SARAH LYALL.

Conversations between John le Carré and Ben Macintyre
fiction  espionage  security_&_intelligence  novels  John_le_Carré  nonfiction 
august 2017 by jerryking
The two faces of the 1 per cent
August 19, 2017 | Financial Times | Janan Ganesh.

On top of its book sales, film adaptation and third life as an opera, The Bonfire of the Vanities achieved a rare feat. It turned its author into a 56-year-old enfant terrible. Thirty years have passed since Tom Wolfe’s first novel imagined New York City as an opulent failed state, where millionaires are one wrong turn from barbarian mobs and race card-players on the make.
....Bonfire can be read as a book about two different kinds of elite. You might characterise them as the moneyed and the cultured. Or as private enterprise and public life.....there is a real split among urbanites, who are too often grouped together. It is one that has been lost in the negative obsession with the elite in recent years. Think of it as the difference between the two LSEs — the London Stock Exchange and the London School of Economics — or the stereotypical FT reader and the stereotypical FT writer.

When populists attack elites, they conflate people who work in the media, the arts, politics, academia and some areas of the law with entrepreneurs, investment bankers and internationally mobile corporate professionals. The Brexit campaign defined itself against high finance but also against human rights QCs and know-it-all actors — as if these fields were one.

I commit this elision in my own columns and I should know better. By dint of my job, I meet people in each world (plus a few supple characters who bestride both) and they are different. The public elite tend to the liberal left. The private elite are apolitical swing voters. Each side has little idea what the other lot does all day. They have different tastes, different idioms and they dominate different parts of their cities.

Even in London, a New York-Los Angeles-Washington hybrid in its centralisation of the public and the private, the two clans rub against each other (at the opera, at Arsenal’s stadium) without blending into one. Until Brexit put them on the same side, the cultural elite often viewed the moneyed as the enemy — mauling the skyline, pricing them out of Hampstead. Above all, each group has its own insecurity. The public elite nurse constant material worries. Despite their membership of the economic 1 per cent (something they will deny even as you show them the graphs) they fear for their foothold in expensive cities......The private elite worry that they are not very interesting. I have seen tycoons cringe in the presence of niche-interest authors. Some attempt late-career entries into public life, often through the publication of a political treatise or some involvement in the arts. Executives follow “thought leaders” who are less intelligent than they are. Politicians know the type: the loaded donor who fears to leave a campaign meeting in case a couple of young advisers, who do not earn a six-figure salary between them, mock his unoriginal contribution.

Other differences are surprising. The public elite talk a wonderful game about diversity and work in fields that have a better balance of women and men. But the private elite tend to work among more races and nationalities: some trading floors look like 1980s Benetton commercials. The same seems true of social background. I would advise a young graduate without relatives in high places to choose corporate life over the media....Creativity is more precious than wealth. There is a reason why the most fashionable members’ clubs admit freelance graphic designers, who live hand-to-mouth, and black ball superstar bankers. In a sense, Fallow’s total victory over McCoy is classic Wolfe: it lacks the nuance of great art, but it gets at a truth.
Bonfire_of_the_Vanities  Tom_Wolfe  fiction  writers  enfant_terrible  New_York_City  novels  the_One_Percent  elitism  Janan_Ganesh  insecurities  hand-to-mouth  LSE  superstars 
august 2017 by jerryking
Inside the World of Brad Thor
JULY 20, 2017 | The New York Times | By NICHOLAS KULISH.

The thriller writer Brad Thor, a regular guest, brandished a copy of his own latest volume, “Use of Force.”.....according to his publisher Mr. Thor has sold nearly 15 million copies of his books worldwide. That would be an absolutely extraordinary number in literary circles. In the world of mysteries, suspense novels and thrillers it means he still has a bit of work ahead of him to make that leap to the level of ubiquity and universal name recognition (and yes, Thor is his real name) of a Dan Brown or John Grisham......Ryan Steck, who runs the website The Real Book Spy, said that Mr. Thor’s fans are particularly passionate.
profile  fiction  espionage  security_&_intelligence  writers  novels  books  Brad_Thor 
july 2017 by jerryking
Summer reads: Globe writers on the book that changed them - The Globe and Mail
STAFF
THE GLOBE AND MAIL
LAST UPDATED: THURSDAY, JUN. 29, 2017

Eric Reguly - Joseph Heller’s Catch-22
Liz Renzetti - Katherena Vermette’s debut novel, The Break.
Joyita Sengupta - Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Namesake.
Eleanor Davidson - Roald Dahl's Going Solo.
Ian Brown - Nicholson Baker’s U and I: A True Story changed the way I thought about books, writers, writing, reading and what it meant to be honest on the page.
Victor Dwyer - Charlotte Gill's Eating Dirt: Deep Forests, Big Timber, and Life with the Tree-Planting Tribe.
Rosa Saba - Markus Zusak's I Am the Messenger tells the tale of a young man in a stagnant existence whose life is changed by a series of mysterious missions, in which he finds himself helping strangers and eventually helping himself. [You can’t wait for something to happen to you and give your existence meaning. You are the one who will make your life worthwhile.]
books  fiction  Eric_Reguly  Ian_Brown  life-changing  reading  summertime  transformational  writers 
june 2017 by jerryking
Summer Reading: One expert. One book. - WSJ.com
Published June 16, 2017

1. 'Waking Lions' by Ayelet Gundar-Goshen. A wealthy Israeli neurosurgeon fatally hits an African migrant with his car on a deserted road and flees the scene. The doctor is married to the police detective who investigates the hit and run. In the book, set in the Israeli city of Beersheba, the dead man’s widow blackmails the doctor, keeping his crime a secret if he provides medical care to other refugees.
2. 'A Separation' by Katie Kitamura (Feb. 7) RECOMMENDED BY: Lynn Lobash, manager of reader services at the New York Public Library
A husband goes missing, and the wife from whom he is secretly separated travels to southern Greece to investigate his disappearance. Once there, she senses he was probably sleeping with the receptionist at her luxury hotel, and she can’t tell if the locals are being helpful or are trying to cover up his whereabouts.
3. 'The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo' by Taylor Jenkins Reid (June 13)
RECOMMENDED BY: Elizabeth Khuri Chandler, editor-in-chief and co-founder of the book-discussion site Goodreads. The novel, which more than 16,000 Goodreads members have marked as a book they want to read, tells the story of a movie star from her rise to fame in the 1950s to the present day. Time is marked through the acquisition and removal of her various husbands. The reclusive Hollywood icon tells her story to a rookie journalist who can’t figure out why she was chosen as the biographer.
4. 'The Prey of Gods' by Nicky Drayden (June 13) RECOMMENDED BY: Sharifah Williams, associate editor at the book blog Book Riot . The book features a world threatened by a new hallucinogenic drug called Godsend, the seeds of a robot uprising and an ancient demigoddess/part-time nail technician who preys on the blood of humans.
5. 'Borne' by Jeff VanderMeer (April 25) RECOMMENDED BY: David Naimon, host of the Between the Covers podcast. Rachel, a scavenger in a ruined city, finds Borne, a piece of biotech that looks like a squid mixed with a sea anemone and is instilled with a kind of humanity.
6. 'The Changeling' by Victor LaValle (June 13) RECOMMENDED BY: Lydia Kiesling, editor, The Millions, an online magazine about arts and culture. A rare-book dealer’s wife and infant son disappear in a scene so horrifying Ms. Kiesling urges parents of young children not to let it drive them away altogether.
7. 'We Are Never Meeting in Real Life' by Samantha Irby (May 30) RECOMMENDED BY: Marisa Siegel, editor-in-chief and owner, The Rumpus, a literary website. Ms. Siegel felt so passionately about this essay collection by Ms. Irby, creator of the blog “bitches gotta eat,” that she picked it over any fiction options.
summertime  reading  books  recommendations  novels  fiction 
june 2017 by jerryking
3 Books That Help Make Sense of Cyberwar
MAY 24, 2017 | The New York Times | By CONCEPCIÓN DE LEÓN.

DARK TERRITORY (2016)
The Secret History of Cyber War
By Fred Kaplan

CYBER WAR (2010)
The Next Threat to National Security and What to Do About It
By Richard A. Clarke and Robert K. Knake
290 pp.
338 pp.

NEUROMANCER (1984)
By William Gibson
304 pp.
cyber_warfare  fiction  books  nonfiction  Fred_Kaplan  security_&_intelligence  William_Gibson  Richard_Clarke  hackers 
may 2017 by jerryking
Chronicle of a war foretold | The Economist
Jun 27th 2015

Ghost Fleet: A Novel of the Next World War.By P.W. Singer and August Cole.Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; 404 pages; $28.
war  future  China  China_rising  PACOM  U.S._Navy  books  fiction  book_reviews  U.S.-China_relations 
november 2016 by jerryking
Fifteen Dogs is a novel on whether pups or humans live happier - The Globe and Mail
JOSÉ TEODORO
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Apr. 10, 201
fiction  Toronto 
february 2016 by jerryking
Violently Wrought, Kaitlyn Greenidge interviews Marlon James - Guernica / A Magazine of Art & Politics
Kaitlyn Greenidge interviews Marlon James
November 3, 2014

Guernica: When you are inside the big book, how do you map out structure?

Marlon James: I have note sheets. I use Moleskine notebooks. I’m analog like that. I have a plot chart. I have different columns for the character, rows with different times of day, because even though it’s a big book, each chapter takes place basically in a day. So I need to know where Nina Burgess is at nine o’clock, and where she’ll be at ten. It allows me to be spontaneous. It’s sort of like how knowing prosody really liberates a poet.

If you know you have a backbone, you can bend and contort. That’s what allowed a lot of the freedom in the book. Because half of that stuff in that chart I didn’t follow. Because characters become real and they don’t take crap from you. But also because I always knew where the return line was. You can always go so far out on a limb and know you have to come back to this point. Plot charts and diagramming also stopped me from playing favorites. Because everybody had to get equal time.
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Marlon James: Because I want dialogue. But to come back to it—Josey Wales, for example, is slightly older than Weeper [both two gang enforcers in a ghetto of Kingston]. Josey Wales doesn’t like reggae, he doesn’t like dance hall, whereas Weeper is a street kid. He’s a nerd. He has nothing but bitterness and meanness. But they do not talk the same. In a novel that’s told by characters, your nightmare is that they end up sounding alike. Working out how different generations talk was really the challenge. Remembering things like values. It’s their value system that governs how they talk.

Guernica: In the novel, power dynamics are constantly shifting. But there’s never a sense that one character has complete or absolute power.

Marlon James: If anyone has the upper hand, then your novel loses tension. I hope I wrote a very tense novel. Tension happens because dynamics are always changing. Even if you don’t have the upper hand, you have the upper hand in an argument. You have the moral right. Especially these characters, since a lot of them are pushed into corners and make desperate decisions. I don’t buy into the all-knowing, all-smart character. Even characters who you think are minor still end up being overshadowed or beaten.
Marlon_James  writers  Caribbean  culture  violence  fiction  books  Jamaica  '70s  profile  authors  teachers  Bob_Marley  writing  analog  spontaneity  Moleskine  plot_charts  diagramming  Man_Booker  prizes 
january 2016 by jerryking
Urban fiction: words on the street - FT.com
November 13, 2015 4:34 pm
Urban fiction: words on the street
Neil Munshi
fiction  books  writers  African-Americans  urban 
november 2015 by jerryking
A brief history of seven killings : James, Marlon, 1970- : Book, Regular Print Book : Toronto Public Library
by James, Marlon, 1970-
Year/Format: 2014, Book , 560 pages.

Marlon James won against stiff competition. His book was up against a short-list that included a veteran American author, Anne Tyler, and the bookmaker’s favourite, US author Hanya Yanagihara’s “A Little Life”. It is reported that each of the five judges independently chose James’ book as their preferred winner.
books  Jamaica  TPL  fiction  assassinations  reggae  Caribbean  Bob_Marley  Marlon_James  Man_Booker  prizes 
october 2015 by jerryking
Portents of World Cyberwar - WSJ
By L. GORDON CROVITZ
July 12, 2015

A new novel, “Ghost Fleet,” warns Americans about advances in cyberwarfare that could leave the U.S. as unprepared as Britain was against the U-boats. The title refers to mothballed warships and planes the U.S. recommissions because their pre-Internet technologies haven’t been hacked. (Disclosure: The publisher is Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, on whose board I serve.)

Authors Peter Singer and August Cole are think-tank policy wonks inspired by Tom Clancy’s 1986 “Red Storm Rising.” Clancy’s descriptions of emerging technology, including still-secret stealth aircraft, were so accurate that he was accused of using classified material. The authors of “Ghost Fleet” call their genre “useful fiction.”
cyber_warfare  China  China_rising  fiction  L._Gordon_Crovtiz  U.S._Navy  books  security_&_intelligence  Asia_Pacific  Tom_Clancy  unprepared  stealth 
july 2015 by jerryking
Bridled Vows - NYTimes.com
To save articles or get newsletters, alerts or recommendations - all free.
book_reviews  fiction  adultery  marriage 
july 2015 by jerryking
‘The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher,’ by Hilary Mantel - NYTimes.com
SEPT. 24, 2014
Photo
Credit Alessandra Montalto/The New York Times Continue reading the main story
Continue reading the main story
RELATED COVERAGE

Short Story: Book Excerpt: ‘The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher’SEPT. 19, 2014
Books of The Times
By JANET MASLIN
books  Hilary_Mantel  fiction  historical_fiction 
september 2014 by jerryking
No one is prepared to make the obvious connection between our cultural morass and the crime, corruption and violence that plague us - Stabroek News - Georgetown, Guyana
Ryhaan Shah

This exchange of letters has confirmed that it is the culture of the underclass that is now the definitive culture of Guyana and, further, that this culture is so very much admired at all levels of our society that any criticism if its crudities results in condemnation from everyone. We celebrate that culture, delight in it, and, as Skinner does, we rationalize it. Had he not stated it in his letter, who would ever have thought that it is an African Guyanese trait that they big up themselves by presenting themselves as murderers?

The wider issue is that no one is prepared to make the obvious connection that exists between our cultural morass and the crime, corruption and violence, including the violence against women and children that plague our society.

It is commendable that SN columnist Dave Martins finds the societal ills described in Bhattacharya’s book fixable. I have long since given up on any such hope and Mr Skinner’s letter reminds me of why I am so sure of that hopelessness.
letters_to_the_editor  novels  fiction  books  Guyana  cultural_values  Dave_Martins  underclass  Afro-Guyanese  hopelessness 
september 2014 by jerryking
Forget reforming universities. Let’s reform the students
Aug. 29 2014 |The Globe and Mail |TODD HIRSCH.

10: Join a club.

9: Have a writing sample.

8. Find a co-op position.

7: Read novels [JCK: *fiction]

6. Plan to spend time abroad.

5: Be curious.

4: Focus on school, then work.

3: Pick your major by what you’re interested in, not what you think will get you a high-paying job.
2. Take a broad range of courses.
1. Learn how to learn.
bottom-up  Colleges_&_Universities  students  education  fiction  reform  Todd_Hirsch  learning_agility  habits  curiosity  travel 
august 2014 by jerryking
‘In the Light of What We Know,’ by Zia Haider Rahman - NYTimes.com
By AMITAVA KUMARAPRIL 11, 2014

IN THE LIGHT OF WHAT WE KNOW
By Zia Haider Rahman
497 pp. Farrar, Straus & Giroux. $27.
books  book_reviews  novels  fiction  elitism  cosmopolitan  Wall_Street  Oxford 
june 2014 by jerryking
Alan Furst: By the Book
MAY 29, 2014 | - NYTimes.com | Alan Furst.

The author of “Mission to Paris” and, most recently, “Midnight in Europe” is a great fan of John le Carré’s Karla trilogy. “George Smiley is the all-time harassed bureaucrat of spy fiction.”
fiction  booklists  espionage  security_&_intelligence  novels  John_le_Carré 
june 2014 by jerryking
‘The Director,’ by David Ignatius, a Novel About the C.I.A.
June 3, 2014 | NYTimes.com |By MICHIKO KAKUTANI.

Mr. Ignatius writes that “The Director” is “ultimately about American intelligence in the age of WikiLeaks, and whether it can adapt to a more open digital world and still do the hard work of espionage.” And the novel does provide a harrowing sense of the vulnerability of governments and ordinary people alike to cybercrime, surveillance and digital warfare in this day when almost anything and everything can be stolen or destroyed with some malicious pieces of code and a couple clicks of a mouse.....giving an intimate sense of American intelligence operations in a post-Sept. 11 world, and puts them in historical perspective with operations from the World War II and Cold War eras. He also provides a detailed, energetically researched account of how hackers inside and outside the government operate: how malware and back doors and worms actually work, how easily security and privacy shields can be breached, how relatively defenseless many financial networks are.
back_doors  books  book_reviews  CIA  cyber_security  cyber_warfare  David_Ignatius  espionage  exploits  fiction  hackers  hard_work  malware  security_&_intelligence  software_bugs  vulnerabilities  WikiLeaks 
june 2014 by jerryking
Continental drift
Apr. 13, 2013| The Financial Times p10.| by Fatima Bhutto

A fine debut novel of emigration, return and families left behind--By Fatima Bhutto

Ghana Must Go , Taiye Selasi's feted debut novel, b...
book_reviews  fiction  Ghana  Africa  Taiye_Selasi 
january 2014 by jerryking
Want to get rich? Read fiction -
Nov. 22, 2013 | MarketWatch | By Jeremy Olshan.
Want to get rich? Read fiction. 5 financial lessons from famous novels.

Literature has always been a vessel for nuggets of practical wisdom — Homer’s epics contained a Wikipedia’s worth of ancient schooling, oral poetry being the original textbook. Fiction provides us “equipment for living,” in the words of the theorist Kenneth Burke, an assertion supported by a recent study linking literary reading to greater empathy.

1. Read Defoe to understand money.
2. Read Trollope and Dickens to spot the next Bernie Madoff.
3. Read Eliot and Flaubert before swiping that credit card.
4. Read Dickens to learn the difference between saving and hoarding.
5. Read Tolstoy before heading to the car dealership.

The old poker player’s adage that if, after a few minutes at the table, you can’t tell who the sucker is, it’s you, is more or less true in every financial transaction. Whether it’s the purchase of a horse, a car, a stock or a house, there’s a fair chance either the buyer or seller is getting the shorter end of the deal.

This is why it’s essential that before buying — or selling — anything one read “Anna Karenina.” Though the Tolstoy novel is better remembered as, yes, another novel of adultery, it’s also a highly useful manual for negotiating with car salesmen.

Stepan Oblonsky, a Moscow nobleman, visits his friend Konstantin Levin’s country estate, and tells how he sold a parcel of land — a wood — and wants to know whether he got a good deal.

Levin replies with a simple question: “Did you count the trees?”

“How can I count the trees?” Stepan Arkadyich said with a laugh, still wishing to get his friend out of his bad mood. “To count the sands, the planets’ rays, a lofty mind well may...” .....In other words, only a fool buys or sells something without knowing what it’s really worth. It sounds simple, but I’ve been that fool many times. How often do we fail to count the trees? How often do we sit with the car salesman and not know the real value of the car?

So always count the trees. Count them with calculators, with Excel spreadsheets or with iPhone apps, if you must. Or count them in their ideal form, after they’re churned into pulp and bound together as the pages of a good book.
fiction  books  lessons_learned  empathy  wisdom  literature  reading  wealth_creation  personal_enrichment 
november 2013 by jerryking
Catherine Bush produces a novel of anxiety and ambiguity
Oct. 04 2013 | G&M | by MADELEINE THIEN.

Title Accusation
Author Catherine Bush
Genre fiction
Publisher Goose Lane
Pages 358
Price $32.95
ethnic_communities  fiction  book_reviews  race_relations 
october 2013 by jerryking
Tom Clancy, Best-Selling Master of Military Thrillers, Dies at 66
October 2, 2013 | NYTimes.com |By JULIE BOSMAN.

Tom Clancy’s debut book, “The Hunt for Red October,” was frequently cited as one of the greatest genre novels ever written. With the book’s publication in 1984, Mr. Clancy introduced a new kind of potboiler: an espionage thriller dense with technical details about weaponry, submarines and intelligence agencies.
obituaries  writers  fiction  security_&_intelligence  espionage  covert_operations  Cold_War  Tom_Clancy  militaries 
october 2013 by jerryking
The Globe’s top 29 picks for international fiction of 2012 - The Globe and Mail
Enchantments

By Kathryn Harrison,

Random House

It’s Jan. 1, 1917, and Rasputin’s frozen body has just been fished out of the Neva River. His daughter Masha, 18, came to St. Petersburg after her father mesmerized the Russian court. But without Rasputin, there’s no one to care for Russia’s crown prince. So Masha inherits the job. A beautifully sculpted novel. -- Jerome Charyn
------------------------------------------------------------------
NW

By Zadie Smith,

Hamish Hamilton Canada

Set mostly in working-class housing in London, NW is full of voices from everywhere: Ghanaians, Jamaicans, Rastas, ginger-haired Irish, litigators, junkies, students, parents and grown children. Smith’s democratizing omniscient narrator slips from one consciousness to the next, giving everyone his or her say. -- Lisa Moore
booklists  fiction  books  gift_ideas  Rastafarians 
november 2012 by jerryking
Hilary Mantel Wins a Second Booker Prize - NYTimes.com
October 16, 2012, 5:01 pm 47 Comments
Hilary Mantel Wins a Second Booker Prize
By SARAH LYALL
novels  Hilary_Mantel  england  royal_courts  fiction  Tudors  protagonists  Thomas_Cromwell  historical_fiction  Man_Booker  prizes 
october 2012 by jerryking
Jottings of an Embedded Tourist -
May 30, 2011 | Stabroek News | by Anil Persaud is Assistant
Professor in History at the Ambedkar University, Delhi, India. reviews
Rahul Bhattacharya’s debut novel, The Sly Company of People Who Care.
(FICTION BHA)
book_reviews  Guyanese  Indo-Guyanese  fiction  Guyana  race_relations  identity_politics  betrayals 
june 2011 by jerryking
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