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What I’ve been reading

March 11th, 2007

It’s been a long time since I’ve done one of these, so I’ll just put down a list of books I’ve read in the past few months, and open it up to discussion. If there’s an interest in particular books, I might do a mini-review, so just ask and see. Here’s a list:

The Triumph of the Airheads by Shelley Gare
Gittinomics by Ross Gittins
Stardust by Neil Gaiman
Lost by Larissa Behrendt
The Marketplace of Christianity by Ekeleund, Hébert and Tollison
Culture and Prosperity by John Kay
The Long Tail by Chris Anderson (reviewed in AFR)
What’s Liberal about the Liberal Arts by Michael Bérubé
Cosmonaut Keep by Ken MacLeod

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  1. March 11th, 2007 at 22:20 | #1

    I heard Shelley Gare on Radio National and she didn’t seem to have much to say. I thought culture and prosperity – published here as the Truth About Markets unless this is a new one – was a great “social democrat as economic liberal” primer.

  2. March 11th, 2007 at 22:59 | #2

    I read John Kay’s book but it is hazy now. The topic of the subtitle “Why some nations are rich but most remain poor” and in a different guise “the great divergence” keep up coming in the work of David Landes ( there is a long discussion in Brad De Long’s site and some in his semi-daily journal), of Easterley and more recently Gregory Clark’s “A Farewell to Alms”. If there is some interest from others too, I would be interested in this.

  3. March 12th, 2007 at 15:24 | #3

    John, I’d definitely be interested in your thoughts on Stardust (and are you aware there’s a movie due this year?) – but that’s purely because I’m a fan of Gaiman.

  4. melanie
    March 12th, 2007 at 21:02 | #4

    I second gaddeswarup.

  5. zebbidie
    March 12th, 2007 at 21:35 | #5

    Cosmonaut Keep by Ken MacLeod

    I love Ken MacLeod. An SF writer who posits a triumphant reborn (and reformed) communism in the future is so refreshingly different from the endless libertarian, anarcho-capitalist futurist tosh from the Americans.

    And he is funny as heck. HE ended the concluding book of the series with “overhead, without any fuss, the stars were coming in.” – a lovely and appropriate pun on Arthur C Clarke’s “9 billion names of God” ending lines. Other in-jokes and puns abound.

    Read them all. Enjoy!

  6. March 12th, 2007 at 23:14 | #6

    I just finished “Basic Economics – A citizens guide” by Thomas Sowell. Very easy reading but still rewarding.

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