Reading: Faith, Depression, Red and soccer


While I didn't have time to finish it under non-renewable pressure, Amity Shlaes The Forgotten Man : A New History Of The Great Depression was a very interesting and timely book. In it, she wonders why the Great Depression took so long to get over (nearly ten years), despite Hoover and 3 terms of FDR trying their best to fix it. It is her thesis that the government meddling, like the Tennessee Valley Authority, actually made things worse, by keeping private monies on the sideline because they couldn't figure out what the government was going to do next. It's an interesting history of the era, and one that is all too applicable these days, with phrases like "the next Great Depression" getting tossed about so freely.

Lewis Black's Me of Little Faith was a very funny collection of vignettes, mostly about how silly religion is, but also touching on other subjects like airplane travel. The library summary:

From the hilariously mad-as-hell Daily Show regular and New York Times' bestselling author comes a ferociously funny exploration of religion and faith. What do we believe? And in God's name why? Lewis Black has the answers. Or at least his answers. He survived Hebrew school and a bar mitzvah (barely), was a sixties college student who saw the parallels between religious rapture and drug-induced visions (even if none of his friends did), explored the self-actualization movement of the seventies (and the self-indulgence it engendered), and turned a cynical eye toward politicians who don the cloak of religious rectitude to cover up their own hypocrisy.

I enjoyed it, especially the golf story. He also was honest in a couple of spots where he talks about some odd things that happened to him and how it kind of touches on faith. I didn't like the last chapter, which was a reprint of a two man play he wrote and acted in - it just felt like filler. But if you can grab this from the library, you'll enjoy it.

Jordan Summers

And now for something completely diffent. John Scalzi has a recurring feature on his Whatever blog called "The Big Idea", where authors talk about the inspiration for their latest book. I see the occasionally interesting book, and for some reason Jordan Summers' Red struck me as interesting, so I requested it from the library. The summary:

Gina Santiago is a member of an elite tactical team in charge of protecting the world. She’s devoted her life to apprehending the most heinous criminals that prey on society—and now she’s after the worst one yet.On her own, with no backup, the trail takes her to a dusty, tight-knit town on the fringes of society, where everyone’s a suspect. Even the sexy sheriff, Morgan Hunter, isn’t telling her everything. Gina knows he’s trouble, but she’s inexorably drawn to him. The closer Gina comes to finding out the secret of this sleepy little town and its big bad sheriff; the closer she comes to catching the predator, the more scared she gets—because she’s beginning to realize that she has a secret too. A secret that will change Gina’s life… and make her the killer’s prey.

The librarian was nonplussed when she fetched the book from the On Call stack, as the outside of the pages of this paperback were a bright red. Turns out, this is a real paranormal romance, as it says on the book's spine. Yup, a true bodice ripper, with plenty of wetnesses, hardnesses, panting breaths, and exploding desires, etc. etc. All wrapped in an interesting milieu, set in an apocalyptic future, where government experiments have gone wild. These experiments include things very much like werewolves, vampires and the like. And Red doesn't know just what she is, or has gotten into. Combined with a murder investigation, it proved to be an interesting book, if far afield of my normal reading habits. The writing was a little stilted and more than a little overheated, but I finished the book, so there is that!

Finally, if you are a soccer coach, I'd like to recommend two books I got from the library to give me some inspirations for soccer drills. I really thought both The baffled parent's guide to great soccer drills by Tom Fleck and Ron Quinn and, especially, Developing youth soccer players Horst Wein, were excellent coach's handbooks, with clear illustrations and plenty of interesting games and drills for the under 16 player.


I'm not surprised, as it did feel like The Forgotten Man was a strident thesis against government intervention, for better or for worse, which would engender strong feelings both ways. Not sure Krugman's argument holds much water, as it sounds like a lot of hand waving to me.

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This page contains a single entry by Jonathan published on December 1, 2008 4:37 PM.

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