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Earlier I wrote a diary about "No God but God" by Reza Aslan. I think it's a great view on the history of Islam and some possible implications for how that affects us in the West now.
"I Want That! How we all became shoppers" by Thomas Hine is an interesting little book on "consumerism." It's too optimistic about it, but it contains some gem-like insights into the social life of shopping that you would (IMO) have to wade through a whole pile of other books to begin to get. And it reads well.
Hmmm, dredging through my memory here, ouch.
As an aside, the seven by seven diary has some great books in it...
As another aside, some books have great assemblage of important facts and some good concepts, but I struggle in reading them because I find myself shouting at the right wing assumptions every 5 minutes. How do you feel about that kind of book?
The Right Nation and The Next Attack are two tomes that fall into this category for me. There's a wealth of detail which gives much greater understanding of the US government and the Republican party, but...
The Great Unraveling by Paul Krugman is a good read, but you've probably already heard of that one.
The Best Democracy Money Can Buy by Greg Palast is a good read, but by now you may have heard most of what he has to say repeated by others.
A lot of the difficulty is "what is well written?"
Manufacturing Consent by Chomsky is a good one for insight into how big media turns into a self-regulating system. I think it is ok written, but not everyone agrees.
If you've never read any Terry Pratchett, it's worth reading some, in my opinion. It's comedy, so personal taste dictates you may not like it. I'd say start with "Small Gods" as that has some nice twists for looking at our world. (Unless you're a completer-finisher-perfectionist, where you would of course want to start at the beginning of the series...)
A good managerial economics book. Hmm, have to look up the details. Once you've understood how companies try to work you're in a great position to understand the limits to "privatisation."
Them, Adventures with Extremists by Jon Ronson is a great book, well written and amusing.
Um... now we're scraping the bottom of my memory without access to my bookshelves...
Ah yes, old classic you've probably already read:
Guns, Germs and Steel, Jared Diamond.
If you already have the right educational background (or just think the way I do) then there's nothing surprising in this book, per se. However, it is well constructed with lots of fascinating detail. It is an important book for a lot of people to read as it can open their mind to the structural causes of success.
The Economics of Innocent Fraud by J.K. Galbraith!
You MUST buy this one, it is really short and well written.
Heh, that's all I can come up with for now.
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