One good thing about international flights is that they do allow you to churn through a few more books than usual.
- Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink is about the value and limitations of snap decisions. Gladwell’s a rolicking writer, though like many journalists he does occasionally mistake correlation for causation. If you liked The Tipping Point, buy it.
- Paul Auster’s New York Trilogy isn’t a new release (it was published in 1987), but I loved The Music of Chance a few years back, so couldn’t resist it when I found it on special. Mystical, confusing, compelling, and probably not a good book to read when you’re travelling on your own.
- Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner’s Freakonomics makes the rest of us mere popularisers of economics research feel like, well, mere popularisers of economic research.
- Robert Cowley’s edited collection of seventeen counterfactual history essays, What If? America is the third volume in the series. Worth buying for just three clever essays: what if the Cuban missile crisis hadn’t been averted? (total destruction of DC & the USSR), what if the American revolution hadn’t happened? (no French Revolution, Civil War, WWI, or WWII), and what if the Watergate break-in hadn’t been discovered? (the author reckons Americans would today have universal healthcare)
I’ve just bought Jeffrey Sachs’ The End of Poverty, since I think everyone should read at least one book about international development per year. Will report back when I’ve finished it.
Does anyone have any fiction or non-fiction recommendations? I’m partly asking for my own benefit, since I have another overseas trip coming up, but am happy to turn this posting into a "what’s worth reading" discussion if people would like.