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Thread: What book are you reading?
31-12-2011, 11:03 AM #421
- Join Date
- Jun 2011
Also, there are series where I've bought the newer one via the Kindle Store, but still have the first book/books in paper/hardback editions and I don't like having the series in seperate formats.
All points of convenience rather than anything else, but I am pretty much thinking along the lines of Kadayi. Besides, I'm looking at it as a one time thing as I've started buying more Kindle books, mainly because of better prices (which is why transfering my small collection has become an issue recently).
31-12-2011, 01:48 PM #422
Just finished reading Currency Wars 4: Warring State Period by Mr. Song Hong Bing. Very good text.
From Chinese perspective, it reviewed the history of dominance by British pound, USD and the Soviet ruble (yeah, there used to be more than half of the world population lived under the communist rule during the Cold War if you would recall), and how the other three industrial powers: France, Germany and Japan, came to resist such pressure. In the 21st century, Mr. Song suggested that Asian countries form a new Asian currency to facilitate a fair financial relationship with the USA and the newly formed Euro economy. Unlike the first three books, this entry doesn't pay much attention to private financial powers. In stead, it stresses much on political decisions over financial system.
Even if you are a westerner, I strongly recommend this book. First of all, it illustrates financial concepts in very plain language. You dont need to be a CFA to understand the book. Its target audience is commoners like me who are not educated in Finance (and of course, Mr. Song encourage us to start acquiring knowledge in finance since it is critical to the fate of our nationS). Secondly, it advocates a fair relationship between the East and the West. One thing it pointed out: the USD system is based on the US national debt issuance, which is not sustainable. The things: firstly, of course, all accept USD have to pay for the US financial deficit. You dont need anyone to tell you how unfair and unjust it is. Secondly, it essentially means that the US government CANNOT eliminate financial deficit. USD is backed by US treasury bills. If the US government returns to budget surplus, the scale of US treasury bill issuance would be constrained. This in turn limits the issuance of USD, which would directly leads to the end of the USD dominance. See the irony? USD's purchasing power diminishes with issuance of US debt, yet US debt becomes the source of USD's power. If this goes on, the USA is on the path of self destruction. One thing Mr. Song admired: the Germany's zero tolerance of inflation which Germans consider to be thievery on private property. We are brain washed to believe that inflation is something so natural, and Mr. Song showed us the history that, as least under the gold standard this is outright lie.
And this book was written quite recently. It mentioned the "Occupy the Wall Street" movement for more than once in the last two chapters.
Last edited by squirrel; 31-12-2011 at 02:05 PM.
31-12-2011, 02:02 PM #423
- Join Date
- Jun 2011
About halfway through Alan Dean Foster - Sentenced to Prism. The only other book of his that I've read is Bloodhype, which I found rather slow going - but this one is much more interesting, with some very colourful descriptions of silicon-based life.
01-01-2012, 12:58 AM #424
Just finished A Feast For Crows by George R. R. Martin. It's ok, there's not much to say. If you liked the other books you'll probably like this one, if you didn't like the other books you probably won't like this one, if you haven't read the other books you shouldn't read this one.
Now reading 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami.
01-01-2012, 07:20 AM #425
Just getting myself into another financial thriller from Japan (of course, I am reading the Chinese translation), Trauma: Collapse of the Banking System by Ms. Kohda Main. About the protagonist, a Japanese banker working in a US commercial bank's Japanese branch, met his best high school friend on a duty trip to New York. This friend worked as a principal trader in a power Japanese bank's New York branch, but committed suicide a day after the happy reunion. The protagonist later met this friend's lover in New York, a Japanese woman was a director of the most powerful security firm (fictional of course, but I think it was modeled after Goldman Sachs). The woman discovered the secret between her lover's death, and plotted with the protagonist to take revenge on the Japanese bank her lover used to work for. The background was around early to mid 1990s.
I was shocked by this novel's similarity with what China is facing in financial troubles. Corrupted banks backed by corrupted government. Commoners have to put deposit into the banking system with very low to even zero interest payment, and the banks can put those capital into some very risky speculations, and the corrupted officials turned a blind eye on such practices.
Edit: You can have more information on Ms. Kohda Main's works here. I cannot read Japanese myself though.
Last edited by squirrel; 01-01-2012 at 03:04 PM.
01-01-2012, 04:14 PM #426
- Join Date
- Jul 2011
Currently about halfway through The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets Nest. As with the previous two books in the series it's a good page turner, though the lack of character development is really starting to show at this point.
01-01-2012, 05:44 PM #427
Goodness me, I don't half love a Discworld.A brave heart and a courteous tongue. They shall carry thee far through the jungle, manling.
02-01-2012, 12:52 AM #428
- Join Date
- Jul 2011
- Denmark, harr be vikings
Just finished the 7th Honor Harrington book, In Enemy Hands and well into the 8th, Echoes of Honor. Dig the space combat sections, more of this please!Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
03-01-2012, 06:08 PM #429
- Join Date
- Dec 2011
I'm reading The Authoritarians which is a free ebook written by sociologist Bob Altemeyer. Recommended! It's an overview of studies he did religious fundamendalists and the people who lead them.
06-01-2012, 10:53 PM #430
Borrowed the Millenium trilogy off my folks when at home over Christmas, then polished of Homicide - A Year on tHe Killing Streets by David Simon whilst struggling to train it from Scotland to Englandshire during the storms earlier this week.
Bought The Corner as well but don't think I'm quite ready for more bleakness yet, so am either going to start on the first Game of Thrones book (nice and cheap purchase for my new Kindle) or some Sherlock Holmes.
07-01-2012, 12:55 AM #431
I'm being a massive wanker and reading Proust. Slight redemption: I'm really not enjoying it. But I started, and I've got this annoying quirk of not wanting to condemn something before I've really given it the best chances, so here I am. Dammit.
07-01-2012, 01:21 AM #432
09-01-2012, 01:04 AM #433
New Amazon orders!
The Empire of Tea: The Remarkable History of the Plant that Took Over the World - Alan MacFarlane
Dispatches - Michael Herr
The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism - Naomi Klein
The Ordinary Person's Guide to Empire - Arundhati Roy
Oh and I finally finished Frankenstein. It's a wonderful novel, and far deeper and with a much greater sense of its time and place than the fragment that has survived in popular consciousness had led me to anticipate. I particularly liked how it inclines the reader's sympathies first one way and then the other. There's also something terribly appealing about Ms. Wollstonecroft's decidedly artificial yet unpretentious prose. I find it renders one contemplative and receptive to the perspectives being communicated.
Last edited by Rii; 09-01-2012 at 01:25 AM.
09-01-2012, 07:24 AM #434
The Shock Doctrine is really good, but Klein comes a bit too close to saying "boo evil shadowy cabal" for my liking. Chomsky-esque, really.
09-01-2012, 09:59 AM #435
Just finished reading 1984, which I fully realize I should have read a long time ago. It was a neat read all in all.
I was hoping someone could recommend some sci-fi to me. I haven't read any sci-fi with spaceships in it since I read Hyperion by Dan Simmons when I was a youngster and would like to get into the genre again. I'd like to read something relating to spaceships or mechs, preferably. I was hoping there were some books relating to these very gratuitous topics but still focused on the characters in these machines! If anyone has any good sci-fi reads in general I'd be much obliged!
Other than that I've just started reading Ingrid Betancourt's biography which so far has been a very interesting read.
09-01-2012, 10:08 AM #436
Not too great with spaceships, but I'd say read We by Yevgeny Zamyatin. 1984 is just a copy.
09-01-2012, 10:32 AM #437
The Culture series of books by Iain M Banks is unique for its ships which essentially run themselves and have their own personalities. It's part of the background noise in a lot of the books but in Excession the political manoeuvring and attitudes of a number of these ships are essentially the focus of the story. It’s a very entertaining exploration of the issue of AI anthropomorphising entities you typically wouldn’t even consider in any such manner. It’s clever in its obviousness; currently and traditionally ships are already regarded as ‘she’ and ascribed personalities despite being hunks of wood or metal, and it’s easy to see AI being at that level of sentience by the time we’re capable of easily reaching the stars…
You can read around it here and see if the flavour is something you'd enjoy, don't delve too deep on there though as you'll probably end up in spoiler territory.
09-01-2012, 10:37 AM #438
I am great with spaceships, so I say read Blindsight by Peter Watts or Revelation Space by Alastair Reynolds.
Blindsight is a first contact story, but the aliens are actually plausible (Watts is a marine biologist). It's set on the human spaceship and the alien spaceship (the humans travel across the solar system to meet the aliens). I won't say too much because it'd ruin the surprise, but it's an excellent book.
Revelation Space is a great hard sci-fi story (Reynolds is an astrophysicist) all about MASSIVE SPACESHIPS FLYING THROUGH SPAAAAAAACE. Ahem. There's no FTL travel in the book so they get put in reefersleep for the duration of journeys, which gives rise to some interesting problems (if it takes 70 years to travel to this planet, by the time we get there the person we're looking for will be dead).
I, and I'm sure many here, would strongly recommend both of them.
Last edited by westyfield; 09-01-2012 at 06:35 PM.
09-01-2012, 12:20 PM #439
By Tachibana Akira
I read its Chinese translated version from Taiwan, it's an economic thriller about an old and eccentric economist named Dr.亞玖夢 in Japan, with his beautiful yet mute assistant, 阿芳 and her younger genius yet super naive brother 阿林 (Chinese immigrants), providing weird kind of economic consultation. No, not financial consulting, but economic consulting, on your daily life. And solutions the doctor provided were so weird that people referred to as "Dark Economics". On leaflet, the doctor wrote, "If you see hell, please come visit Dr. 亞玖夢 and I shall lead you away from it."
And no, this is not a financial thriller, as only the last chapter has something to do, but not entirely, with Finance.
Last edited by squirrel; 09-01-2012 at 12:23 PM.
09-01-2012, 01:20 PM #440
Thanks for the tips! I'll have a look into those Culture series books, and We as well if I can find it here.