Archive | Quotes RSS feed for this section

My first week list of books to review- blog about

29 Dec

How exciting! I have a first comment on my blog from an experienced book reviewer- thank you Jan for the encouragement.

My challenge for the first week is to review the 5 books on the table closest to me. They are:

1. The failure of market failure Towards a 21st century Keynesianism

By Will Hutton and Phillippe Schneider
NESTA (London), Provocation 08: November 2008, 31p

This is really more of a pamphlet, so will test the template and should be quick to review as I have also heard the lecture by Will Hutton where he introduced this booklet. Hope that is not ‘cheating’.

2. FREAKONOMICS A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything

Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J Dubner
PENGUIN BOOKS, Revised and Expended Edition, London, 2006. 320p.

I know, this is an ‘old’ bestseller, but I did not want to buy it at the time when all the hype went around, kind of matter of principle. I then started to read their highly popular blog column in the New York Times and have enjoyed the variety of themes they and their guest writers tackle. Must have mentioned it to my daughter, as she chose to buy this book for me for Xmas this year and especially suggested I read chapter 6 about baby names.

3. REINVENTING KNOWLEDGE From Alexandria to the Internet

Ian F. McNeely with Lisa Wolverton
W.W.NORTON&CO, New York, 2008, 318p.

This is one of the real ‘finds’ from the time Gary and I spent picking the books we may be interested in from the shelves at COOP on Harvard Square when we visited Cambridge at the end of October-beginning of November 2008. Once I found this book and discovered that the authors were both fellows at Harvard and did history for their respective PhD’s I was even more excited. Fancy walking by pure chance into the subject that my daughter is now researching as part of her own PhD and stumbling onto the topic that is of great interest to me? I love these coincidences.

I have already spent some time reading this book in US and taking notes, so hopefully it will make it easier to finish the review in time without getting too much sidetracked by details.

4. The HOW of Happiness A practical Guide to Getting the Life You Want

Sonja Lyubomirsky
Sphere, London, 2007, 373p

I have been waiting to get this book for some time, ever since I first came across the work of Dr Lyubomirsky in an article printed, of all places, in the Financial Times. I have since heard her speak several times on webcasts for people involved in the work in Positive Psychology or for the members of IAPP. Her conversation with Prof Ed Denier in October 2008 was really interesting so I checked her book at COOP and ordered it from Amazon on our return back home (sorry but economics of book buying and their weight means that however much I appreciate very special atmosphere of the Harvard COOP, we can not afford to buy all the books we determine we want to read there).

5. HAPPIER Can you learn to be happy

TAL BEN-SHAHAR, Ph. D.
McGraw Hill, Maidenhead, UK, 2008, 207p.

I have heard about Tal Ben-Shahar and the popularity of his lectures to Harvard undergraduates first a couple of years ago. Then I heard him personally on BBC Start the Week program and listened to his podcast. A fascinating person and clearly someone with great ability to engage and communicate well. As I am interested in exploring how best to get the concepts of positive psychology transfered via school education to the secondary school kids it struck me as worthwhile acquisition. Another COOP find bought via Amazon in UK in November 2008.

What do ll these books have in common then? They are all in one way or another linked to my work interests. I have got them in the last two months. Oh, and the two books about Happiness have both yellow covers! Four books are paperbacks, only Reinventing Knowledge is a hardback.

* * * * * *
In the process of finding the sites to link with for each of the books above, I came across a really interesting site called The Page 99 Test with the subtitle “Open the book to page ninety-nine and read, and the quality of the whole will be revealed to you.” –Ford Madox Ford Definitely sounds intriguing and I will try it out in my reviews on the book whose search brought it up- Reinventing Knowledge. That way I should have two reviews for it.