Thursday, March 23, 2017

Russia by Martin Sixsmith

This book's full title is Russian, a 1,000 Year Chronicle of the Wild East. .This is a well-written and very readable book on Russia. The author is a journalist and it shows. I know some of Russian history, especially recent history, so this is why I was attracted to this book. He talks about Russia always having autocratic tendencies and I did understand that.

Whatever the west thinks of Putin, I think that is it quite obvious that most Russians seem to like him. They want to be a great power again and seem to feel that Putin will do this. I think that the jury is still out on that. The book tries to give you an insight as to why the Russians like Putin.

There are, of course, some very good reviews of this book on Good Reads. Mostly they like the book but some complain and reasonably complain that most of the book is on the more recent history. This is probably understandable as the author is a journalist. There is a very interesting review by Mary Dejevsky on the Independent comparing this book the Rodric Braithwaite's book on Afghanistan. There is a short but interesting review on Kirkus Reviews.

This book is presented in many 13 minutes episodes on YouTube. There is an audio tape on You Tube giving a bibliography of Martin Sixsmith. There are some interviews with Martin Sixsmith, but they are very short, less than 3 minutes, with commercials beginning that are almost as long. Most of the interviews are about the film Philomena for which he wrote the story. There is an interesting one on Philomena with Steve Coogan and Martin Sixsmith. In the film Steve Coogan plays Martin Sixsmith. The interview is here. Martin Sixsmith gives a talk at AMBA, Association of MBAs Golden Awards and Gala Dinner in 2017.

An index of the books I have reviewed are on my website at Books. I have three blogs. The first talks only about specific stocks and is called Investment Talk . The second one contains information on mostly investing and is called Investing Economics Mostly. My last blog is for my book reviews and it is called Non-Fiction Mostly. Follow me on Twitter.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Silk Roads by Peter Frankopan

This book's full title is Silk Roads, a New History of the World. I must admit I have read more Western than Eastern history. However, I have always been fascinated by the Eastern half of the Eurasian continent and its history. Peter Frankopan has a unique way of looking at history. I am always fascinated by history with different views and outlooks of history. It is what makes reading history a pleasure. This is also a very readable book.

There are some negative reviews. It seems that for some readers their expectations were not met. The main thing I think is because the when he talks about Silk Roads, he uses it as a metaphor for trade routes rather than just about the Silk Road. Peter Frankopan has his own site here.

There as some very good reviews of this book on Amazon but you have to scroll to the bottom of the page. Anthony Sattin gives an interesting review in The Guardian. Robert Irwin also does a good review in the Independent.

For this video from University of Oxford has other speakers about this book as well as Peter Frankopan. Peter Frankopan does not come on until around 26.42 if you want to skip to where he is speaking. The whole thing is about 1 hour long. A visiting lecturer Valerie Hansen at Williams College talks about the Silk Road and this book. Peter Frankopan speaks at Liverpool John Moores University. The title of the lecture is: The Silk Roads: Questioning the Eurocentric view of history.

An index of the books I have reviewed are on my website at Books. I have three blogs. The first talks only about specific stocks and is called Investment Talk . The second one contains information on mostly investing and is called Investing Economics Mostly. My last blog is for my book reviews and it is called Non-Fiction Mostly. Follow me on Twitter.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The Memory Illusion by Dr. Julia Shaw

This book's full title is The Memory Illusion: Why you might not be who you think you are. We have semantic and episodic memory. It is the episodic one that defines us. However, any event, no matter how important, emotional or traumatic can be forgotten, misremembered or even entirely fictitious. This is interesting stuff. The author, Dr. Julia Shaw has her own web site here.

There are good reviews at Good Reads. The book was well received and appreciated. I understand that as we can understand that our memories are not perfect (and neither is anyone else's). There is an interesting review by Jon Hernandez on CBC News. Brian Bethune wrote a good review in the Maclean's Magazine.

There is a good interview on her site here. Dr. Julia Shaw also wrote an article for Scientific American. There is an interesting video by Dr. Julia Shaw on YouTube. This video is how to plant false memories and it is on YouTube.

An index of the books I have reviewed are on my website at Books. I have three blogs. The first talks only about specific stocks and is called Investment Talk . The second one contains information on mostly investing and is called Investing Economics Mostly. My last blog is for my book reviews and it is called Non-Fiction Mostly. Follow me on Twitter.

Friday, November 18, 2016

The Bonobo and the Atheist by Frans de Waal

This book’s full title is The Bonobo and the Atheist: In Search of Humanism Among the Primates by Frans de Waal. This is an absolutely wonderful book. But I am sure that he rattled a number of people with his views. Saying that he went easy on religion is only the mildest comment.

I cannot help but agree with him in calling Christopher Hitchens an Evangelical Atheist. I think some people have made atheism into a religion. I also think that some people have made socialism into a religion. When people only talk dogma and that their way is the only true way, to be it sounds like religion. There are religious people who do not respect other people’s beliefs or opinion. However, there are atheists who are exactly the same.

I am sorry, but agree with Frans de Waal. I grew up in going to the Presbyterian Church. The churches I was exposed to were places where people were not afraid to question anything. I am not religious, but I am also not against it. I just do like Fundamentalist. I think that communism is the fundamentalist form of socialism and this to me explains its murderous bent.

Of course there are some good reviews on Good Reads. Frans de Waal certainly hit a nerve with some reviewers. I do like the review by W. W. Norton on Scientific American. Tessa Kendall puts out a well-written review on The Guardian.

AC Grayling takes a short at Frans de Waal light pass on religion at Prospect Magazine. Here Tessa Kendall defends Frans de Waal on her Blog.

Frans de Waal talks about Moral behavior in animals on TED. Werner Haag talks about Frans de Waal at the Atheist Community of San Jose. Science journalist Lone Frank interviews Frans de Waal.

Also, an index of the books I have reviewed are on my website at Books. Follow me on Twitter.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Edward III by Richard Barber

This book's full title is Edward III and The Triumph of England; The Battle of Crecy and the Company of the Garter. I love English History and I have read a lot of it. I found this book quite enjoyable, but only half of it was really about Edward, the other half was information about knights.

There is a good review by Ben Wild in The Guardian. He is right that reading the book can be a bit frustrating at times. I just went with it and tried to just seat back and enjoy the ride. There is also another great review by Nigel Jones in The Telegraph. For both these reviews, I loved the included illustrations. Often British newspaper reviews are the best and of course there is nothing comparable to English History books for there to be lots of English Newspaper reviews. Ian Mortimer wrote a review at History Today. It is a rather odd book and not typically the way history is written. But it has its charms.

There is an interesting article on the Battle of Crecy at Crecy Museum site. Edward's victory over the French at Crecy on 26 August 1346 astounded all of Christendom. I cannot find any video by Richard Barber but he has an entry in Wikipedia. He has his own website here.

An index of the books I have reviewed are on my website at Books. I have three blogs. The first talks only about specific stocks and is called Investment Talk . The second one contains information on mostly investing and is called Investing Economics Mostly. My last blog is for my book reviews and it is called Non-Fiction Mostly. Follow me on Twitter.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Ancient World by Susan Wise Bauer

This book's full title is The History of the Ancient World From the Earliest Accounts to the Fall of Rome. She has a very interesting take on Ancient History. Most of it seems to be who was killing whom in the Royal Families of ancient kingdoms and empires. She also paints a picture of quite a violent world. This book is also a broad coverage of the ancient world rather than focusing on details. She also has her own website here.

There are good reviews on Good Reads. Most liked the book, but there were some good critical reviews. She does take a big person type overview of this history. There is an interesting review on Publishers Weekly.

The author of this review at Library Thing is quite critical. Most of the people commenting did not read the book. I did not find that it was overtly religious and she admits in places that what is thought about some of the history but that the facts are not clear. This is fair enough as it covers history a long ways back and we do not know and perhaps will never know exactly what happened in many cases. Unlike the reviewer I did read the whole book.

We humans can make viewpoints into religion. Some people use atheism as a religion. Theirs is the only one true way. If you do not think exactly like they do you are either stupid or evil. Actually this sounds like religious fundamentalism to me.

This is a short reading from this book starting at Chapter one by Carmine Hudgens. It will give you a flavor of this book. Susan Wise Bauer and Jim Weiss have a discussion in this video. This is a reading from another book by Susan Bauer called Medieval World. This is part 2. I cannot find a part 1. In this short video, Susan Bauer talks about how Christians justified Slavery.

An index of the books I have reviewed are on my website at Books. I have three blogs. The first talks only about specific stocks and is called Investment Talk . The second one contains information on mostly investing and is called Investing Economics Mostly. My last blog is for my book reviews and it is called Non-Fiction Mostly. Follow me on Twitter.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Dr. Susan Love's Breast Book

This is this book's sixth edition and there are co-authors of Karen Lindsey and Elizabeth Love. A number of people think that this is the bible for women with breast cancer and they use this quote from the New York Times on the cover. Dr. Susan Love has her own site here. You cannot do better than to start here and then read her book.

When I was getting tested for breast cancer, from the technologist that did the Mammogram to the second technologist that did the second one to the technologist who did the Ultrasound and the doctor that did the Biopsy all knew there was cancer. However, this being Ontario I had to wait and see my family doctor to get the results. I read the In-Between Days by Teva Harrison thinking the worst before I finally got some results. When the results were not so bad I read this book on everything you could want to know about breasts and breast cancer.

There is a good review of this book at Nancy Stordahl's site called Nancy's Point. She also talks about her books and other stuff on her site. As is usual there are good reviews of this book at Good Reads. Most people find this book excellent. Amazon also has good reviews but as usual you have to scroll to almost the bottom of the page to get them.

Dr. Susan Love is talked about at the Fred Hutch Org site and gives a Q&A session. This is a very short video by Dr. Susan Love. It is annoying as it is so short and you see an advertisement first and then it is rather choppy. This video is advise from Dr. Susan Lover via POPSugar. It gets points across, but it is also a bit annoying in the presentation and first you have to see an ad for the 2 minute video. Ads seem as long and the video. This is a 20 minute presentation by Dr. Susan Love brought to you by Young Survival Coalition.

An index of the books I have reviewed are on my website at Books. I have three blogs. The first talks only about specific stocks and is called Investment Talk . The second one contains information on mostly investing and is called Investing Economics Mostly. My last blog is for my book reviews and it is called Non-Fiction Mostly. Follow me on Twitter.