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Monday, October 11, 2004

catch up post via this sunday's washington post book world

so i have not been blogging much lately...been reading a bit more.... there's a lot of interesting stuff out there as of late.. just look at this sunday's washington post book world:

"naked airport - a cultural history of the world's most revolutionary structure" by alastair gordon... basically a history of the airport... a subject that never gets much ink....definetly need to read this if only for professional reasons...

"exuberance- the passion for life" by kay redfield jamison... a book about exuberant personalities (i.e., people who are passionate about life)..

then three books about the modern pharamaceutical industry (i.e. racket) in the US.. indeed: why do americans take so many pills?

"chronicles: volume one" by bob dylan....i'm not sure what i think about this book based on what i'm reading... seems like a book of writings by bob dylan but don't look for an autobiography here. the man is obviously extremely private.. anybody who refuses to mention his wife by name can't be called open.. however, some of the things that might turn off more casual dylanistas appeal to me.. for example, reading that two chapters are devoted to the underrated "new morning" lp... but i'm not particularly interested in reading bob quotes of the "goons were breaking into our place all hours of the night. at first, it was merely the nomadic homeless..."..whine whine and "i owed nobody nothing. i wasn't going to go deeper into the darkness for anybody. i was already living in the darkness" variety...

then joel kotkin reviews a few books about the european/french view of the world... he seems very concerned with economic growth figures but seems to miss the point.. if they don't want four giant screen tv's/four cars per household . if consumerism is not what they are about why do they need GNP growth a la USA... GNP growth figures adequately measure progress USA style (i.e., increased production) but do they measure anything else.. if you do not want to consume more why do you need to produce more?. i mean check what kotkin says here "worse, the many structural flaws in its economy- the generous pensions, extra leisure time and early retirement praised by rifkin- are precisely what limits future euro-growth to less than 2 percent annually, widening the gap with the United States and potentially placing europe behind burgeoning asian economies.".. geez maybe i prefer to see the gap widen so long as i can spend some time in the french riviera or retire at 50...

"the double" by jose saramago.. this is the new book by nobel prize winner saramago.. i once tried to read saramago's "blindness" and nearly fell into a coma... seems things have not changed per jonathan carroll's review: "what's more, if the subject of a novel is a dull man, there must be something at least a little itneresting in his everyday existence to keep us interested. Unfortunately, in The Double it takes close to half of the novel's 300 pages for the protagonist to even get up the nerve to send a letter..."

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