1. The Mind of the Market by Michael Shermer
2. The Lions of al-Rassan by Guy Gavriel Kay (re-reading it)
3. Air Con by Ian Wishart (likewise)
4. The Cambridge Medieval History Series vol I: The Christian Era edited by J.B. Bury
Spook Country by William Gibson: 5/10. Frankly disappointing. Gibson has a few interesting ideas, as he always does, and his prose is as clean and streamlined as ever, but the plot lies somewhere between stupid and silly. The use of a pop musician turned journalist as the protagonist seems to hint at some sort of elegy for lost fame, but Gibson does next to nothing with it. In summary, it reads like a caricature of his previous work.
The Age of Turbulence by Alan Greenspan: 8/10. Of genuine historical interest to any economist, Greenspan’s book is a glimpse into the world of real power. It is a sobering reminder that intelligence is no antidote to bad theoretical models. It’s not an apology or a case for the defense so much as it is a perspective. One comes away with the perception that the failures of 1996 and 2008 are largely rooted in the success of 1987.
Agent of the Terran Empire 1: Tiger by the Tail and Agent of the Terran Empire 2: Warriors From Nowhere! by Poul Anderson. 6/10. Fun, fluffy space opera of moderate intelligence; it’s Edward Gibbon set in space. But as is the case with so much SF/F, the dashing hero’s characterization is somewhat hampered by the fact that the author appears to have never pursued, let alone successfully seduced, a woman in his life. And more than a little stylistically amusing these days to read of a supposedly straight lothario with a mustache.