Saturday, October 16, 2010

Saturday Night Review of Book Reviews--October 16, 2010

From the London Review of Books:

1. An informative review about a book that discusses the Chinese way of changing their Communist stripes for other authoritarian stripes, but proceeding with capitalism nonetheless. Chinese leaders, as I have said for 15 years, have learned the lesson from the Russian Communists: Peristroika first, then worry about whether to have open society or glasnost. In other words, however, it is a new form of fascism...which of course appeals to our nation's corporate elite.

From the London Times Literary Supplement:

I don't think this novel about love amidst torturers in Pinochet's Chile is going to get much reviewed in American newspapers, more because of its edgy sado-masochism than its politics. Too much for me, but reading the review was enlightening from what was a fairly horrible era in Chilean history; largely brought on by American leaders' actions, starting with Nixon and Kissinger.

And who knew that one can be a member of "Fight Club" and be Buddhist?

And here is a triviality that is nonetheless intriguing, which is how a quartet of internationally famous English authors were on the same cricket team at the turn of the 20th Century.

From the New York Review of Books:

Here is an example of a book I'll never read, but I do learn from reading the review: A book about saving penguins following a massive oil spill off South Africa a decade ago.

And with multiple mayors killed during this year in Mexico, perhaps it is well advised to read Anna Guillermoprieto's review of books about the drug war in Mexico. I think had Obrador won the presidential election in Mexico a few years ago, we might not be seeing this. Instead, there would be roads being built, and other infrastructure.

Yes, a bit eclectic and short this week. More exhaustion than anything else...

Still, some may wonder what's on my nightstand that I am actively reading. Well, here goes: "The Trumpet-Major" by Thomas Hardy; "The Western Paradox" by Bernard de Voto and "The Oregon Trail" by Francis Parkman (yes, and it is vibrant and surprisingly a good read, even for even someone firmly grounded in the 21st Century).

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