March 17, 2010

Books, Books, Books

I am crashing on some writing assignments, so I do not have much time to blog. Or to read much, alas. But I figured I would share with you the books that I am currently reading and those that are on my shortlist, competing for my attention.

Currently Reading:

1. Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the Worldir?t=abumuqa-20&l=as2&o=1&a=B002WTC8UC; I have thus far really enjoyed this book and am almost done with it. Very readable financial history, much like Ferguson's The House of Rothschildir?t=abumuqa-20&l=as2&o=1&a=0140240845.

2. War and Punishmentir?t=abumuqa-20&l=as2&o=1&a=0691049440; Really impressive. Thus far, he has cited sources in three different languages and has a thorough understanding and incisive criticism of the literature he is challenging. No wonder people think highly of this dude.

Competing For My Attention:

1. Buying National Security: How America Plans and Pays for Its Global Role and Safety at Homeir?t=abumuqa-20&l=as2&o=1&a=0415954401; How sick am I that this is the book I am most excited about reading? A book on budgets! But there had been no good book on the subject prior to this one, and I think very highly of both co-authors.

2. Our Army: Soldiers, Politics, and American Civil-Military Relations; I have heard great things about the research this active-duty officer has been doing on the values and political allegiances of the U.S. military's officer corps.

3. Every Man in This Village is a Liar: An Education in War; Megan graciously hosted me for Christmas dinner at her apartment in Cairo in 2005. I look forward to reading this book, based on her experiences reporting the Middle East for the Los Angeles Times. An advance copy landed on my desk yesterday.

4. The Iraq Effect: The Middle East After the Iraq Warir?t=abumuqa-20&l=as2&o=1&a=0833047884; I got a briefing from both co-authors yesterday. Had a few quibbles with some observations, but their analysis on stuff I know a little about, like Lebanon, largely matched my own. Solid, necessary work.