Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

What are you reading? July 10, 2013

For those who are new … we discuss books.  I list what I’m reading, and people comment with what they’re reading.  Sometimes, on Sundays, I post a special edition on a particular genre or topic.

If you like to trade books, try bookmooch

I’ve written some book reviews on Yahoo Voices:

Book reviews on Yahoo

Just finished

Woodrow Wilson by John Cooper, Jr. A fairly admiring look at Wilson.

Steal the Menu by Raymond Sokolov. Sokolov has loved food all his life and written about it professionally for 40 years for, e.g. the NY Times, the Wall St. Journal, Natural History….. Here he recounts his eating.  Not bad, but rather self-congratulatory… He tells us that he was Phi Beta Kappa at Harvard. Later, he tells us again.

Now reading

Thinking, fast and slow  by Daniel Kahneman.  Kahneman, most famous for his work with the late Amos Tversky, is one of the leading psychologists of the times. Here, he posits that our brains have two systems: A fast one and a slow one. Neither is better, but they are good at different things. This is a brilliant book: Full of insight and very well written, as well.

On politics: A history of political thought from Herodotus to the present by Alan Ryan. What the subtitle says – a history of political thought.  But he should add the adjective “Western” or something as he doesn’t discuss other traditions or writings.

Algorithms Unlocked  by Thomas Corman  A gentle introduction to computer algorithms

Robert Oppenheimer: A life in the center by Ray Monk  Oppenheimer was one of the most interesting people of the 20th century. In this biography Monk (a wonderful writer) attempts to cover both his physics and his many other interests.

Eminence: Cardinal Richelieu and the Rise of France by Jean-Vincent Blanchard.  Richelieu, best known to many from The Three Musketeers was a master of the dark arts of politics. And 16th and 17th century politics was no place for wusses.

A Question of Blood by Ian Rankin. Another in the Inspector Rebus series of Scottish noir police procedurals. A gunman has killed children in a school and then himself. Rebus and his colleagues are investigating. There’s also a question of how Rebus’ hands got scalded, while at the same time a lowlife who he was talking to burned to death.

Just started

Spell it Out by David Crystal.  The history of English spelling and why it’s so weird and why “rules” don’t work. Very interesting, but it all sort of blends together.  


  1. Portlaw

    today’s poem from the American Academy of Poets. For no charge, they will email you a poem a day. Some are fabulous, some not. It’s the first thing I read when I get online,

  2. bill d

    last night. Need some good brain candy and the only Bond book I’ve read before has been Thunderball.


  3. iriti

    If You Lived Here, I’d Know Your Name by Heather Lende. Story of life in small town in Alaska that was on special at Amazon. I’m on a very tight budget right now, reading a lot of classics and 99 cent to $2.99 books.

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