The first post in a planned series!
- Predictably Irrational, by Dan Ariely (non-fiction): A breezy, entertaining romp through one of my favourite topics — behavioural economics. Still, I’d rank this second to Professor Ariely’s free online course – he is a very good presenter, and in his hands, the subject comes alive on screen. Watch out for the course the next time it comes up.
- Southeast Asia in World History, by Craig Lockard (non-fiction) – A brief overview of Southeast Asian history, about the only one I’ve found. As one Amazon reviewer points out, it possesses the usual strengths and weaknesses of its kind — trying to cover a lot of history in a very short book will provide a quick background… wrapped up in a dry list of dates and names. I am only halfway through the book (up to the eighteenth century); I’ll see if the second half picks up.
- The Cuckoo’s Calling and The Silkworm, by Robert Galbraith (novels) – JK Rowling’s pseudonymous crime fiction. Solid, entertaining stuff — I like it better than Harry Potter. The main characters are fun to be around, although the secondary characters (especially in Silkworm) are a bit too grotesque. I look forward to the next book.
- Song for a Dark Queen, by Rosemary Sutcliff (novel) – The story of Queen Boadicea of the Iceni, narrated by her harpist. Beautifully written, and utterly bleak.