What I’ve been reading

The first post in a planned series!

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
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