July 06, 2005
Summer Book Suggestions
With the quick response to the book post below I'm opening a thread on summer book suggestions. Some people like to spend their free time pouring through a large tome they never make time for when not on vacation. Crime and Punishment or David McCullough's John Adams (a fast read for such a large book) are two examples. When I go on a trip I like to bring a couple books: something serious yet not too big and something fun. On my yearly Spring Training baseball trips to Phoenix I've made it a tradition of reading the latest Daniel Silva novel in paperback. The plots always move at a brisk pace, but there some heft to the action taking place. Donald Westlake's Dortmunder novels are also fun, smart reads perfect for a vacation.
For a not-too-heavy, serious book I just finished Stephen Johnson's Everything Bad is Good for You. In it he argues the intellectual benefits of supposed junk culture like video games and reality television. Steven Levitt's and Stepehn Dubner's Freakonomics is an interesting read on the applicability of economics to subjects other than financial but it does have it's problems. Ross Gregory Douthat's Privilege is his generation's God and Man at Yale. It's personal, insightful, and humane. Virginia Postrel's The Future and its Enemies still serves as a useful way to view politics in our high tech age. Read Dava Sobel's Longitude and you'll want to do what I did and go to Greenwich to see John Harrison's magnificent clocks. Finally, while not being F. A. Hayek's best work The Road to Serfdom contains plenty to inspire liberty lovers to continue fighting the good fight.
What are your summer book picks? How do you decide what to read in the summer and/or on vacation?