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I enjoyed and (I hope) personally profited from Roy Baumeister & John Tierney’s Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength. The link gives a better book review than I could hope to write but this a special book. It analyses our ability to say “no” to temptation (to use heroin, to eat excessively, to fritter our […]

Prices for inequality & civilization

I am reading Joseph Stiglitz’s The Price of Inequality which, as it states, focuses on inequality but provides a more general political-economic critique of US political developments over the past 30 years. Also reading Jeffrey Sacks, The Price of Civilization which emphasises ethical issues but takes up similar themes. The chapter in Stiglitz, “1984 is […]

Kindle 2

I mentioned some time back that I had bought the second-generation Kindle. This is more than a faddist toy in my view – it is a substantial and revolutionary innovation. I have taken it on two long-distance air flights and now read from it routinely every evening. It is close to a perfect substitute for […]

The Brothers Karamazov

I have re-read Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov after more than 30 years. I remember being almost spellbound by the novel when I first read it – it led me into The Idiot which I also found a revelation. A curious feature of my reading of both books is that, after such a time, the […]

Fortune magazine

Fortune is one of those magazines I subscribe to with mixed feelings. On the one hand it caters to some the worst aspects of US consumerism and an almost adolescent worship of wealth. But it also provides a gritty and useful view of the world of business from a business rather than economics perspective. It’s […]

Climate change: Last chance for change

I have been reading a range of literature on climate change. Most of it has been rather dry, technical or policy-oriented work with an economics emphasis.

My favourite general ‘read’ is the attractive and informative discussion of the various aspects of the climate change by former Guardian environmental correspondent, Paul Brown, titled Global Warming: The […]


I forgot today to celebrate the anniversary of Bloomsday, 16th June 1904 on Saturday. It was celebrated in Sydney and in Melbourne. A lifetime ambition of mine is to celebrate in Dublin. Another is to read Finnegan’s Wake with a pleasure and understanding.

My earlier posts on JJ have not aged nor improved – here […]

What I have been reading

Books on water, tobacco and the acid-rock musical era.

I was informed by and enjoyed Fred Pearce’s When the Rivers Run Dry, Transworld, 2006 which dealt with global water problems briefly and concisely but which provided a good sense of perspective. Excellent value. Traversing all continents it highlights the monumentally huge water resource problems […]