1. We are Doomed by John Derbyshire
2. Ilium by Dan Simmons
3. Cool It by Bjorn Lomborg
End the Fed by Ron Paul: 10/10. I’ll be reviewing this in more detail soon and have requested an interview with him. A fascinating book; it significantly surpassed my expectations.
The Empire series by Conn Iggulden: 6/10. Lightly alternative historical mind candy. It was entertaining enough and the man clearly did his homework, but I still don’t see the point of trying to turn Brutus and Caesar into David and Jonathan just to get a bit more dramatic bang out of that final “et tu, Brutus?” The relationship was never really convincing and it weakened Caesar’s character significantly. Caesar winds up coming off a bit schizophrenic, as Iggulden is forced to juggle between portraying the historical Caesar capable of his astounding actions and the kinder, gentler romantic that Iggulden wants him to be in order to serve the story. Brutus, on the other hand, would be convincing if only he wasn’t the bestest blade in the West… I mean, Rome.
The Painter of Battles by Arturo Perez Reverte: 8/10. A brutal book by a very good writer. Introspective and sparse, it paints an intriguing portrait of the narcissistic and unintentional evil of the compartmentalized intellectual. Shows definite flashes of greatness which are countered by occasional periods of textual tedium. The sort of book that leaves you staring at the ceiling afterward, contemplating Man’s capacity for pointless depravity.
The Mind of the Market: Compassionate Apes, Competitive Humans, and Other Tales from Evolutionary Economics by Michael Shermer: 7/10. I reviewed it at WorldNetDaily.