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Thread: Recommendations for Christmas Books ?

  1. #61
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    Default Re: Recommendations for Christmas Books ?




    Because Dolores is my pen-friend. We have been exchanging mail since 1998. Her book is fascinating. Sad really.

    She always talks warmly of the Elvis Presley of 1957/58 when they worked together.
    We are all insane animals existing for a time on an obviously unfinished planet.
    www.irelandtoo.com

  2. #62
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    Default Re: Recommendations for Christmas Books ?

    The kids gave me an early Xmas present, in the form of 2 books I think a good few people here would also be interested in.

    1) 23 things they don’t tell you about capitalism (Ha-Joon Chang, who lectures in the Department for Economics and Development Studies at the University of Cambridge).

    This is a small, very easy to read, very hard-hitting book, debunking neo-liberal thinking but with rather surprising alternatives… This is the table of contents

    - There is no such thing as a free market
    - Companies should not be run in the interest of their owners
    - Most people in rich countries are paid more than they should be
    - The washing machine has changed the world more than the internet
    - Assume the worst about people and you get the worst
    - Greater macroeconomic stability has not made the world economy more stable
    - Free market policies rarely make poor countries rich
    - Capital has a nationality
    - We do not live in a post industrial age
    - The US does not have the highest living standard in the world
    - Africa is not destined for underdevelopment
    - Governments can pick winners
    - Making rich people richer does not the rest of us richer
    - US managers are over-priced
    - People in poor countries are more entrepreneurial than people in rich countries
    - We are not smart enough to leave things to the market
    - More education in itself is not going to make a country richer
    - What is good for General Motors is not necessarily good for the United States
    - Despite the fall of communism, we are still living in planned economies
    - Equality of opportunity may not be fair
    - Big government makes people more open to change
    - Financial markets need to become less, not more efficient
    - Good economic policy does not require good economists


    Bloomsbury Press 978-1-60819-166-6 (hard cover) or 978-1-60819-358-5 (e-book)

    The second book is a completely different subject matter. Written by American Journalist and Photographer Ann Jones, it is titled:

    They were soldiers: how the wounded return from America’s wars – The untold story

    Congress surely meant to do the right thing when, in the fall of 2008, it passed the Child Soldiers Prevention Act (CSPA). The law was designed to protect kids worldwide from being forced to fight the wars of Big Men. From then on, any country that coerced children into becoming soldiers was supposed to lose all U.S. military aid.It turned out, however, that Congress -- in its rare moment of concern for the next generation -- had it all wrong. In its greater wisdom, the White House found countries like Chad and Yemen so vital to the national interest of the United States that it preferred to overlook what happened to the children in their midst.
    As required by CSPA, this year the State Department once again listed 10 countries that use child soldiers: Burma (Myanmar), the Central African Republic, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. Seven of them were scheduled to receive millions of dollars in U.S. military aid as well as what’s called “U.S. Foreign Military Financing.” That’s a shell game aimed at supporting the Pentagon and American weapons makers by handing millions of taxpayer dollars over to such dodgy “allies,” who must then turn around and buy “services” from the Pentagon or “materiel” from the usual merchants of death. You know the crowd: Lockheed Martin, McDonnell Douglas, Northrop Grumman, and so on.
    Here was a chance for Washington to teach a set of countries to cherish their young people, not lead them to the slaughter. But in October, as it has done every year since CSPA became law, the White House again granted whole or partial “waivers” to five countries on the State Department’s “do not aid” list: Chad, South Sudan, Yemen, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Somalia.
    Too bad for the young -- and the future -- of those countries. But look at it this way: Why should Washington help the children of Sudan or Yemen escape war when it spares no expense right here at home to press our own impressionable, idealistic, ambitious American kids into military “service”?
    It should be no secret that the United States has the biggest, most efficiently organized, most effective system for recruiting child soldiers in the world. With uncharacteristic modesty, however, the Pentagon doesn’t call it that. Its term is “youth development program.”
    Haymarket Books (USA) ISBN 978-1608463718

    I’m going to be quietly happy for the next few days….

  3. #63
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    Default Re: Recommendations for Christmas Books ?

    If you are a Jane Austen fan or (even just a Pride and Prejudice fan), or if you are a PD James fan and want a non-political read for the hols, then try Murder at Pemberley. It uses all the P&P characters including the wicked Wyckham and the ludicrous Lydia in a murder mystery in the Austen style

    I am trying to finish it before a film version appears.

  4. #64
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    Default Re: Recommendations for Christmas Books ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Spectabilis View Post
    If you are a Jane Austen fan or (even just a Pride and Prejudice fan), or if you are a PD James fan and want a non-political read for the hols, then try Murder at Pemberley. It uses all the P&P characters including the wicked Wyckham and the ludicrous Lydia in a murder mystery in the Austen style

    I am trying to finish it before a film version appears.
    Any zombies involved?

  5. #65
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    Default Re: Recommendations for Christmas Books ?


  6. #66
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    Default Re: Recommendations for Christmas Books ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Spectabilis View Post
    Just not the same without zombies
    Some good stuff here about how Christmas was celebrated in Jane Austen's novels. I thought a lot of the traditions only go back to the Victorian era but it appears not.
    http://austenonly.com/jane-austen-and-christmas/

  7. #67
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    Default Re: Recommendations for Christmas Books ?

    I was given a gift of the Jane Austen cookbook one year. Pretty pointless since she rarely wrote about food and clearly never prepared any.

    'Just not the same without zombies' sounds like one of those ubiquitous Christmas cookery programmes - (each with a book attached just to stay on topic) - where they say 'It is just not the same without chestnuts/sausegemeat/port/brioche crumbs/pannetone/goose fat/fresh pomegranates/cinnamon sticks - you know the kind of thing.

  8. #68
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    Default Re: Recommendations for Christmas Books ?

    I have just bought the new Rory McCormac detective story, A Moving Death, as my prezzy to me. I am looking forward to his new character Inspector Cassar. I loved the earlier ones where the detective was a vet in the highways and byways of Ireland. The new one is set in Malta.

  9. #69
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    Default Re: Recommendations for Christmas Books ?



    Politics is the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds from the rich, by promising to protect each from the other. ~Oscar Ameringer

  10. #70
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    Default Re: Recommendations for Christmas Books ?

    For those who haven't read it, or seen the movie..........


    "To Kill a Mockingbird," the coming-of-age story about racism and injustice, overpowered wizards and time travelers to be voted America's best-loved novel by readers nationwide, AP's Lynn Elber writes.

    • The 1960 book by Harper Lee emerged as No. 1 in PBS' "The Great American Read" survey, whose results were announced yesterday on the show's finale.
    • More than 4 million votes were cast in the six-month-long contest that put 100 titles to the test.
    • "To Kill a Mockingbird" has sold more than 40 million copies worldwide and remains a fixture on school reading lists.

    Books that were published as a series counted as a single entry.

    • The other top-five finishers, in order of votes, were Diana Gabaldon's "Outlander" series about a time-spanning love; J.K. Rowling's "Harry Potter" boy wizard tales; Jane Austen's romance "Pride and Prejudice"; and J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings" fantasy saga.
    As a general rule the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information.

  11. #71
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    Default Re: Recommendations for Christmas Books ?

    this looks good

    THIS is a story of many characters, but chief among them is a humble librarian from West Limerick, whose efforts alongside his colleagues in Irish Military Intelligence, helped turn the tide of the Second World War.
    https://www.limerickleader.ie/news/h...e-breaker.html
    Politics is the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds from the rich, by promising to protect each from the other. ~Oscar Ameringer

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