August 03, 2009


The next ten books in my 2009 George Bush Reading Challenge.


30) Anthem (Ayn Rand)
Quick and good, as usual.

29) Hemma hos Martina (Martina Haag)
I try to read occasionally in French and Swedish, since reading is the only way to keep up my skills.  Only until this year, I thought I was doing it a lot more frequently.  It's amazing how few books I can read in a year!  But my friend sent me this book at Christmas and I hadn't gotten around to reading it yet.  And thank heavens, because it was about a pregnant lady.  It might not have been so charming to read a few months ago.  But I got to learn lots of new Swedish words that never come up in regular conversation: moderkaka, förlossning, fostervattnet, mödravÃ¥rdstant, etc.  Because when I lived there ten years ago, I didn't have conversations about placentas and amniotic fluid.

28) Cool It (Bjørn Lomborg)
I loved the article "Get Your Priorities Right" when I read it three years ago, and Cool It is a fleshed-out version of how we would get more bang for our buck solving other problems like malaria and AIDS than global warming. I usually use Lomborg's ideas when debating global warming with believers because, while I am still skeptical, Lomborg definitely believes in anthropogenic global warming...yet he still doesn't think we should make it our top priority. It makes for good middle ground with believers: even if you concede that global warming is real and is caused by man, there is still a debate to be had over whether it is our most pressing global issue. Bjørn Lomborg says no way.

27) The Sandbox (milbloggers)
I still have to review this for SpouseBUZZ.  I will link my review once I write it, hopefully by the end of this week.
Update: Um, it took more than a week, but here it is.

26) Congo (Michael Crichton)
I was halfway through The Sandbox when my husband deployed, and I didn't exactly feel like reading military stories the night he left, so I grabbed a Crichton book instead. It didn't disappoint.

25) Blowback (Brad Thor)
My favorite Brad Thor book so far. But "so far" is definitely a relative term.

24) The 5000 Year Leap (W. Cleon Skousen)
Glenn Beck has been promoting this book, so I picked it up. It was good, but it's kinda...basic for me. I think it would've been much more valuable to read when I was 18 instead of now. There were some more in-depth lessons that I appreciated, such as the one on the origins of separation of powers, but overall I think I already grasped most of the lessons. But I'll hang on to it and hand it to my kid someday.


23) My Grandfather's Son (Clarence Thomas)
Back in February, Amy recommended this book. I went back and read her recommendation today, and she was totally right: I got such a jolt when Clarence Thomas first discovered Thomas Sowell! I enjoyed reading this book and was saddened that the only mental association I previously had with this man had to do with a Coke can. To have worked his whole life, up from not having electricity and running water, to have it culminate in that. It's depressing, really.

22) Natural Selection (Dave Freedman)
This novel's premise was Michael Crichton-esque: What if nature made an evolutionary leap and a new predator emerged from the depths of the oceans? The cover proclaimed the book to be a great "beach read," but that would've scared the bejesus out of me. As it stands, I have been wary of my plecostomus ever since...

21) Discover Your Inner Economist (Tyler Cowen)
While there were times when it felt like Cowen was a little too SWPL for me, overall the book was interesting. I especially liked learning about micro-credit, and I immediately went to and donated to a bricklayer in Tajikistan. I begged my husband to let us pick out someone to lend to once a month. I have long felt like I wanted to do more giving, and the idea of "lending to the working poor" immediately appealed to me. I am so motivated to keep this up.

Previous lists:
Book List II
Book List I

Posted by: Sarah at 08:24 PM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
Post contains 718 words, total size 6 kb.

1 Oh, I definitely have to try Congo!  Maybe when I finish this horrifyingly interesting travesty that is The Ancestor's Tale.

Honestly, the evolutionary insights are fascinating, but he even managed to stick a reference to the "illegal war for oil" into a book about evolution!  Sheesh almighty, people! 

Posted by: airforcewife at August 03, 2009 08:23 PM (CDkfD)

2 You read the book I recommended. I feel like a celebrity!!!

Posted by: Amy at August 04, 2009 09:32 AM (9fDOS)

3 I was just reading your book list. I just got done with GB's Common Sense. Definitely a good quick read if you haven't picked it up already. Right now I'm rereading Michael Yon's A Moment of Truth in Iraq. 

I still have yet to start Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged and will hopefully start it later this month. I tried getting into Liberal Facism but just had to put it down for now.

I DO really want to read that book John Stossel always touts in his healthcare reports called The Cure - it's a comparison between US and Canada healthcare and how capitalism improves healthcare. Forget who it's by, but it is a hard book to find. I don't even think they sell it on Amazon.

Posted by: bdol78 at August 04, 2009 11:59 AM (W3XUk)

4 Swedish compounds are fun! Using this dictionary, I tried to figure out the meanings of the ones you mentioned:

moderkaka - mother-?cake = 'placenta'

förlossning - fore-unloading = 'childbirth'

fostervattnet - fetus (not 'foster'!)-water-the = 'the amniotic fluid'

mödravårdstant - mother-care-s-?aunt = 'female maternity welfare worker'?

Here's an attempt to have a computer identify the components of Swedish compounds.

Posted by: Amritas at August 04, 2009 02:50 PM (+nV09)

5 Good work, Amritas!  The cool thing was that I didn't even have to look them up; I figured them out from context in the story.  I googled them all when I wrote this post just to make 100% sure my hunch had been correct.
I used to have this rule when I lived in Sweden and read tons of books: if the word appears three times and I still can't figure it out by context, then I look it up.  Otherwise, dictionary use just ruins the flow of a story.  You can actually read and understand a lot without knowing all of the words.

Posted by: Sarah at August 04, 2009 04:02 PM (TWet1)

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