Category: Books


Review: The Euro: How a Common Currency Threatens the Future of Europe

Posted 13 June, 2018 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

The Euro: How a Common Currency Threatens the Future of Europe
By: Joseph E. Stiglitz
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase

When Nobel Prize–winning economist Joseph E. Stiglitz posed this question in the original edition of The Euro, he lent much-needed clarity to a global debate that continues to this day. The euro was supposed to unify Europe and promote prosperity; in fact, it has done just the opposite. To save the European project, the euro may have to be abandoned. Since 2010, many of the 19 countries of Europe that share the euro currency—the eurozone—have been rocked by debt crises and mired in lasting stagnation, and the divergence between stronger and weaker economies has accelerated. In The Euro, Joseph E. Stiglitz explains precisely why the eurozone has performed so poorly, so different from the expectations at its launch: at the core of the failure is the structure of the eurozone itself, the rules by which it is governed. Stiglitz reveals three potential paths forward: drastic structural reforms, not of the individual countries, but of the eurozone; a well-managed dissolution of the euro; or a bold new system dubbed the “flexible euro.” With trenchant analysis—and brand new material on Brexit—The Euro is urgent and timely reading.

I had been eyeing this book for ages. I came across this book as I was looking up books about the current state of the EU with the euro crisis and ongoing issues that the EU is faced with; I just wanted to read what people were thinking and what their alternatives were to the present situation. I finally got my hands on it a while ago but had to wait until I finished the school year to read it as I wanted to give it my undivided attention.

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Review: The Crown Tower

Posted 25 May, 2018 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

The Crown Tower (The Riyria Chronicles #1)
By: Michael J. Sullivan
Format/Source: eBook; my purchase

TWO MEN WHO HATE EACH OTHER. ONE IMPOSSIBLE MISSION. A LEGEND IN THE MAKING.

A warrior with nothing to fight for is paired with a thieving assassin with nothing to lose. Together they must steal a treasure that no one can reach. The Crown Tower is the impregnable remains of the grandest fortress ever built and home to the realm’s most valuable possessions. But it isn’t gold or jewels the old wizard is after, and this prize can only be obtained by the combined talents of two remarkable men. Now if Arcadius can just keep Hadrian and Royce from killing each other, they just might succeed.

Oh man, I’ve had the first three books of the Riyria Chronicles sitting on my TBR pile waiting to be read for ages. I dunno, the TBR pile just expanded and contracted, things happened, and I just didn’t get around to it sooner. I was of course looking forward to reading it as I did read the Riyria Revelations when Orbit first published them and greatly enjoyed that trilogy. Anyway I was in the mood for some lighter fare whilst on break at work so I started reading this book.

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Review: Murder on the Orient Express

Posted 15 May, 2018 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

Murder on the Orient Express (Hercule Poroit #10)
By: Agatha Christie
Format/Source: Mass market paperback; my purchase

What more can a mystery addict desire than a much-loathed murder victim found aboard the luxurious Orient Express with multiple stab wounds, thirteen likely suspects, an incomparably brilliant detective in Hercule Poirot, and the most ingenious crime ever conceived?

How is it that I’ve never read a Hercule Poroit novel before? Been meaning to for the longest time–and indeed I only got around to reading a book by Agatha Christie maybe a year or two ago–but yeah, it wasn’t until previews for the 2017 adaptation were playing that I decided to finally check out the book (which by the way I still haven’t seen the movie. If I do check out an adaptation it will likely be the David Suchet one as my family’s told me his Poroit is on point *thumbs up*).

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Review: Citizen of the World: the Life of Pierre Elliot Trudeau, 1919 – 1968

Posted 9 May, 2018 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

Citizen of the World: the Life of Pierre Elliot Trudeau, 1919 – 1968
By: John English
Format/Source: Paperback; was a Christmas gift

One of the most important, exciting biographies of our time: the definitive, major two-volume biography of Pierre Elliott Trudeau – written with unprecedented, complete access to Trudeau’s enormous cache of private letters and papers.

Bestselling biographer John English gets behind the public record and existing glancing portraits of Trudeau to reveal the real man and the multiple influences that shaped his life, providing the full context lacking in all previous biographies to-date.

As prime minister between 1968 and 1984, Trudeau, the brilliant, controversial figure, intrigued Canadians and attracted international attention as no other Canadian leader has ever done. Volume One takes us from his birth in 1919 to his election as leader in 1968.

Born into a wealthy family in Montreal, Trudeau excelled at the best schools, graduating as a lawyer with conservative, nationalist and traditional Catholic views. But always conscious of his French-English heritage, desperate to know the outside world, and an adventurer to boot, he embarked on a pilgrimage of discovery – first to Harvard and the Sorbonne, then to the London School of Economics and, finally, on a trip through Europe, the Middle East, India and China. He was a changed man when he returned – socialist in his politics, sympathetic to labour, a friend to activists and writers in radical causes. Suddenly and surprisingly, he went to Ottawa for two mostly unhappy years as a public servant in the Privy Council Office. He frequently shocked his colleagues when, on the brink of a Quebec election, for example, he departed for New York or Europe on an extended tour. Yet in the 1950s and 60s, he wrote the most important articles outlining his political philosophy.

And there were the remarkable relationships with friends, women and especially his mother (whom he lived with until he was middle-aged). He wrote to them always, exchanging ideas with the men, intimacies with the women, especially in these early years, and lively descriptions of his life. He even recorded his in-depth psychoanalysis in Paris. This personal side of Trudeau has never been revealed before – and it sheds light on the politician and statesman he became.

Volume One ends with his entry into politics, his appointment as Minister of Justice, his meeting Margaret and his election as leader of the Liberal Party and Prime Minister of Canada. There, his genius and charisma, his ambition and intellectual prowess, his ruthlessness and emotional character and his deliberate shaping of himself for leadership played out on the national stage and, when Lester B. Pearson announced his retirement as prime minister in 1968, there was but one obvious man for the job: Pierre Trudeau.

Pierre Elliot Trudeau is a titan in Canadian history and Canadian politics, having brought so much Canadian politics and changing the political landscape as we know it. Charming, teasing, relentless, a thinker…He was quite the character. I had received the biographies for Christmas a few years ago but took a while getting around to them. Of course, I decided to read them at a bad time, it being super busy during the second semester of my bridging programme. So I had started it but then did not get around to reading the rest of it until after my exams were completed.

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Review: All Systems Red

Posted 7 May, 2018 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

All Systems Red (The Murderbot Diaries #1)
By: Martha Wells
Format/Source: eBook; from Tor.com book club

In a corporate-dominated spacefaring future, planetary missions must be approved and supplied by the Company. Exploratory teams are accompanied by Company-supplied security androids, for their own safety.

But in a society where contracts are awarded to the lowest bidder, safety isn’t a primary concern.

On a distant planet, a team of scientists are conducting surface tests, shadowed by their Company-supplied ‘droid — a self-aware SecUnit that has hacked its own governor module, and refers to itself (though never out loud) as “Murderbot.” Scornful of humans, all it really wants is to be left alone long enough to figure out who it is.

But when a neighboring mission goes dark, it’s up to the scientists and their Murderbot to get to the truth.

I’ve been hearing a lot about this novella for the last few months even as I was pretty busy with schoolwork and whatnot. Tor.com’s book club thankfully featured this book for the month of April so I got a copy of the book that way 🙂 The length was perfect to start off with post-school so here we are 🙂

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