Tag: Rating: 3.5 stars


Review: The Economists’ Hour: False Prophets, Free Markets, and the Fracture of Societ

Posted 4 October, 2019 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

The Economists’ Hour: False Prophets, Free Markets, and the Fracture of Society
By: Binyamin Appelbaum
Format/Source: eARC courtesy of the publishers via NetGalley

In this fascinating character-driven history, a New York Times editorial writer and Pulitzer Prize finalist spotlights the American economists who championed the rise of markets and fundamentally reshaped the modern world.

Before the 1960s, American politicians had never paid much attention to economists. But as the post-World War II boom began to sputter, economists gained influence and power — first in the United States and then around the world as their ideas inspired nations to curb government, unleash corporations, and hasten globalization.

Milton Friedman’s libertarian ideals, Arthur Laffer’s supply-side economics and Paul Volcker’s austere campaign against inflation all left a profound mark on American life. So did lesser-known figures like Walter Oi, a blind economist whose calculations influenced President Nixon’s decision to end military conscription; Alfred Kahn, who deregulated air travel; and Thomas Schelling, who put a dollar value on human life.

The economists promised steady growth and broadly-shared prosperity, but they failed to deliver. Instead, the single-minded embrace of markets has come at the expense of soaring economic inequality, the faltering health of liberal democracy, and the prospects of future generations.

Timely, engaging, and expertly researched, The Economists’ Hour is a “powerful must-read” (Mohamed A. El-Erian, New York Times bestselling author) about the rise and fall of a revolution-and a compelling call for people to retake control of markets.

I mentioned it in another review earlier this week that I was in an economics sort of mood at the moment. So here I am reviewing this book. Which is also pretty cool in that this is the first ARC that I requested for in aaaaaaages. This book was released on 03 September 2019.

Read More

Review: The Levelling: What’s Next After Globalization

Posted 2 October, 2019 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

The Levelling: What’s Next After Globalization
By: Michael O’Sullivan
Format/Source: Hardback; my purchase

The world is at a turning point similar to the fall of communism. Then, many focused on the collapse itself, and failed to see that a bigger trend, globalization, was about to take hold. The benefits of globalization–through the freer flow of money, people, ideas, and trade–have been many. But rather than a world that is flat, what has emerged is one of jagged peaks and rough, deep valleys characterized by wealth inequality, indebtedness, political recession, and imbalances across the world’s economies.

These peaks and valleys are undergoing what Michael O’Sullivan calls “the levelling”–a major transition in world economics, finance, and power. What’s next is a levelling-out of wealth between poor and rich countries, of power between nations and regions, of political accountability from elites to the people, and of institutional power away from central banks and defunct twentieth-century institutions such as the WTO and the IMF.

O’Sullivan then moves to ways we can develop new, pragmatic solutions to such critical problems as political discontent, stunted economic growth, the productive functioning of finance, and political-economic structures that serve broader needs.

The Levelling comes at a crucial time in the rise and fall of nations. It has special importance for the US as its place in the world undergoes radical change–the ebbing of influence, profound questions over its economic model, societal decay, and the turmoil of public life.

I heard about this book from an article that was featured in The Economist sometime during the summer. It’s a topic that’s become increasingly highlighted given events around the world. So I picked it up as it was just published sometime over the summer (I was going through a sociopolitical economics phase in my reading over the summer. Summer reading fun, eh?)

Read More

Review: Wicked Saints

Posted 4 September, 2019 by Lianne in Books / 1 Comment

Wicked Saints (Something Dark and Holy #1)
By: Emily A. Duncan
Format/Source: Hardback; my purchase

A girl who can speak to gods must save her people without destroying herself.

A prince in danger must decide who to trust.

A boy with a monstrous secret waits in the wings.

Together, they must assassinate the king and stop the war.

In a centuries-long war where beauty and brutality meet, their three paths entwine in a shadowy world of spilled blood and mysterious saints, where a forbidden romance threatens to tip the scales between dark and light. Wicked Saints is the thrilling start to Emily A. Duncan’s devastatingly Gothic Something Dark and Holy trilogy.

I admit, it was the book cover that drew my attention first. I ended up picking up this book after it was featured in an Indigo Book Box which was pretty exciting (I never buy book boxes so this was a first).

Read More

Review: Don’t You Forget About Me

Posted 7 June, 2019 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

Don’t You Forget About Me
By: Mhairi McFarlane
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase

If there’s one thing worse than being fired from the grottiest restaurant in town, it’s coming home early to find your boyfriend in bed with someone else.

Reeling from the indignity of a double dumping on the same day, Georgina snatches at the next job that she’s offered – barmaid in a newly opened pub, which just so happens to run by the boy she fell in love with at school: Lucas McCarthy. And whereas Georgina (voted Most Likely to Succeed in her school yearbook) has done nothing but dead-end jobs in the last twelve years, Lucas has not only grown into a broodingly handsome man, but also has turned into an actual grown-up with a business and a dog along the way.

Meeting Lucas again not only throws Georgina’s rackety present into sharp relief, but also brings a dark secret from her past bubbling to the surface. Only she knows the truth about what happened on the last day of school, and why she’s allowed it to chase her all these years…

Wheee, a new Mhairi McFarlane book! As you may know I’m a big fan of her books (see author tag) so I was delighted to hear she was coming out with a new book this year. I actually picked up my copy of the book while I was on layover at Munich International Airport which is something to remember too 🙂

Read More

Review: Milkman

Posted 27 March, 2019 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

Milkman
By: Anna Burns
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase

In this unnamed city, to be interesting is dangerous. Middle sister, our protagonist, is busy attempting to keep her mother from discovering her maybe-boyfriend and to keep everyone in the dark about her encounter with Milkman. But when first brother-in-law sniffs out her struggle, and rumours start to swell, middle sister becomes ‘interesting’. The last thing she ever wanted to be. To be interesting is to be noticed and to be noticed is dangerous.

Milkman is a tale of gossip and hearsay, silence and deliberate deafness. It is the story of inaction with enormous consequences.

So this book entered my radar when it was long-listed, then short-listed, and then won the Man Booker Prize in 2018. The premise sounded interesting, and from what I read about how people reacted to the book, it sounded like a different experience. So I picked it up late last year but it was prompted higher up my TBR queue after seeing it was long-listed for the Women’s Prize in Fiction this year.

Read More