Tag: Rating: 4 stars


Review: Kids These Days: Human Capital and the Making of Millennials

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

Kids These Days: Human Capital and the Making of Millennials
By: Malcolm Harris
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase

Millennials have been stereotyped as lazy, entitled, narcissistic, and immature. We’ve gotten so used to sloppy generational analysis filled with dumb clichÈs about young people that we’ve lost sight of what really unites Millennials. Namely:

– We are the most educated and hard-working generation in American history.

– We poured historic and insane amounts of time and money into preparing ourselves for the 21st century labor market.

– We have been taught to consider working for free (homework, internships) a privilege for our own benefit.

– We are poorer, more medicated, and more precariously employed than our parents, grandparents, even our great grandparents, with less of a social safety net to boot.

Kids These Days, is about why. In brilliant, crackling prose, early Wall Street occupier Malcolm Harris gets mercilessly real about our maligned birth cohort. Examining trends like runaway student debt, the rise of the intern, mass incarceration, social media, and more, Harris gives us a portrait of what it means to be young in America today that will wake you up and piss you off.

Millennials were the first generation raised explicitly as investments, Harris argues, and in Kids These Days he dares us to confront and take charge of the consequences now that we are grown up.

I ended up picking up this book after reading an article recently on Buzzfeed, How Millennials Became The Burnout Generation and how it perfectly encapsulated the challenges and realities our generation faces. I was curious to read more analysis on the matter so I picked up this book.

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Review: Rich People Problems

Posted 29 January, 2019 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

Rich People Problems (Crazy Rich Asians #3)
By: Kevin Kwan
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase

When Nicholas Young hears that his grandmother, Su Yi, is on her deathbed, he rushes to be by her bedside–but he’s not alone. It seems the entire Shang-Young clan has convened from all corners of the globe, ostensibly to care for their matriarch but truly to stake claim on the massive fortune that Su Yi controls.

With each family member secretly fantasizing about getting the keys to Tyersall Park–a trophy estate on 64 prime acres in the heart of Singapore–the place becomes a hotbed of intrigue and Nicholas finds himself blocked from entering the premises.

As relatives claw over heirlooms, Astrid Leong is at the center of her own storm, desperately in love with her old sweetheart Charlie Wu, but tormented by his ex-wife–a woman hell bent on destroying Astrid’s reputation and relationship. Meanwhile Kitty Pong, married to billionaire Jack Bing, finds a formidable opponent in his fashionista daughter, Colette

Aww man here we are, last book in the Crazy Rich Asians trilogy. It’s been quite the romp so far…Usually I read these books in the summer time–that’s what I did with the first two books–but decided I needed something light and crazy to read during my Christmas holidays so I decided to pick up this book as my first read of 2019 🙂

Contains some spoilers if you haven’t read either book in the series!

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Review: Crooked House

Posted 23 January, 2019 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

Crooked House
By: Agatha Christie
Format/Source: eBook; my purchase

The Leonides are one big happy family living in a sprawling, ramshackle mansion. That is until the head of the household, Aristide, is murdered with a fatal barbiturate injection.

Suspicion naturally falls on the old man’s young widow, fifty years his junior. But the murderer has reckoned without the tenacity of Charles Hayward, fiancé of the late millionaire’s granddaughter.

I seem to be slowly making my way through Agatha Christie’s standalone mysteries. I picked up this novel because I saw the trailer to the movie adaptation starring Glenn Close, Gillian Anderson, Christina Hendricks, and Max Irons. I was curious about it so here we are 🙂

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Review: The Fall of Gondolin

Posted 21 January, 2019 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

The Fall of Gondolin
By: J.R.R. Tolkien
Format/Source: Hardback; my purchase

In the Tale of The Fall of Gondolin are two of the greatest powers in the world. There is Morgoth of the uttermost evil, unseen in this story but ruling over a vast military power from his fortress of Angband. Deeply opposed to Morgoth is Ulmo, second in might only to Manwë, chief of the Valar: he is called the Lord of Waters, of all seas, lakes, and rivers under the sky. But he works in secret in Middle-earth to support the Noldor, the kindred of the Elves among whom were numbered Húrin and Túrin Turambar.

Central to this enmity of the gods is the city of Gondolin, beautiful but undiscoverable. It was built and peopled by Noldorin Elves who, when they dwelt in Valinor, the land of the gods, rebelled against their rule and fled to Middle-earth. Turgon King of Gondolin is hated and feared above all his enemies by Morgoth, who seeks in vain to discover the marvellously hidden city, while the gods in Valinor in heated debate largely refuse to intervene in support of Ulmo’s desires and designs.

Into this world comes Tuor, cousin of Túrin, the instrument of Ulmo’s designs. Guided unseen by him Tuor sets out from the land of his birth on the fearful journey to Gondolin, and in one of the most arresting moments in the history of Middle-earth the sea-god himself appears to him, rising out of the ocean in the midst of a storm. In Gondolin he becomes great; he is wedded to Idril, Turgon’s daughter, and their son is Eärendel, whose birth and profound importance in days to come is foreseen by Ulmo.

At last comes the terrible ending. Morgoth learns through an act of supreme treachery all that he needs to mount a devastating attack on the city, with Balrogs and dragons and numberless Orcs. After a minutely observed account of the fall of Gondolin, the tale ends with the escape of Túrin and Idril, with the child Eärendel, looking back from a cleft in the mountains as they flee southward, at the blazing wreckage of their city. They were journeying into a new story, the Tale of Eärendel, which Tolkien never wrote, but which is sketched out in this book from other sources.

Following his presentation of Beren and Lúthien Christopher Tolkien has used the same ‘history in sequence’ mode in the writing of this edition of The Fall of Gondolin. In the words of J.R.R. Tolkien, it was ‘the first real story of this imaginary world’ and, together with Beren and Lúthien and The Children of Húrin, he regarded it as one of the three ‘Great Tales’ of the Elder Days.

It’s always exciting to learn a new Tolkien book is to be released, even if it is just early drafts to a well-known tale (and even with the debate of whether these drafts should be published since these were clearly not the final polished edition that the author preferred). The Tale of Gondolin is one of the more memorable stories in the Silmarillion so I did come to it (even if it took a while) with great curiosity.

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Review: The Presidents Club: Inside the World’s Most Exclusive Fraternity

Posted 18 January, 2019 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

The Presidents Club: Inside the World’s Most Exclusive Fraternity
By: Nancy Gibbs & Michael Duffy
Source: eBook; my purchase

The Presidents Club, established at Dwight Eisenhower’s inauguration by Harry Truman and Herbert Hoover, is a complicated place: its members are bound forever by the experience of the Oval Office and yet are eternal rivals for history’s favor. Among their secrets: How Jack Kennedy tried to blame Ike for the Bay of Pigs. How Ike quietly helped Reagan win his first race in 1966. How Richard Nixon conspired with Lyndon Johnson to get elected and then betrayed him. How Jerry Ford and Jimmy Carter turned a deep enmity into an alliance. The unspoken pact between a father and son named Bush. And the roots of the rivalry between Clinton and Barack Obama.

Time magazine editors and presidential historians Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy offer a new and revealing lens on the American presidency, exploring the club as a hidden instrument of power that has changed the course of history.

I picked this volume up around the time of former President George HW Bush’s funeral. There was a lot of talk about the small club of former presidents and how they only meet on occasions of presidential libraries being open and funerals, and I remember coming across this book time and again so I decided to check it out.

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