Saturday, March 06, 2010

One to get and one to give

Today is 'World Book Day' so the Times tells me- but it appears according to the website to have happened on Thursday-but let's not be picky. This article asked various literary and celeb types how they would use their voucher.

So the book challenge is this: one book to give away and one you might hope to receive.

1. Give: I think I would give Peter the Great by Robert Massie. This towering biography of one of the giants of history is a blinder. Peter's leadership literally picked up Russia, which was facing East, and plonked it down facing Europe and to be honest the world has really never been the same since.

2. Get: Recently, I read Linchpin and it has a great bibliography as a last chapter. One of the many books Seth Godin recommends is The Gift by Lewis Hyde and this book appeared again on my radar in this Times article so it has gone on my 'get' list. As a back-up, this article is also worth reading and here is an extract:

"I’ve just read a remarkable book, Whoops! by John Lanchester, that in elegant phrases and witty analogies, explains the crisis to the economically dyslexic in a way that actually sticks. So, to my amazement, I finally grasp stuff such as leverage, credit default swaps, derivatives and am angry with my ditsy former self who dismissed these as the domain of the boring City types you get lumbered with at parties."

So as a second 'get' Whoops seems the best thing to read if you want to demystify banking, finance and economics. Buy me either:)

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