mercredi 5 janvier 2011

Papers in a backpack

One of the things I appreciate the most since we started this journey is that I have enough “free” time to read again. I usually try to balance between french and english books, as much as I try to mix economics books with more conventional novels (availibilty play also a big role I must confess..). Here is the list of the books I read since we left Europe two months ago (I will not include the Lonely Planet of all countries visited, even though I did go through all of them at some point…):

1. Le voyageur imprudent, René Barjavel, 1943

One may think it is rather odd to start an 18 months journey reading a book about an imprudent traveller… Being a huge fan of Barjavel, it seemed to me that is was in the contrary the best book to start this trip with. Even though the story is about a time traveler, it was a rather pleasant book; even if it was without doubt far from the amazing reading experience I had many years ago with his two bestsellers “Ravage” and “La nuit des temps”. The story is about a quest to improve humanity through time travelling and raises some interesting questions, without getting deep enough.

2. Chindia: How China and India Are Revolutionizing Global Business, Pete Engardio ,2006

I purchased this book in Beijing, as I felt that my knowledge on the economy of these two massive countries was a bit low. I believe the title of the book gives a pretty straightforward idea of the book is about. I strongly recommend this book which deals with the new social changes, economic transformation and various challenges (education, reform of the banking system, copyrights) that these two countries will face in the next decades as well as their potential impact on the global economy the way we know it. Definitely a good introduction before reaching India (even though I regret that the author mostly focuses on how it will affect the US economy).

3. Annapurna, premier 8000, Maurice Herzog, 1952

This book was a must read after our 18 days trek in the Annapurnas. Annapurna 1 was the first summit above 8.000 m (8091m) ever to be climbed, and this performance was achieved by a French expedition led by Maurice Herzog in 1950. I read this book in less than 24 hours, as it is only a few hundred pages long, but mainly because the story is fascinating. These men have proven to be so courageous, driven by the same love of mountains and sharing such a brilliant team spirit in an incredibly hostile environment (both Maurice Herzog and Louis Lachenal were amputated on their way down to Kathmandu as parts of their bodies froze during the ascension) that the story seems almost unreal.

4. Freakonomics, Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner, 2005

I only started this book yesterday… not bad until now, but not as striking as the appealing comments on the cover would let you think it would be.

Edit: I have now finished it (and another one actually but this second one will be included in my next blog about book). I would not even dare to imply that Levit, a world class famous economist, has made a book full of unlikely links between two (apparently) unrelated events and proved it through statistics. I have just felt reading this book that it was a book made to become a bestseller and not a book to prove anything. By this I mean that the style of writing is made to make economics accessible to a great number of people, which makes sometimes feel that the assumptions and the most of all the research methodology described in the book are quite often dodgy. I was fairly reinsured at the end of the book by the bonus section which explains more in details the history of academic achievement of Levit which makes very doubtful my own assumption about the shortcuts taken in the book. Therefore I guess I was more disturbed by the style of writing than the ideas developed in Freakonomics. I am not sure yet I will read SuperFreakonomics though.

That’s “all” until now. I will try to keep a record of all the books I read and share it more regularly.


1 commentaires:

Maria Ghibu a dit…

briliant idea. however, you did not read that many books which leads me to belive that you slept a lot during your travels :)


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