What You Should Read: New Year’s Edition

January 3, 2012

Quite a quiet few days, so catching up on my reading before the start of the new academic term.  Here are some items which I found particularly interesting:

1.  A fun piece on vegetarianism and why the moral outcomes thereof are not necessarily what adherents its adherents believe: http://theconversation.edu.au/ordering-the-vegetarian-meal-theres-more-animal-blood-on-your-hands-4659

2.  Never read Roger Scruton?  Well, the Guardian makes a nice critique of his recent book:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/dec/28/green-philosophy-roger-scruton-review?

3.  Interview on inequality etc. with Daron Acemoglu, the most important economist of his generation (although I strongly disagree with some of his measures): http://thebrowser.com/interviews/daron-acemoglu-on-inequality?page=full

4.  Excellent review of Anne Somerset’s new biography of Queen Anne – very much looking forward to picking this up.  Definitely made me rethink the post-Glorious Revolution, pre-Horace Walpole years of British governance: http://www.literaryreview.co.uk/tinniswood_12_11.php

5. The author’s dig at Atlanta (and implicitly at my alma mater, Emory) is a cheap shot but gotta love the piece for its critique of that damn “Creative Class” rubbish which has been so popular in recent years: http://www.city-journal.org/2011/21_4_urban-development.html

6.  Ahh, the era of civilized travel – ocean liners. Reminded me to re-read “The Only Way To Cross,” which John Maxtone-Graham kindly gave me a few years ago at Christmas: http://www.city-journal.org/2011/21_4_urb-age-of-ships.html

7. Additional travel reading, Avi Shapiro is wonderful in Paris Review (insert your own George Plimpton joke here) on airline safety cards: http://www.theparisreview.org/blog/2011/11/28/the-art-of-not-drowning/

8.  Sure, it’s a book by a journalist about Russia which I would usually throw aside with great force, but making an exception for Luke Harding’s new work:  http://www.lrb.co.uk/v34/n01/stephen-holmes/fragments-of-a-defunct-state

9.  Amartya Sen on David Hume in the New Republic, enough said: http://www.tnr.com/article/books-and-arts/magazine/98552/hume-rawls-boundaries-justice?passthru=ZjFiNjg3ZWI4ZTIwMWFkYThiNTRiY2M3OGYzY2MzNGQ

10.  The diaries of Harry Kessler are out (and translated), the one book I REALLY wish I had discovered before the holidays ended when there was time to read: http://bnreview.barnesandnoble.com/t5/Library-Without-Walls/Journey-to-the-Abyss-The-Diaries-of-Count-Harry-Kessler/ba-p/6445

11.  My favorite Latin American author’s intellectual journey, good times with Mario Vargas Llosa: http://www.independent.org/publications/tir/article.asp?a=835

12. New exhibit at the Royal Academy on early Soviet architecture, wish I were in London to see it: http://www.newcriterion.com/articles.cfm/Exhibition-note-7257

13.  Why Stephen Harper is pretty damn brilliant: http://www.hoover.org/publications/hoover-digest/article/95941

14.  No, it is not time to revive Marcuse but a good piece nevertheless: http://chronicle.com/article/Occupy-This-Is-It-Comeback/130028/

15.  Verdi vs. Wagner: http://www.newstatesman.com/books/2011/12/wagner-verdi-music-conrad

16. One of those sites you find and just love, if you have not come across “The Smart Set,” I highly recommend: http://www.thesmartset.com/

17. I, for one, never get tired of losing myself in the mind and world of P.G. Wodehouse: http://www.the-tls.co.uk/tls/public/article848326.ece

18.  The Tories brought back the modifier “Royal” before the various branches of the armed forces last year, so, it is about time for a piece on  the Governor Genera, for once someone who has never been employed by the CBCl: http://www.walrusmagazine.ca/articles/2012.01-politics-reign-maker/

19.  It just wouldn’t be the holiday season without a long piece about BHL: http://nymag.com/print/?/news/features/bernard-henri-levy-2012-1/

20.  Someone else who thinks a Newt Gingrich vs. Barack Obama would be worth the chaos for the sake of the debates: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/12/07/intellectuals-and-politics/?nl=opinion&emc=tya1

Best wishes for the New Year.


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