If you had a $25 gift certificate to barnes and noble....

I need some book suggestions. Thanksfully, I can’t go to Barnes and Noble, because often I can’t leave, and there’s no way I’d be able to decide.

Here’s some recent books I’ve read, just to give you a taste of what I like:

The World is Flat, T. Friedman
The End of Poverty, Jeffrey Sachs
Imperial Hubris, Anonymous (Mike Scheuer)
Collapse, Jared Diamond

Some books I’m thinking about:

Empires of the Word
Fair Trade for All, Joseph Stiglitz
1491, Charles C. Mann
Jihad v. McWorld
A Man Without a Country, K. Vonnegut

Basically, I’m interested in books about language, society, current events, culture, etc.

What 'cha think?

Any thoughts on The World is Flat? I just got a copy from a friend and is about two or three books down on my reading list. Same with The End of Poverty, which is on my list for the next run to the library. (I cannot afford to shop at Barnes and Noble myself either except to grab discount cookbooks.)

I just finished reading Culture and Prosperity : The Truth About Markets - Why Some Nations Are Rich but Most Remain Poor by John Kay. It is from 2003, but still very valid. He gives a good overview of modern economics and what the author thinks it needs to address.

Gangs of America : The Rise of Corporate Power and the Disabling of Democracy by Ted Nace. From 2003 also. Not mainstream, but I found it very well written. I agree with almost all the reader reviews at Amazon. Not quite sure if this is what you are looking for though.

Development as Freedom by Amartya Sen. From 1999, Nobel Prize winner discussing economic development theories. I am overdue on reading this. I started it last summer, but had to put on the back burner for awhile. A very thick book.

I own Developement as Freedom. I am very interested in the works of Stiglitz, Sen, and Sachs (I must have thing for S’s from Columbia). Though I’m not an economist, I do my best to see what the most recent theories are as far as developement and such.

I really like The World is Flat. For whatever criticism people give Friedman for his sometimes flowery interpretation of a flat world, I spend all of my time with people form “developing” nations, and I am a devout believer in the basic precept of the book that a flat world is going to be good for the entire world, which means that’s it’s going to cause some serious problems for the US and the rest of the West.

Thanks for the suggestions.

It might not be what you normally read, but I just added this book to my wish list, as well as this one by the same author. The subject has always interested me. If nothing else, the first one I linked could be a seasonal coffee table book?

Moving thread from IMHO to Cafe Society.

Funny you should ask. I just used my $50 card yesterday. I got Spook by Mary Roach. And, just for laughs: Tenacious D:The Complete Masterworks.

Maybe I’m just being cheap, but I would spend my loot on the more exotic, esoteric, special-interest, or even degenerate stuff that you can’t readily find or check out from your local library. Nothing wrong with the OP’s choices, but they’re readily available, bestseller-list material.

I’m seriously considering the 80-years’-worth of The New Yorker on DVD, in part because it’s a great reference work to have at home and I doubt I’d ever be able to check out, say, one disc of it at a time. The same hundred bucks would get me only three-to-five scholarly or mainstream nonfiction books. No contest there.

And I have a $50 gift card from Borders… nyah, nyah! :smiley:

I had a $25 B&N gift certificate, and I bought nothing but remainders, so I got a nice armful – a book on Gauguin (my current artist obsession) with excerpts of his letters as well as illustrations that include both finished works and sketches and studies; a book on mosaics (my current craft idea); a book on labyrinths; a book on water gardening; puzzles and brain-teasers.

As The Scrivener points out, a lot of the books being suggested are easily obtained through the library.

I’m in Paris…that’s the problem

Could you give a quick, one-shot, synopsis of the book. I was thinking about reading it based on a friends reccomendation but I’m not really clear on what the premise is. I fear it’ll be a little preachy and/or dry.

Sorry for the hijack.

Ah, well, then, not so easily, I guess. :smiley:

I’d give it to that hellava fella, that prince among men, that past master of the Electric Boogaloo, Bosda Di’Chi of Tricor.

But, eh…that’s just me.

I’m in the middle of reading this right now. I’ve just finished the section on Easter Island. Seeing that you liked this Jared Diamond book, have you read Guns, Germs and Steel?

If you haven’t read anything by Malcolm Gladwell you might also want ot check him out. I’ve recently finished reading both The Tipping Point and Blink.

The World is Flat basically shows how the shrinking of the world vis-a-vis better/easier communication (overall, the internet) is making it easier and easier for people in other countries to not only make huge profits, but also do it without coming to the US.

For instance, lots of Indians are now doing tax forms for Americans. When you take your tax forms to your accountant, he scans them and sends them to India. The forms are done over night, then when the account comes in the next day, your taxes are done, leaving the accountant to occupy himself with the more person-person aspects of being an accountant (whatever that is).

This happens in just about every aspect of life, if it can be sent to Asia, it will be, even x-rays.

The reason this is interesting is because it holds huge implications for the US (especially Americans of my generation). These implications, though I don’t think overall they will be super for the US, will be good for world as a whole.

I still haven’t finished the book (I’ve had to go on hiatus because of exams here), so when I mentioned the flowery picture of globalization I meant the large question marks that the countries like China and India present. Friedman seems to present this scary image of an emminent takeover of the US economy by everyone else in the world. I’m not saying he’s wrong, but there are some huge question marks: the social, male-female imbalance in China and India that could cause huge problems, the Chinese perspective of “pollution” as a way for the West to slow down their progress, etc.

I think, if you read Friedman already having a background in Sen, Sachs, or Stiglitz, then you’ll be able to see that he’s not being dishonest, his subject is just so large that if he were to present every aspect he would still be writing the book.

As far as I see, The world is not flat, but large parts of it are, and they’re getting to be more and more. Friedman’s book is a very important part of the discourse concerning what Americans are to do about it (since he would say everyone else has already got the right idea).

Got it already…but I’ll check out Gladwell…

I’ve just redeemed my Amazon.com gift certificate on the following:
The Unfolding of Language : An Evolutionary Tour of Mankind’s Greatest Invention - Deutscher
1491 : New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus - Mann
The Face of Battle : A Study of Agincourt, Waterloo, and the Somme - J.Keegan
Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors - Sagen/Druyan

My next order will include the follwing:
The Mask of Command - Keegan
Warped Passages : Unraveling the Mysteries of the Universe’s Hidden Dimensions - Lisa Randall
Bird by Bird : Some Instructions on Writing and Life - Anne Lamott
A Soldier of the Great War - Helprin
Finding Darwin’s God: A Scientist’s Search for Common Ground Between God and Evolution - Miller
The Planetary Mind - Arne Wyller

These all seem interesting and have been reviewed favorably. Good Luck.