What I’ve been reading


Rob Henderson, Troubled: A Memoir of Foster Care, Family, and Social Class.  Yes, that is the Rob Henderson of Twitter and Substack.  He was raised by foster parents and joined the Air Force at the age of seventeen.  He ended up with a Ph.D. from Cambridge.  This is his story, it covers class in America, and it is a paean to family stability.

There Were Giants in the Land: Episodes in the Life of W. Cleon Skousen.  Compiled and edited by Jo Ann and Mark Skousen.  If you are interested in LDS, one approach is to read The Book of Mormon.  Another option is to read a book like this one.  It is also, coming from a very different direction, a paean to family stability.

Thomas Bell, Kathmandu.  There should be more books about individual cities, and this is one of them, one of the best in fact.  Excerpt: “At its most local levels, of the neighbourhood, or the individual house, Kathmandu is ordered by religious concepts, either around holy stones, or divinely sanctioned carpentry and bricklaying techniques.  The same is true of the city as a whole.”  And how do they still have so many Maoists?

Out of Sri Lanka: Tamil, Sinhala & English Poetry from Sri Lanka and its Diasporas, edited by Vidyan Ravinthiran, Seni Seneviratne, and Shash Trevett.  A truly excellent collection, worthy of making the best non-fiction of 2023 list.  Or does this count as fiction?  It’s mostly about things that happened.

Eric H. Cline, After 1177 B.C.: The Survival of Civilizations.  A good sequel to the very good 1177 B.C.

Allison Pugh, The Last Human Job: The Work of Connecting in a Disconnected World accurately diagnosing networking as a skill that will rise significantly in value in a tech-laden world.

Dorian Bandy, Mozart The Performer: Variations on the Showman’s Art shows how Mozart, first and foremost, was a showman and that background shaped his subsequent output and career.

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