Current Reading List

Reading List – Oreo Book Club – May-October, 2014


May:  Breakdown Nations. In Pursuit Of the Next Economic Miracles. By Ruchir  Sharma.

I hear from many of my American friends how this country is going downhill, Yada, yada yada. This book will most likely say, Not so fast!  242 pages.


June: Last Child in the Woods – Richard Louv, In this groundbreaking new work, child advocacy expert Richard Louv directly links the lack of nature in the lives of today’s wired generation—he calls it nature deficit—to some of the most disturbing childhood trends, such as rises in obesity, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), and depression. 412 pages


July:  The Golden Shore: California’s Love Affair with the Sea, by David Helvarg.  Helvarg is an environmental activist but, the reviewer writes, his book has no preachiness about it. It is, rather, “a pluralist view of the Pacific, taking the perspective of surfers from their surfboards, longshoremen from their docs, sailors from the deck of Navy warships.” He covers the historical role of California, explorers, westward expansion and the “dreamers and schemers, the wars, the industrial booms that helped boost California’s population to its current 38 million—80% of whom live within 50 miles of the deep blue Pacific.” 352 pp.


August:  Russians: The People Behind the Power  by Gregory Feifer.  Feifer, whose mother is Russian, served for many years as Moscow correspondent for NPR. “It is a collage like book consisting of historical asides, family reminiscences, interviews with public figures and ordinary people, political assessments and sharp snapshots of the country across its nine time zones, from gaudy Moscow restaurants and clubs that cater to the showboating new rich to the distant wastelands of Siberia, where cold and poverty still define daily life… what Mr. Feifer does very well is give the lay reader a spirited introduction to this complex country and its torturous past.” Quotes from the chief book reviewer of the NY Times. 372 pp, published Feb. 2014


September: Train: Riding the Rails that Created the Modern World—From the Trans-Siberian to the Southwest Chief, by Tom Zoellner  It is an account of Zoellner’s travels on six legendary rail lines (Britain, India, Peru, Spain, U.S. etc.), but it’s really much more than that…a great epic story of rail travel itself. (The first passenger Zoellner meets in Scotland tells him, “Oh, you’re going to like this train. The toilets often freeze over this time of year.”) “With his cinematic eye and encyclopedic rail knowledge, Zoellner shows how you can see history today from the windows of an Amtrak Passenger car or a Spanish bullet train.” 384 pp.


October: Strategic Vision—America and the Crisis of Global Power, by Zbigniew Brzezinski. Joseph S. Nye (Professor at Harvard) says: ” Zbigniew Brzezinski combines theoretical acuity with unmatched experience to provide a provocative and compelling portrait of the future along with a convincing map to navigate it.”  194 pages





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