What are they reading, rereading, or recommending this summer?
For literature / fiction — Canada by Richard Ford (here). A rare first person narrative about what happens to the children of parents who become bank robbers. In turns witty, insightful and forlorn, but I really cared about the characters.
For non-fiction — Final Victory by Stanley Weintraub (here). The story of FDR’s 1944 presidential campaign. A Teddy White-like treatment of one of the great forgotten presidential campaigns of the 20th Century.
For at-the-beach — Phantom by Ted Bell (here). The latest Lord Hawke book. A rousing page turner with some good old naval tactics thrown into a 21st thriller.
Devil in the White City by Erik Larson (here). This is an older selection, but I was inspired to read this after watching a documentary about H.H. Holmes (America’s first serial killer). The contrast between Holmes and Daniel H. Burnham, the architect responsible for the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, is fascinating.
Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10 by Marcus Luttrell (here). This book is as heartbreaking as it is inspiring, and epitomizes the true meaning of friendship.
The Game of Thrones series by George R.R. Martin (here). If you love the HBO series as much as I do, take the time to read the books. Winter is coming….
Elizabeth K. Spahn
Fun: Isaac Asimov (re-reading) The Foundation series (here).
Less Fun: Blind Spots, Max Bazerman & Ann Tenbrunel. Why We Fail to Do What’s Right and What to Do About It (Princeton press, 2011) (here).
For fiction, I recommend Wallace Stegner’s Crossing to Safety (here), his last novel, about a man ambitiously devoted to writing but, through a life-long friendship with a less successful writer, comes to see it all in an unexpected light.
For nonfiction, I strongly recommend rereading, as I had occasion to do, James Madison’s Federalist #51 (here). It is five or so pages of breathtaking genius.
Michael Ndichu Kuria
I am currently reading Miguna Miguna’s Peeling Back the Mask (here). This is a book released last week that can be considered the best attempt at whistleblowing in Kenyan history. Miguna Miguna, a former adviser to the Prime Minister of the Republic of Kenya, details the endemic corruption, nepotism and outright theft that he witnessed in the Prime Minister’s office. He also provides information relating to the dubious sources of political financing to the Prime Minister’s campaigns.
Subsequent to releasing this book, Miguna Miguna has had to leave Kenya for personal safety reasons amid claims of threats to his life. This book is an important read for anyone seeking to understand the entrenchment of impunity and corruption in Kenya particularly and Africa generally. It can also be considered to be an insider’s account of the transformation of a developing African economy into a captive economy ruled by kleptocrats.
Richard L. Cassin
The Snows of Kilimanjaro by Ernest Hemingway (here). After watching ‘Midnight in Paris’ on an airplane, I reread this short story. It’s a jaw-dropping, how’d-he-do-that masterpiece.
Overdrive by William F. Buckley (here). A first-person journal of seven days in the late pundit’s kinetic life. Politics aside, he was articulate, generous, and funny. Tagging along with him for a week is a blast.
L’exécution by the former French Minister of Justice, Robert Badinter. It is almost required reading at the Bar School in Marseille.
And The Field by Lynne McTaggart (here), a favourite of English rugby legend and former team-mate in Toulon, Jonny Wilkinson.