From number9dream to The Bone Clocks

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Since I read the book Number9dream I am a fan of David Mitchell. His latest publication called The Bone Clocks is another fantastic realistic journey throughout his universe. For all fans of his creations I recommend Kathryn Schulz semi-interview at Vulture. In particular have a look at the chart she has included in her blog post: An overview of characters re-appearing throughout David Mitchell’s novels. Reading through the comment sections there were two more characters mentioned that have been removed from final edit (they were included in the galley version). Now I have to decide whether to return to one of the earlier books and re-read sections of them or wait for the next book.

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Finished “Frankenstein”

As time goes by and as the list of books you ever wanted to read is shortening, one starts to turn to the latest bestsellers only to get disappointed, by often meaningless or poorly researched books. In German literature, most so called “newcomers” on the hot topic lists are B-rated translations on unknown American authors, with certain exceptions. Written in original German language, most newly released books fail to catch my attention, either as they circle around the darker parts of German history and, in endless repetition, try to tell an old story in a new way, or because they try to capture the “modern German youth”, the feeling of those living in Frankfurt, Munich, Berlin, wherever, trying to figure out their life. Unfortunately these ideas, topics and feelings are totally loosing my interest, as their mindset is not the same as mine. I miss the globalization, the true interaction between religion, society, history and cultures, that a present-day globetrotter needs.

So even higher my disappointment that most English language newcomers, bestsellers, new releases and hot topic books are also failing on precisely these accounts. They do feature a more “international mindset”, however still fail to address the necessary interdependencies that I so much love to learn about.

What else is there than to pass time by reading one good old Penguin Classics book, such as “Dracula” or, recently, “Frankenstein”. Classic English literature of its best, for a reasonable amount of money.

Three Cups of Tea

Just finished reading the amazing story of Greg Mortenson and his mission in Pakistan in the book “Three Cups of Tea”. Failed ascent on K2, Greg was brought to a rural and remote village, promising one day to return and build these villagers a school. Ten Years later more than 50 schools have been built by the Institute formed by him and Dr. Jean Hoerni.

What an amazing effort this man has done to enable thousands of young poor Pakistani to receive primary education and enable girls and boys to attend higher education schools, seeding a plant of knowledge in a country forgotting by most of the world.

I pay my respects and recommend everybody to not only visit Greg Mortenson’s website, but also check out his Pennies For Peace initiative and the Central Asia Institute.

Finished reading The Terror

Just finished reading a very interesting book called “The Terror” (Amazon) by Dan Simmons. It topiced the failed Franklin Expedition on search for the North-West-Passage in the Arctic Ocean north of Canada.

Standing out as a historical fiction book, The Terror displays a large amount of historical correctness and stars Francis Cozier as the book’s hero, alongside John Franklin.

Despite the historical events, Dan Simmons edited a supernatural force into the story, relying heavily on Inuit mythology. Whoever is interested in that should definitely swap across the later chapters.

A good summer or winter nights read.

Understanding economics

A great way of that what each and every one of us can see in this world is happening due to the simple game of demand and supply. Not only stock markets and financial institutes are playing that game, but every person that has ever enacted as a consumer has somehow taken part in that game. Think of amazon.com, ebay or the (nowadays mostly uncommon) weekly market, in which taste and preference lead to supplys and where certain new products, new tastes and overproduction stipulate demand.

One of the best introductions I have read so far is the book “Principles of economics” by Greg Mankiw, he himself a professor at Harvard and teaching economics. In simple and basic terms is economics explained, analyzed, examined and brought into use, not only in abstract terms, but also in every day examples.

Whether being a student in business administration or economics, or whether being generally interested in this field, Greg Mankiw is worth to read.

Culture’s Consequences

A book to read: “Culture’s Consequences: Comparing Values, Behaviors, Institutions and Organizations Across Nations” (Amazon link) by Geert Hofstede is one of the basic books regarding intercultural understanding. Based on a study in the 60s / 70s, Hofstede has layed down a principle categorization for differences in cultures.

This theory had not only been featured in Intercultural Management courses all over the world, but also holds valueable tips for managers and tourists alike in store.

More about Geert Hofstede on his website.

A good paper on Hofstede’s theory (pdf link, German only) had been written by Annett Reimer.

Hot, Flat, and Crowded

Cover of Friedman\'s new bookA new book is going to be out soon by Thomas L. Friedman, called “Hot, Flat, and Crowded”.

Now Friedman brings a fresh outlook to the crises of destabilizing climate change and rising competition for energy—both of which could poison our world if we do not act quickly and collectively. His argument speaks to all of us who are concerned about the state of America in the global future.

Friedman proposes that an ambitious national strategy—which he calls “Geo-Greenism”—is not only what we need to save the planet from overheating; it is what we need to make America healthier, richer, more innovative, more productive, and more secure.

as mentioned on Friedman’s homepage. Already preordered at Amazon.de.