Category: Book reviews

Weekend Reading: Brothers at War

With the threat of war (or the crazy rantings about war) with North Korea, I thought I should learn more about the history of the conflict. I realized that most of what I knew about Korea and the Korean War I had learned from MASH. In browsing through books to read on the issue, I

Weekend Listening: Lincoln in the Bardo

George Saunders’s first novel is a weird, wonderful and woeful book about young Willie Lincoln, son of the President, who is trapped in the “bardo.” That is a Tibetan term for the intermediate state or gap we experience between death and our next rebirth.  Willie has died and been taken to Oak Hill cemetery, buried in a

Weekend Reading: Behold the Dreamers

Imbolo Mbue created a great novel on immigration and the American Dream in her 2016 Behold the Dreamers. I admit that I only came to read this book because of a reading challenge. Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge number 5 was to read a book by an immigrant or with a central immigration narrative. Behold

Weekend Reading: Bourbon Empire

I went on Spring vacation to Kentucky with Mrs. Doug and the compliance nuggets. There was a lot of bourbon and horses. For vacation reading, I dug into my ever-growing tower of books to read and brought along Bourbon Empire by Reid Mitenbuler to read. It seemed appropriate. Reid Mitenbuler portrays bourbon as a balance of

Weekend Reading: Evicted

Matthew Desmond took a deep dive into poverty and housing. He published the story of what he saw in Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City. The book follows several people in deep poverty living and being evicted from terrible housing in Milwaukee. Mr. Desmond lived among them in 2008 and 2009. He split his

Weekend Reading: Black Edge

The 2009 arrest of Raj Rajaratnam of the Galleon Group was the start of a long trail of insider trading prosecutions that culminated in the prosecution of SAC Capital. The SEC had identified Steve Cohen as the worst of the insider trading hedge funds and the SEC put his SAC Capital in its cross-hairs. It convinced the

Weapons of Math Destruction

With big data, comes formulas to parse through the data trying to make sense of it. Those algorithms can help make sense of the data and help filter through the noise to find trends. But those algorithms can also be easily misused and have harmful, if unintended consequences. Cathy O’Neil explores these problems in Weapons of

Weekend Reading: Rise of the Warrior Cop

It only takes a few minutes of watching the national news before you will see a crime story with police dressed in battle gear.  In Rise of the Warrior Cop, Radley Balko traces the history of US law enforcement to see how we got to this. Mr. Balko thinks the founding fathers, distrustful of a standing

How To Pay A Bribe

A thick envelope arrived in the mail from Trace International, the firm of anti-bribery compliance experts. The title caught me off guard: How to Pay a Bribe.  I would have thought Trace would be focused on how to stop bribes. Then, of course, I read the subtitle: Thinking Like a Criminal to Thwart Bribery Schemes. It’s

Weekend Reading: Bluff

The mystery of the Federal Reserve leaves people wondering if it’s controlled by the mysterious Illuminati, corrupt politicians, or fat cat bankers. And it leaves people wondering what exactly it does, or not care and demand an audit. If you believe any of the foregoing then Bluff by Anjum Hoda is not the book for you.