Thursday, June 11, 2009

My latest reads

In the last couple of months, I've read many books and thought it worthwhile to write brief reviews of some of the books I liked and would recommend reading:

Wolf Totem - A story, set in the late 1960s, about some Chinese students who spent some months in the Mongolian grasslands as part of their academic project. It is an interesting book that sheds light into the relationship between man and wolf, Chinese and Mongols, nature and civilisation, nomads and settled farmers...

AK47 - A very interesting book, which examines the genesis and impact of the most widespread assault rifle the world has seen. Of particular interest are the stories of how this weapon came to be used in all the major conflicts in last 60 yrs and how it has now become a cultural icon - both as a symbol of resistence and of terror.

The African Dream - This book has been written by using excerpts from the recovered diaries of Che Guevara. It describes the events surrounding his attempt to support the struggle in Africa (mainly Congo) against the "Imperialistic powers". It makes an interesting read if you want to understand the history and political aspects of the conflicts in the African continent.

Emperor: The Field of swords - A part of a series of books on Julius Caeser, this book details the period when Caeser returned from Spain to Rome, won the election as a Counsel and then left Rome to conquer the world; It vividly describes the battles he fought in conquering the Gaulish region. The book ends with Caeser's return to Rome setting into motion a bloody power struggle which eventually led to a civil war and downfall of Roman Republic.

The God Delusion - One of the most thought-provoking books I've read, it talks about the conflict between science and faith (or superstition). Dawkins raises questions about the existence of God and then uses scientific arguments to challenge the theories commonly used to support God's existence. He also raises important questions about religion and its impact on our lives.

A Year in the Merde - One of the most hilarious books I've read, it is about a Briton who moves to Paris to work and about the merde (shit) he finds himself in. Having lived in Paris for almost 2 yrs now, I could relate with most of the book :). A must read book for anyone who has spent some time in Paris.