Category Archives: Books

The Sorrows Of Mexico

it’s never ever easy reading about contemporary Mexico. Billed as “an indictment of their country’s failings by 7 exceptional writers” .. indeed, keeping up with Mexico’s resident narco/government/military carnage feels more & more like witnessing a total “failed state” scenario as a kind of criminal coup rolls it’s drape ever further. Continue reading The Sorrows Of Mexico

Black Square- Adventures in the Post Soviet World (Sophie Pinkham/302 pages)

Perestroiking like Pinkham! it’s so easy to get hooked on every-day Russo/far Eastern European related reportage & literature. why? well, as Pinkham herself puts it – “My family and friends had trouble understanding why I had fallen in love with Ukraine, a country that most Americans could hardly find on a map, famous only for Chicken Kiev and mail-order brides. Continue reading Black Square- Adventures in the Post Soviet World (Sophie Pinkham/302 pages)

24/7 – Jonathan Crary

there are now very few significant interludes of human existence (with the colossal exception of sleep) that have not been penetrated and taken over as work time, consumption time or market time.”

a mordant retaliatory of razor-sharp rejectionist reason & intellectual scold. Professor Crary wields a formidable blade & spares none of our techno-dystopian intentionally incapacitating nightmare’s piss-poor explanations, factual twisting & justificatory tropes from the lacerating edge. Continue reading 24/7 – Jonathan Crary

Tribe – On home coming and belonging (Sebastian Junger)

“whatever the technological advances of modern society – and they’re nearly miraculous – the individualized life styles that those technologies spawn seem to be deeply brutalizing to the human spirit”

One hell of a book! Sebastian Junger will be familiar to many of you as he is bobbing on a geezer of fame. to some – Junger is a bit of a celeb & dismissed as the ultimate embedded bias bitch (being a contributing editor to Vanity Fair doesn’t help these accusations) Continue reading Tribe – On home coming and belonging (Sebastian Junger)

The Battle For Home – The Memoirs of a Syrian Architect (Marwa Al-Sabouni)

battle

A wayward & quaint-laden angle on the tragic Syrian conflict from the perspective of architect & writer Marwa Al-Soubani. A native Syrian, Marwa has a PHD in Islamic architecture, manages a private studio in Homs & has also written a plethora of articles for various municipal/architectural publications. Thus sets the excursion for a differing & more gentle perspective on the Syrian catastrophe than the blitzed & haggard bitterness of front-line reporters & warzone residents (The Battle For Home also contains a withal of sub-topics that may even become the books ultimate priority). Continue reading The Battle For Home – The Memoirs of a Syrian Architect (Marwa Al-Sabouni)

Nemesis – The Hunt for Brazil’s Most Wanted Criminal (Misha Glenny)

nemesis

Another strenuously researched cramming of expert investigative journalism from Misha Glenny. Perhaps as an extension or off-shoot of his 2008 classic McMafia, which demonstrated organised crimes close co-action & mutual stimulus with Globalisation & Capitalism, Nemesis plunges into Brazil’s unique demographic & history at the table of modern illicit-empires in this socio-poverty-criminal epic. Continue reading Nemesis – The Hunt for Brazil’s Most Wanted Criminal (Misha Glenny)

The Corporate Criminal – Why Corporations Must Be Abolished (Steve Tombs & David Whyte)

The Corporate Criminal

An extraordinary book. Issued under the “key ideas in criminology series” & inscribed as Business Studies/Criminology/Governance it provides one of the most detailed, definitive & damning disclosures & investigations on the somewhat silent mega crisis of abject corporate & political criminality/corruption reigning rampant from the First World. One would expect both writers to have a weekly column in a publication such as the Guardian considering the vital & brilliant research & analysis they render on this emergency subject. Continue reading The Corporate Criminal – Why Corporations Must Be Abolished (Steve Tombs & David Whyte)

Break Up The Banks! – A Practical Guide to Stopping the Next Global Financial Meltdown (David Shirreff)

Break Up The Banks

An excellent, short, plausible & lucid solution-based remedy on the fiscal villainy & mega malfeasance thats spiralling towards ever greater disaster in the banking & financial sectors. Written by a veteran of the field – David Shireff, who has been reporting on the finical world since the early 80’s, co-founded Risk magazine & also authored numerous books on the subject. David prefaces the book with – “this is not a radical book. At least, it shouldn’t be: Break Up The Banks! Is concerned with pragmatic ideas-not punitive or utopian ones. Still, for many, the measures that I am proposing might appear somehow beyond the pale. What I would argue, in response, is that fear of being radical has led to the situation we are in today.”

Continue reading Break Up The Banks! – A Practical Guide to Stopping the Next Global Financial Meltdown (David Shirreff)

Syrian Dust – Reporting from the Heart of the Battle for Aleppo (Francesca Borri)

BorriA seminal clarion to the obliteration of Syria. This is a very powerful, distressing & extreme account of an unbearable conflict from ground-zero. This awful internecine catastrophe churns on without abatement to the tune of external entities and their ongoing intervention & incursion… with the Syrian people suffering at the centre of this multi-faceted proxy tussling and the Assad regimes barely discriminating (if at all) butchery & besiegement of the Syrian people. Continue reading Syrian Dust – Reporting from the Heart of the Battle for Aleppo (Francesca Borri)

Syria Speaks – Art and Culture from The Frontline (multiple contributors)

Syria SpeaksI dusted this magnificent book about two years ago. It’s impression remains very profound & I am writing this review after re-consulting all notes & rereading multiple marked sections that were designated during the first engagement. Published by one of the absolute greats in independent Middle-Eastern publishing – Al Saqi Books, these writings & their visual companions confront the Syrian tragedy head-on through an incredible inventory of artistic mediums comprising over fifty Syrian contributors, with examples of the Continue reading Syria Speaks – Art and Culture from The Frontline (multiple contributors)