Wednesday, October 1, 2003

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October's book(s) of the month

There are so many books worth reading, I've decided to highlight two books each month: one "general interest" book, and one dealing specifically with international relations.

The general interest book for October is Virginia Postrel's The Substance of Style, which I was inhaling right up until the quarter started, and I'm aching to get back to it. [Good thing you're hawking the book -- looks like she's having real trouble selling copies!--ed.]

Geek confession: I mark up every book I read, fiction and nonfiction. The Substance of Style is so stimulating that I find myself underline 50% of every page. Go go buy it and mark up your own copy.

The international relations book is considerably older, and, I'm sad to say, depressingly relevant for our times: Stephen D. Krasner's Structural Conflict. This 1985 book chronicled how, in the wake of the developing world's efforts to create a New International Economic Order, the major economic powers protected their own interests by shifting resources and authority to decision-making fora they controlled.

In the wake of the Cancun meetings, I strongly suspect this trend will repeat itself in the near future. In contrast to their agenda from 30 years ago, I have some sympathy with some of the developing world's current aims, particularly the elimination of all agricultural subsidies.

Go check them out!!

posted by Dan on 10.01.03 at 08:39 PM


Marking up your books is geeky? Uh-oh. Pardon me while I go find the White Out and tackle a few hundred volumes that might give my true personality away.

posted by: Venomous Kate on 10.01.03 at 08:39 PM [permalink]

Hm. it actually strikes me as very much *not* classic geek behavior. I guess there's a tension between the geeky urge to read everything as if you were studying and the geeky reverence for the physical artifact of a book. I err entirely on the latter side. I rarely mark up any book unless it's a duplicate copy (often a cheap Penguin reprint) or something like a law school casebook.

posted by: Jacob T. Levy on 10.01.03 at 08:39 PM [permalink]

It's time for Geek Pride Day. Everyone dressed up in their favorite comfy old track pants, favorite soft sweater and warn out slippers. Thick rimmed black frame glasses for those in need.

We will all march down Park Avenue reading our most favorite books, sharp pencil and orange highlighter close at hand. The crowd will cheer as we absent-mindedly meander, until we all end up in the first Barnes and Noble store we pass.

We here,
We're geek,
Don't hit us, please!


posted by: Paul Philp on 10.01.03 at 08:39 PM [permalink]

Oooh! Oooh! Do I get double geek credit if I use different colored highlighters based on the reason underlying the hightlighting? I mean, stuff that goes in my writing journal is in green. Stuff that I want to note in my files is red. Stuff that I know I'll want to read again right away whenever I re-read the book is in yellow. Then there are all the margin notes reminding me to see other books with similar points or Cf. in some other book and...

... Oh. My. I. Am. A. Geek.

posted by: Venomous Kate on 10.01.03 at 08:39 PM [permalink]

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