Electricity & Lust

Reads of the Week

Posted in Reads of the Week by Sam Unsted on June 18, 2011
  • Not an article, but I finished reading The Big Short by Michael Lewis this week and would thoroughly recommend to anyone interested in how the financial services industry created and ultimately caused the downturn we are all suffering through. I was on a bit of a financial crash kick this week as I also read an article about the value investor Bob Rodriguez – who says that a failure to address current debt levels will result in another crash in the near future – and watched the very dry must mostly entertaining Too Big to Fail, the HBO adaptation of the Andrew Ross Sorkin book. It recounts the moves and mistakes made by federal regulators in attempting to contain the financial crash by bailing out the banks and mostly just serves, as Lewis’ book does, in teaching that the crash was a long time coming and that the mistakes made at the time were nothing compared to the institutional incompetence and greed in the years leading up to it.
  • The death of Gil Scott-Heron a couple of weeks ago meant this article, by Alec Wilkinson for The New Yorker in 2010, got a lot of play. It’s a pretty interesting portrait of a man who appears uncomfortable with the legacy afforded him and serves as an illustration of the dangers and destructive nature of crack addiction.
  • This 1993 article by Michael Kelly about the political operator David Gergen is incredibly absorbing and more than a little frightening. The meat comes during Gergen’s time working in the Nixon administration and the path that American political life was set upon under which image and the projection of persona became the entire game.
  • Tom Bissell’s lengthy review of LA Noire, the smash-hit new Rockstar game, turns into an existential journey in the mind of a gamer and is a satisfying dissection of the shift seen in games over the past few years into an immersive, controversial art form. The article is also from Grantland, the new site headed up by Bill Simmons, which might well be the best website launched in the past year.
  • The New Yorker has three great essays in the new issue, respectively from Jennifer Egan, Tea Obreht and Jhumpa Lahiri.
And the best…
  • It’s a couple of weeks old now but this article, from the New York Times Magazine, about conjoined twins potentially sharing a mind, is utterly incredible. I don’t want to spend too much time giving reasons to read it, but it’s worth it just for the anecdotes alone of the apparent connection which appears to exist between the two subjects.
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