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The Trillion Dollar Meltdown: Easy Money, High Rollers and the Great Credit Crash
The Trillion Dollar Meltdown: Easy Money, High Rollers and the Great Credit Crash
by Morris
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Useful summary of the credit crunch and crash, 5 Mar. 2011
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I found Charles Morris' book to be a clear summary of the reasons behind the 2008-9 crash. In his analysis, the problems are alarmingly simple.

He displays the relevance of the bubble effect (confidence begetting confidence); the goldfish effect (believing old problems are obsolete) and the blatantly poor regulation of, eg, hedge funds

He describes how the current account surpluses of China, Russia, and the oil-rich Arab states generated billions of dollars worth of cheap money in the global economy, providing the banks with a too-tempting opportunity to adopt their `lend to anyone' philosophy.

As a layman, I needed an explanation of how inter-related the global finance system is, and how corruption in one section can cause the whole system to collapse.

If, like me, you feel bewildered, reading this book is a good way to at least understand what happened


Love Over Scotland, Vol.3  (44 Scotland Street series)
Love Over Scotland, Vol.3 (44 Scotland Street series)
by Alexander McCall Smith
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Warm and witty, 4 Mar. 2011
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This series of charming and humorous books contain perfect bedtime stories - the episodes are all delicious snack-sized reads, and you know they will satisfy and soothe.

Gentle drama will come from Matthew or Pat's lack of confidence, Bruce's narcissism, Todd's meanness, or Irene's neurosis. The countervailing reassurance will unfailingly be provided by Bertie's pluck, Big Lou's pragmatic wisdom, Domenica's educated gentility, Angus Lordie's mellow, civilised wisdom, his dog Cyril's canine naivete, or the dignified streetscapes of Edinburgh itself.

Buy them all, and treat yourself.


Espresso Tales: The Latest from 44 Scotland Street
Espresso Tales: The Latest from 44 Scotland Street
by Alexander McCall Smith
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Warm and witty, 4 Mar. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This series of charming and humorous books contain perfect bedtime stories - the episodes are all delicious snack-sized reads, and you know they will satisfy and soothe.

Gentle drama will come from Matthew or Pat's lack of confidence, Bruce's narcissism, Todd's meanness, or Irene's neurosis. The countervailing reassurance will unfailingly be provided by Bertie's pluck, Big Lou's pragmatic wisdom, Domenica's educated gentility, Angus Lordie's mellow, civilised wisdom, his dog Cyril's canine naivete, or the dignified streetscapes of Edinburgh itself.

Buy them all, and treat yourself.


The Unbearable Lightness Of Scones (44 Scotland Street)
The Unbearable Lightness Of Scones (44 Scotland Street)
by Alexander McCall Smith
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Warm and witty, 4 Mar. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This series of charming and humorous books contain perfect bedtime stories - the episodes are all delicious snack-sized reads, and you know they will satisfy and soothe.

Gentle drama will come from Matthew or Pat's lack of confidence, Bruce's narcissism, Todd's meanness, or Irene's neurosis. The countervailing reassurance will unfailingly be provided by Bertie's pluck, Big Lou's pragmatic wisdom, Domenica's educated gentility, Angus Lordie's mellow, civilised wisdom, his dog Cyril's canine naivete, or the dignified streetscapes of Edinburgh itself.

Buy them all, and treat yourself.


44 Scotland Street
44 Scotland Street
by Alexander McCall Smith
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Warm and witty, 4 Mar. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: 44 Scotland Street (Paperback)
This series of charming and humorous books contain perfect bedtime stories - the episodes are all delicious snack-sized reads, and you know they will satisfy and soothe.

Gentle drama will come from Matthew or Pat's lack of confidence, Bruce's narcissism, Todd's meanness, or Irene's neurosis. The countervailing reassurance will unfailingly be provided by Bertie's pluck, Big Lou's pragmatic wisdom, Domenica's educated gentility, Angus Lordie's mellow, civilised wisdom, his dog Cyril's canine naivete, or the dignified streetscapes of Edinburgh itself.

Buy them all, and treat yourself.


Passing Time in the Loo Volume 1
Passing Time in the Loo Volume 1
by Steven W. Anderson
Edition: Paperback

3.0 out of 5 stars Good for Attention-Deficit sufferers, 4 Mar. 2011
For those who haven't got time to read, this is a clever idea - a summary of what you're missing. Snippets and extracts from the fields of management-speak and self-help; potted biographies; plots of key works of literature; and general knowledge trivia. No article is longer than two pages, hence the title.

Overall, I think a lot gets lost in the `translation' into precis : brevity may be the soul of wit, but probably not of wisdom


Human Instinct
Human Instinct
by Professor Lord Robert Winston
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An introduction to evolutionary psychology based on a BBC TV series, 4 Mar. 2011
This review is from: Human Instinct (Paperback)
Winston gives an account of the principles of, and some of the evidence for, evolutionary theories of basic emotions, mating choices, sexual selection, parent-child relationships, kin selection, aggression, altruism, and cheat detection.

He finishes with his own thoughts on spirituality, which to my mind was the weakest chapter.

Overall a perfectly readable introduction and overview of this compelling area of psychological research and thought.


The Ancestor's Tale: A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Life
The Ancestor's Tale: A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Life
by Richard Dawkins
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.08

5.0 out of 5 stars Absolute required reading for everyone, 2 Mar. 2011
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Reading this scintillating book is rather like watching an excellent nature documentary, with included CGI reconstruction of extinct life forms, added to an awe-inspiring, encyclopaedic account of the myriad of techniques and tricks in the biosphere.

Dawkins vividly conveys an amazed humility, sense of wonder, and awestruck reverence..

The book is laid out with a poetic narrative theme of a `pilgrimage', backwards through evolution, to the speculative origins of life (or as Dawkins prefers, `origins of heredity').

It's a work of staggering scholarship, teeming with fascinating information. Interspersed between the purely informative chapters, Dawkins supplies a stimulating series of more reflective pieces, each `authored' by an appropriate character (e.g. the dodo's tale, the grasshopper's tale).

To read it is to be delighted and inspired by nature's wondrous complexity, viewed through Dawkins' clear-minded lens, and to be overwhelmed by the astonishing beauty of the evolution story


The Selfish Gene
The Selfish Gene
by Richard Dawkins
Edition: Paperback

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, life changing, paradigm shift, 28 Feb. 2011
This review is from: The Selfish Gene (Paperback)
The paradigm shift of this book's title will blow your mind.

Everyone knows about Richard Dawkins now, with his brilliantly original, elegant reasoning, and riveting articulacy.

This book is truly a must read. His stunning account of evolutionary logic inevitably provokes in the reader the astonishing epiphany captured by the title: it makes more sense to regard ourselves as our genes' mechanism of reproduction, rather than the other way round.

From the first exhilarating chapter in which he imagines the evolutionary survival of the first stable molecules - `the replicators' - the book is compelling throughout, as we encounter, first, elementary genetics, and then, progressively, the whole repertoire of evolutionary theory: kin selection, evolved altruism, sexual selection, parental investment, game theory, evolutionary stable strategies, group selection, generational competition.

This is Dawkins at his absolute magisterial best. (Remember this was written in 1976). It's a six-star book. No-one should fail to read it.


Male, Female: The Evolution of Human Sex Differences
Male, Female: The Evolution of Human Sex Differences
by David C. Geary
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Men are from earth, so are women, 28 Feb. 2011
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There are now a number of very `pop' versions in the field of the evolutionary psychology of gender differences.

For those who find such books somewhat lacking in credibility, or for those who ever encounter sceptical references to evolutionary psychology, here is the antidote.

David Geary presents a book which can easily be enjoyed by the lay person, although it is thoroughly grounded in the relevant scientific data.

By way of introduction, the author describes possible evolutionary explanations for sexual reproduction itself, and explains the nature of sexual selection.

There follows a detailed account, with copious illustrations and examples, of relevant animal patterns of monogamy, social dominance, female choice, parental investment patterns, mate attractiveness, and competitive mating strategies.

Finally we are enlightened on the scientific data on gender differences in play, social behaviour, and cognitive performance.

I find works such as this invaluable for helping to navigate the choppy waters of a sexual relationship!! While not the most journalistically entertaining, the book is perfectly accessible, and, given the author's resounding credibility, a worthwhile read.


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