Sunday Books: What are stories good for, anyway?

Okay so I’m a day (and several weeks) late on Sunday Books, but this is a good read so far. A judge sentences Sam Pulsifer to 10 years in prison for burning down Emily Dickinson’s house with two people inside. But at the same time, this judge confuses Sam, his lawyer and the prosecutor over his ruminations on what must have been his frustrateinside_book_coverd career as a professor of literature.

So goes the zippy narrative and biting humor of An Arsonist’s Guide to Writers’ Homes in New England. Sam, convicted of murder, blames his crime on the crude stories his mother told him about the Dickinson House after his father, her husband, left for three years.

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Sunday Books: Economics = high school drama

Did Keynes go to Ridgemont High?
Did Keynes go to Ridgemont High?

Being in the lobbyist business is a reminder – sometimes painful, always amusing – that we never really left high school. Every psychological issue from high school friends, frenemies, and not-so-friends comes forward: who knows whom, who is rising, who is falling, hooking up, breaking up, parents are divorcing, stuck in study hall – what else? Feel free to add to the list.

Economics is pretty much the same thing, or so argue the authors of Animal Spirits: How Human Psychology Drives the Economy, and Why It Matters for Global Capitalism. In the early pages where I find myself, the book already comes across as a foil to Sowell’s tome Basic Economics that I read over several weeks recently.

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Sunday Books: San Francisco calling… again

san-francisco-web-design-seoYou can’t go to San Francisco and not leave with some unique cultural marker that helps define what you think of the City and what the City thinks of you. And no, I don’t mean Fisherman’s Wharf.

I could do a whole blog just about San Francisco but there are plenty of other blogs out there doing it better. Still, a Sunday Op-Ed article in the Los Angeles Times by Richard Rodriguez brought me back to San Francisco, where I lived and loved until nine years ago.

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