Current recommended (and some not so) reading by Mark (yes - I know how to
Look, if I bother to finish a book - history is made. If I recommend it, I must be getting paid, right?
12/2007 - The Age of Turbulence
Alan Greenspan - $(?)
I read this book for two reasons: 1) I was interested in it and 2) A friend strongly recommended it to me. While it was a VERY interesting read, and offers some insight into Alan's background and how he went about becoming the man he is, I was expecting a lot more content, to be sure. I was expecting a lot more insight into issues of government finance and especially the Fed. Knowing what I know now, I probably wouldn't have read this one. However, since I have a strong interest in understanding macro level finance, this book did not offer much to me. Since I am going to read Jekyll again, I will probably re-read this one. I am going to make notes this time, since I do want to get whatever I can from the pair.
6/2007 - The Creature from Jekyll Island
G. Edward Griffin - $(?)
A buddy of mine recommended this book to me. He went on and on about what a horrible state the United States is actually in, financially. He said that if I read this book, I would not trust a bank ever again. Well - he was MOSTLY correct. Reading this book was DIFFICULT, so say the least. There is a LOT of FANTASTIC information here. You will understand how and why the Federal Reserve Bank was created in the United States. [Loosely from the book "The Federal Reserve: Neither 'Federal,' nor a 'Reserve.'"] Explains how currency works, why precious metals gaurd against inflation and where inflation comes from. Basci stuff like that. It took me a long time to get through this book, even though I was VERY interested in the content. I am going to be reading it again, this time taking notes. I HIGHLY recommend that everyone read this book - whether you have an interest in investing or not. It should be a high school requirement, in my humble opinion.
I am sure I read some books in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006 - just nothing that seems worth remembering right now! *SHRUG*
11/2001 - Eyewitness to 400 Years of the Stock Market
(not sure of Author) - $(can't remember-bought at store)
Well, I just tried to find this book at Barnes & Noble on-line. No dice. And, I loaned my copy to a friend. So, I tried Borders.COM, and they have teamed up with Amazon, so now when you do any search you get a "Page not Found" error, right off their darn home page, so that is not a good sign for either of those clowns. Anyway, this is a mildly interesting book, but I have to give it one thumb up and one thumb down, using my bigger thumb to point down with. [I love to end sentences with prepositions!] The author's view of the stock market is one of shear luck and "bands of thieves." I personally believe that he thinks the stock market is and always has been a total scam (I heard an interview with him, which is why I bought the book. It turned ugly after I happened to run into the store to get the book.) So, let's try to describe it this way: Did I learn anything from the book? Yes, but then again, I learned something when I stuck my finger in the table saw, too. Hmm. Would I read it again? No, but then again, I wouldn't stick my finger into the saw blade again, either. Did the book have me riveted, get my attention? Nope. And, you know the saw blade sure as hell did. So far, the saw blade is actually ahead...so I guess I have to say "While interesting, this book is definitely a second choice to sticking your finger into a table saw blade." How is that? I expect the author to send me an e-mail on THAT one. Well, I did enjoy reading it, although it is basically a compilation of first-person views of the larger scams and insider trading actions that have occurred in the stock market beginning with the guy who buried barrels full of beads to artificially inflate their prices hundreds of years ago, to the horrendous wrench the brokerage industry was thrown when the Internet lowered commissions from $100 a trade down to like $15. If I could do it all over again I would do what Bryon is doing: don't buy it - borrow it from a friend. P.S. Don't buy a PERL - you might get your face ripped off.
6/2001 - Those
Who Trespass - Bill O'Reilly - $19.20
Being a avid follower of Bill, I will call him William as a reference to the ex-president, just to piss him off for this review (piss off Bill, not William, the snake.) Anyway - William caught me hook, line and sinker on this one. I expected typical O'Reilly, and even after the first few pages, I thought "this is weird - did they bind this thing incorrectly, or what?" A novel? What was he thinking? Well, still, an excellent read and I enjoyed darn near every page. I wonder how much of it is actually true to life! Two thumbs up on this one.
5/2001 - The
O'Reilly factor - Bill O'Reilly - $18.40
This book contains Bill's thoughts on a variety of issues, ranging from Family, Sex, Drugs, Work and Religion. Many excerpts from guests on his show are interjected. I typically agree with Bill's points of view, and I have to say that I find very little wrong with his journalistic style or his television show, but there was one issue that he is a total dunce on, but I can't think of what it is right now - maybe it was drugs, maybe it was something else. If I ever get near him and we can discuss things, perhaps it will come to light. His little vignette on the child who was kicking the back of his seat on an airplane is classic O'Reilly - and I have to agree with him 100%. I give this book two thumbs up, it is a quick read, but you would better spend your time watching his show regularly. That is definite!
2/2001 - Ten
Things You Can't Say in America - Larry Elder - $19.16
If you are a Republican - you will appreciate the bountiful facts listed for all ten of the major issues covered in this book. And, if you're a Democrat, you will raise your eyebrow about twice every page as the thought "Hmm - that is going to be hard for me to argue against from now on" runs through your head. It is truly a pleasure to read a political book that backs each and every statement with hard facts and references. Lots of references. I will simply ask you this: when was the last time you had a political discussion that had 40-50 references per issue, and a handful of insightful graphs? Honestly, if I had a highlighter, 75 percent of this book would be marked (which I considered doing at first and then realized how ridiculous it would look). P.S. I have like 4 copies of this sucker loaned out to friends - RETURN THEM, PLEASE! :)
1/2001 - American
Autobahn - The Road To An Interstate Freeway With No Speed Limit - Mark Rask
- $20.96 (now $29.95?)
Now this is what I have been talking about since I got my driver's license - I am currently in the middle of this one, but hey - I always knew that the safest speed to drive was 10-15 miles per hour OVER the speed limit. Now I have the facts to back it up! If you have any interest in the age-old debate over whether or not "Speed Kills" then reading this book ought to be the high priority for you. Do you need a hint? The paragraph that begins midway down page 35 pretty much sums things up well. These are the paragraphs I like to read - insightful, realistic and first-person. Another great read (so far) - wonderful history on the automotive industry and driving laws.