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Showing posts from August, 2018

*Anne with an E*

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We've been watching this loose adaptation of L M Montgomery's "Anne of Green Gables" series on Netflix and enjoying it very much. The Canadian scenery is extraordinary, so much space and cold winds and sunshine. Anne Shirley is an orphan, adopted by a childless brother and sister who live on a farm on Prince Edward Island in Canada in the early 1900s. The series follows the highs and lows of Anne's life, beginning with her trials in the village school and adapting to island life, and progressing through love affairs, education and work into her adult life. I read the series avidly as a ten year old, borrowing each in turn from the public library. To my astonishment, my husband is now reading them (ebook versions). Unsurprisingly, he didn't read them as a boy, but as a man over 60 he's plowing through them, laughing and reading out the good bits. Anne Shirley with Marilla Cuthbert in "Anne with an E" on Netflix Right now he's read

Reading journal: A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K Le Guin

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Genre: Fantasy Published: 1968 Series: Earthsea Cycle Date read: May 2018 Wonderful fantasy series about the life of a young and powerful mage, Ged. Ged is arrogant and fool-hardy, and pushes the boundaries of magic in his home village, living with a mentor and then at the Mage’s school on Roke. He awakens something evil, and must travel the world in peril of his life until he can defeat it. A classic story, beautifully told. Ged is such a typical young man, so careless with risk. Wonderful world-building, with the islands and seas totally realistic. I’ve read this before, but not for a long time. It’s still a perfect gem, to come back to again and again.

Reading journal: The Value of Everything by Mariana Mazzucato

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Genre: Non-fiction Published: 2018 Date read: May 2018 A solid read about a basic concept in economics, the idea of value. For the last few decades value has been interpreted as whatever a market will pay for something, that is, the price. These days price determines the value of something, rather than the other way around. One result is the rise of rent-seekers; economic actors whose sole purpose is to extract value through financial trickery, what the author calls ‘casino capitalism’. Instead of adding value to the economy, financial players remove it, enriching themselves at the expense of society generally. It hasn’t always been this way. There was a time in living memory when the evening news didn’t report on stock exchange and currency fluctuations. I’ve never understood why they do that. Obviously players in that game don’t wait to hear important information on broadcast TV, and for the rest of us, it isn’t very useful to know. The author reviews economic theory to