What are you reading?

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What are you reading?

  • Meg G.

    I’m finishing up Peter Thiel’s Zero to One. I highly recommend it to anyone that’s even curious about the tech startup world or has ever wondered, “Why on earth is [x company] valued at $2 billion?!”

    What about you? Anything you’re working on?

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  • Chip Marce

    “Hemp Bound” by Doug Fine.  A book extolling the virtues of hemp as a crop. Although I’ve enjoyed his other books, so far this is a dud. Basically, he extols the virtues of the plant, then comes to the point (for me) which is that hemp would have to be heavily subsidized by the taxpayers to make it economically viable in the US.

    BZZZZZT!  Wrong answer!

    I might finish the book but so far I’m not impressed.

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      Meg G.

      Totally the wrong answer! I’m always curious about books that people start and don’t finish. 🙂 What one book would you recommend from him?

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        Chip Marce

        “Too High to Fail” was worth the read. About marijuana and legalization in Cali. Since no one is seriously considering tax subsidies for growing pot, I guess he was forced to stay away from the really loony socialism in that book. While I personally disagree with the perspective that says that pot is some sort of universal elixir, I’m willing to hear the argument.

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    Toni Sopocko

    I started reading Johnny Got His Gun.  Only one chapter so far.  I keep looking for excuses to not read it. . . I’m afraid of the horror.  But I think it’s something I need to read.

    There were several intro pieces at the start, and I read some of them, but I didn’t read the one by Cindy Sheehan.  She ticked me off.

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      Meg G.

      I’m not familiar with this book. Why do you think it’s something you need to read?

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        Toni Sopocko

        It’s apparently the ultimate anti-war novel.  Written back in the 1930s, about The Great War.  So far, it’s actually very good.

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    Frank Marcopolos

    Texas Tough, which is a history of the Texas criminal justice system; Women by Charles Bukowski; and I just got What I Learned losing a Million Dollars. I keep hearing about Zero to One, though, so may have to pick that one up. I was just looking for a good free copy of the Summa Theologica by Thomas Aquinas, because one of my characters referenced it in a story I am working on. Too much to read, too little time!

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      Meg G.

      Too much to read, too little time!

      I feel ya.

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    Ken Jons-un

    I just finished The Fountainhead, been meaning to get to that one for years and I’m glad I finally did. It is a great story and not as bulky as Atlas. Now I ponder if it was Ayn writing about herself as an architect rather than writer.

    Now I am reading Ladies of the Night by Maggie McNeil. A collection of thought provoking short stories, I’m half way through and really enjoying it. She did an engaging talk on the sex industry a couple of months ago at Liberty on the Rocks in Nashville. I think she spoke for about an hour and pro or con people were still wrapped up in the discussion.

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      Mike Reid

      Sounds cool, Ken.

      At the suggestion of @tylerll, I’ve been reading Patriots, which is a kind of survivalist post-apocalyptic constitutional Christian conservative novel. About half of it reads like an instruction manual (long explanations of how to store gasoline for the coming apocalypse, etc.), and the other half is like action scenes from a military novel.

      I’ve never read anything quite like it. It’s very refreshing.

      We’ve got a very informal Liberty.me online hangout for book lovers tomorrow night. We usually have liquor.  Please come and join us.

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    Daniel Burke

    I guess you started this discussion. good one. I’m finally reading Ludwig Von Mises’ “Human action.” I got tired of reading quotes from it.

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    Liz Jaluague

    I read Zero to One when it came out, and I’ve loaned it to a few friends since. Currently reading about left-wing fundraising from an academic perspective: https://www.amazon.ca/MoveOn-Effect-Unexpected-Transformation-Political/dp/0199898383

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    Michael Blair

    I’m listening to The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels by Alex Epstein on audio book during my time in the car (very good through 2 chapters), and I’m halfway through a new bit of fiction that has been very good so far — Avaritia: A Fable by M.D. Westbrook.  I’m actually halfway through the Kindle copy that was included with my purchase of the paperback and will likely finish before receiving the paperback copy it’s been so good.  To this point it’s been a brilliantly simple but engaging contrast of Individualism versus Progressivism in a society of mice and rats.  If it continues as such, it should be an excellent resource for adults to consider for their children (along Animal Farm age group perhaps), for themselves, and as a recommendation to any friends or family.

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      Greg Altenberger

      I’ll have to check out the vermin fable, thanks Michael 🙂

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        Michael Blair

        I finished the fable today, and I remain very, very high on recommending this to everyone.

        Similar to Animal Farm with its use of animals to explore ideas, I actually found it more reminiscent of Atlas Shrugged in its plot.  It’s definitely a much easier read though at 200 pages, and there is a religious/moral undercurrent that clearly sets it apart from Rand.

        The story is extremely libertarian in nature, but it’s mostly implicit by the unfolding of events; there are some clear lessons provided by the rats, but there is nothing in here to suggest the author is particularly familiar with economic theory or libertarian philosophy.  It’s an organic exploration of what freedom is and what it isn’t — and where different interpretations of freedom lead.

        I purchased the paperback for $7 but finished my free Kindle copy before it could get here.  I really think I’ll buy another 3-4 paperback copies to share with the office and others.  For anyone reading this who wants to check it out, the Kindle version looks like it is only $0.99 right now.

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    Greg Altenberger

    I just recently finished Paul Rosenberg’s “The Breaking Dawn” (http://www.freemansperspective.com/the-breaking-dawn-a-book-review-by-jim-davidson/). This was pretty inspiring and I always like Rosenberg’s articles on his website. The first part is a libertarian rebellion/secession from a high-surveillance society, and the last part is a long epilogue that’s more “spiritual” and although I’m not really a believer, I enjoyed it. He made it more like an “evolutionary upgrade” than a “spiritual awakening” so it didn’t come across like preaching or anything. I’ll need some more libertarian fiction soon so any recommendations are welcome!

    For non-fiction, I’ll have to check out Zero to One. Sounds interesting!

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    Leanne Baker

    After months and months of being on back order, I just received “The Superfluous Men: Conservative Critics of American Culture 1900-1945” edited by Robert Crunden.  It includes essays by Albert Jay Nock, whom I’ve been reading now for the past year-plus, as well as George Santayana, H.L. Mencken, Ralph Adams Cram, and many others I haven’t read or don’t know yet.  Also, @gregaltenberger, I also read Paul Rosenberg’s “The Breaking Dawn.”  I really liked the first half and just skimmed the epilogues.

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    Michael Bunch

    I just finished Investigations into the Method of the Social Sciences by Carl Menger and now I’m onto Individualism and Economic Order. Menger’s book was hard reading, so some Hayek will give my brain a break for a bit.

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    Rob Wells

    I have just finished reading “Three Lads and the Lizard King” by Robert Murphy (to a 4 year old), Murphy gets a bit tongue tied at times but it was still a fun read – we got to the end which is the ultimate test.

    I am also reading “Property Freedom and Society” edited by Kinsella and Hulsmann, a collection of essays in honour of Hans Hermann Hoppe. There are a lot of authors here that I have not read before so it is a good introduction to them. One new author for me is Huerta de Soto who has in interesting essay comparing Classical Liberalism and Libertarianism.

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      Michael Bunch

      I’ll have to check out that Kinsella book. I’ve been meaning to check out Huerta de Soto but his books are expensive on Amazon. Maybe this will motivate me.

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        Rob Wells

        “Money and Banking” turned up today, I managed to get a second hand copy through Amazon- the postage to Oz was more than the book.

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    Anonymous

    Tragedy and Hope by Carrol Quigley. A history of the world in our time.

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    Rob Wells

    Just re-read Rothbards essay “Left and Right, The Prospects for Liberty”. Still fresh and interesting after 50 years!! This might have been good reading material for the delegates to the LP convention. Two big themes are the case for optimism and the message that libertarianism is radically neither Left nor Right.

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    Michael Blair

    Quick FYI that the Kindle version of Avaritia is apparently going to be *free* from June 3-7 if anyone thought it even remotely sounded like their cup of tea.

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    Leanne Baker

    The combination of Liberty.me and iBooks has been great.  I was on a business trip earlier this week, and spent most of the airplane rides reading “The Second Realm,” recommended a month ago by John Simmons (@johnsimmons) on L.me, “Conscience of an Anarchist”  by Gary Chartier and several chapters of Jeff Riggenbach’s “The Libertarian Tradition.”  A few weeks ago I immersed myself in “Behind the Green Mask: U.N. Agenda 21” by Rosa Koire, a fearless woman who lives nearby, and whom I hope to meet.

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    James Smith

    I have about 8 books on the go.

    Irreducible Mind: Towards a Psychology for the 21st Century (heavy and academic but mind-bending)
    Rothard Reader
    The Chimp Paradox by Steve Peters (y)
    and, er, She Comes First . . . amongst others.

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    Gary Bendall

    Right now I am listening to Lonesome Dove and reading James Madison and the making of America. I just finished the science of success by Charles Koch.

    If anyone is interested with being friends on goodreads, please look me up on there as well.

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      Leanne Baker

      Lonesome Dove is one of my all-time favorite books, and I re-watch the mini-series every few years.  Who does the audio version?

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        Gary Bendall

        I love the mini series as well…..so much so that my youngest is named Augustus lol. The audiobook I have is narrated by Lee Horsley.

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    Liz Jaluague

    I’m finally picking up where I left off in The Fountainhead! I’ve only read Anthem and excerpts of her non-fiction. Been putting off the two classics for far too long.

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    Ross Jensen

    I’m just about finished with Jason Brennan’s Introduction to Political Philosophy, which I highly recommend!

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    D. Jason Fleming

    Right now I’m about halfway through Terry Teachout’s recent bio of Duke Ellington, Duke.

    It’s interesting in many ways, good and bad. One of my usual complaints about books and documentaries on the Big Band era is that they barely even gloss over the business and economics of how the bands worked, but Duke gives a clear idea of how the economic aspects of Ellington’s touring band worked, even though it doesn’t focus on them or go into much detail. (It is far, *far* superior to Ken Burns’s Jazz documentaries, which treated money like icky anti-art stuff that should be kept in the closet and never discussed except to boo the mass audiences for their lack of taste.)

    On the negative side, Teachout really, really goes hard on Ellington’s choice not to school himself in European classical music theory, hitting basically every longform piece Ellington wrote as formless, or else “merely” a number of short pieces forced together without “formal unity”. Which is possibly a bit odd given his obvious respect for Ellington’s works and achievements.

    Also on the potentially-negative side, Ellington’s lack of journal or diary, and active attempts to obfuscate portions of his private life, leave Teachout having to speculate in the “he must have felt” and “he probably thought” and “since he never spoke of it, we can only wonder” mode. I usually hate this sort of thing in bios, especially when it blunders over to the biographer projecting his own preferences onto the subject, but in this book, it was both necessary due to lack of sources for certain things, and kept to a low level, mostly only for those gaps in the record.

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