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Friday, June 30, 2017

Two Reading Dilemmas

"Prisoners Of Geography: Ten Maps That Explain Everything About The World" lives up to the hyperbole of its sub-title. End-to-end, Tim Marshall's 2015 book is the best non-fiction I've read this year, holding its own alongside some of my all time favorites.

The ten countries or regions Marshall uses as the centerpiece of his book each get between seventeen ("The Arctic") and forty pages ("The Middle East"). The most informative? Difficult to say. The most thoroughly researched? Harder still. The most nuanced politically? Impossible to single out just one. If another book of non-fiction has taught me more in the last five years, the title escapes me.

"But so far. although we have broken free from the shackles of gravity, we are still imprisoned in our own minds, confined by our suspicion of the 'other', and thus our primal competition for resources. There is a long way to go."

Current dilemma #1? Which work of non-fiction already selected for my book club will be replaced when I put "Prisoners of Geography" on that substantial list? Dilemma #2: Given my recent decision to scale back the number of blog posts I publish - a decrease not coupled with any change in reading consumption - which books will be featured here? Or, perhaps more pertinently, how will I decide what to leave out? Uh-oh. Not evangelizing on behalf of  "Prisoners Of Geography"? Not possible.

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