James M. Lindsay

The Water's Edge

Lindsay analyzes the politics shaping U.S. foreign policy and the sustainability of American power.

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The World Next Week: Books to Read This Summer

by James M. Lindsay
June 13, 2014

Summer Reading Books Bookstore A woman reads a book at her open air book store in Skopje, Macedonia. (Ognen Teofilovski/Courtesy Reuters)

The World Next Week podcast is up. This week, Bob McMahon and I took a break from our regular discussion of next week’s news to kick off the summer with some reading recommendations. We were joined by Gideon Rose, editor of Foreign Affairs, who also gave his suggestions.

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We started off by recommending great books we’ve read recently.  On Bob’s list:

Gideon also shared his recent favorites:

  • Karabell, Zachary. The Leading Indicators: A Short History of the Numbers That Rule Our World (2014). In lively and engaging prose, Karabell explains the origins and history of statistical measures such as gross national product, unemployment, and inflation that we rely on to understand the world.
  • Zweig, Stefan. The World of Yesterday (1942). At the height of his career, Stefan Zweig was one of the most wildly read and translated authors in the world.  His memoir, which documents his travels through Europe and illustrates the “golden age of literary Vienna,” gains added poignancy from the fact that he committed suicide the day after completing it.

Two books I read recently are:

Bob, Gideon, and I also discussed six books we’re hoping to read this summer.

A summer reading list wouldn’t be complete without some lighter beach reads. Bob looks forward to reading:

Gideon plans to read a book that has a lot of fans:

  • Martin, George R.R. A Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 1 (1996). The first book in Martin’s epic fantasy series chronicles the fictional struggle for power between the continents of Westeros and Essos as a dynamic cast of characters utilize magic, conquest, and romance to achieve their goals.

Meanwhile, I hope to read:

And if you’re still looking for more recommendations, you can give last year’s list a try.

What books are you planning to read this summer? Leave your suggestions in the comments box below.

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