books on my reading list

At the beginning of every school year I am invariably overly ambitious about what I can realistically accomplish, including the number of books that can reasonably be read in a day week. Nevertheless, let me begin a list here of the books I hope to tackle (required reading not included) in the next couple of months.

  • The Escape from Hunger and Premature Death, 1700-2100, by Robert Fogel.                                                                                                                       “Technophysio evolution and its implications are the central themes of this volume. The term describes the complex interaction between advances in the technology of production and improvements in human physiology. The interaction is synergistic, which means that the total effect is greater than the sum of its parts. This interaction between technological and physiological improvements has produced a form of evolution that is not only unique to humankind but unique among the 7,000 or so generations of human beings who have inhabited the earth.” This book sounds remarkably like the dissertation I hope to write. Only that I almost surely will never win a Nobel Prize in economics …details, details.
  • African Development: Making Sense of the Issues and Actors, by Todd J. Moss (@moss_dc)                                                                                                  “This book aims for a simple, but hopefully not simplistic, introduction to the main themes, trends, and players in contemporary African development.” This book seems to be doing the rounds in development circles and is probably a good resource for both teachers and students of African politics and development.
  • The Drunkard’s Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives, by Leonard Mlodinow                                                                                                               “Offering readers not only a tour of randomness, chance and probability but also a new way of looking at the world, this original, unexpected journey reminds us that much in our lives is about as predictable as the steps of a stumbling man fresh from a night at the bar.” Recommended by a brilliant and enterprising friend whose reading recommendations can only be totally worthwhile. And it has a great title!
  • Decentralization in Uganda: Explaining Successes and Failures in Local Governance, by Gina M.S. Lambright.                                                                  Just discovered this one in a political science “new books” publication.
  • Museveni’s Uganda: Paradoxes of Power in a Hybrid Regime, by Aili Tripp       Also recently discovered this one, has anyone read it?
  • Decision Points, George W. Bush                                                                        Because political autobiographies are fascinating.

More to be added as we go along. What are you reading?


See, I’m already getting ahead of myself. So far I have read 1.1 of the above books (specifically Fogel, and a bit of Bush and Moss), and I’ve already added more. Recent additions:

I also recently read Rational Ritual: Culture, Coordination and Common Knowledge, by Michael Suk-Young Chwe, which I recommend and hope to write about soon.

6 Replies to “books on my reading list”

  1. Interesting list! I had Gina Lambright as a professor and really enjoyed her articles. She relies a lot on quantitative data and draws some interesting conclusions. I also interviewed Aili Tripp for my fulbright research and found her incredibly dynamic. I read her last book and hope to read her new one if/when it comes out in Kampala!

  2. It is me who just posted: Reading Tripp – started in March!!!
    Also reading The Famished Road by Ben Okri; and East African Hip Hop: Youth, Culture and Globalization by Mwenda Ntarangwi

    1. How is Tripp so far? I got Okri’s book as a graduation present in 2007 and still haven’t finished it either, but I should pick it up again at some point. And I’m not familiar with Ntarangwi but the topic sounds interesting. Let me know what you think!

  3. 2007 or so, she is taken out of school for mono’ and lives with her Aunt Uncle miles away from Sarah and flmaiy. In February 2008, Bristol is in a traffic accident outside the doctor’s office and some speculate this is when she found out that the baby had Downs. Sarah decides at that point that they have to keep the baby (most likely they were hoping to give the baby up for adoption so the world would never know there was a pregnancy in the house), so she decides since the baby has Downs to be the mother’ and proceeds to announce to her office that she’s 7 months pregnant, but many in the office are astounded because SHE DOESN’T LOOK PREGNANT. She straps on a fake pregnancy belly and for the next two months she plays the part. In April 2008, Sarah flies down to Texas to give a speech, but before the speech, she gets a call from someone back home (most likely from Bristol or her doctor stating her water just broke and the baby is coming .get home now!), and then the next thing we know she’s saying her water broke. She gives the speech anyway, hangs around for a little bit, and then gets on a commercial flight back to Alaska that TAKES HOURS AND HOURS. When she lands in Alaska, she doesn’t go to the nearest hospital, but instead says she drove an hour and a half to Mat-Su Hospital to give birth’ where today .there is no record of a Trig Palin being born in that hospital.I think Bristol did a home birth at her Aunt Uncle’s house and this is why ONLY the doctor has confirmed a birth took place. I’ve not read one article stating that the hospital nurses were so honored to deliver the Governor’s baby . None. Here’s Sarah with her fake belly on in April 2008:Even though Sarah said Trig was born a month early, no one can confirm that for sure, since no one has said when the baby was conceived. Had the baby been conceived in August and born in April of the following year, it would have been 8 months gestation, but if Trig had been conceived in July, then it was a normal pregnancy of 9 months. Then, Greta Van Susteren of Fox News interviews Bristol Palin recently and Greta asks Bristol how she broke the news to her parents that she was pregnant with TRIPP (her 2nd baby). Bristol responds by saying she said to her parents (with her friends at her side), What is the worst thing that could happen? . The worst thing? I thought all pregnancies were cherished by gawd and the Palins? Oh wait! What Bristol was actually saying was, I did it again Mommy! I got pregnant again right after giving birth to Trig! This is the worst thing to happen because I know you went through a lot to protect me the first time!!!! . That’s how I see it happening. Please trolls, post all your facts to the contrary. Thanks. I look forward to reading your facts’.


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