Wednesday, January 2, 2019

The Spy and the Traitor by Ben Macintyre

This book’s full title is The Spy and the Traitor: The Greatest Espionage Story of The Cold War. This is a wonderful book and a great read. Ben Macintyre is not new to the spy genre as he has written many books on this subject. Ben Macintyre has his own site and also a US site . He even has his own Wikipedia entry.

Even though it is non-fiction, it is not the type of non-fiction I generally read. I had the pleasure to hear the author of this book speak at a Ben McNally brunch at the King Eddie. It was the speech given by Ben Macintyre that made me want to buy this book. It was an excellent speech and an also an excellent book.

These brunches at the King Eddie are a regular event. Since both Britnell Books and Nicholas Hoare have shut, Ben McNally’s book shop seems to be the last great book shop in Toronto. Ben McNally Book Shop’s site is here,

As usual, there are some great reviews on Good Reads, one of my favourite review sites.. Oliver Bullough writes a good review of the book in The Guardian. Finally, David Walmsley in the Globe and Mail write another quite interesting review.

Ben Macintyre talks about his book on YouTube. Ben Macintyre gives a talk at The Graduate Center at City University of New York. You see Ben Macintyre starting around 4 minutes.

An index of the books I have reviewed are on my website at Books. I have three blogs. The first talks only about specific stocks and is called Investment Talk . The second one contains information on mostly investing and is called Investing Economics Mostly. My last blog is for my book reviews and it is called Non-Fiction Mostly. Follow me on Twitter.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Capital Compounders by Robin Speziale

This book’s full title is Capital Compounders: How to Beat the Market and Make Money Investing in Growth Stocks. Robin Speziale was ambitious from a very young age and had a hard time waiting until he was 18 to open his first trading account. He has a blog on his web site to which you can subscribe. You can get the book here.

Robin Speziale is on number of social media sites. He has some interesting articles on LinkedIn. His Facebook site is here and you can follow him on Twitter.

His book is worth the purchase price just to just for the list of possible companies you might want to invest in and the list of resources online of where to find information on stocks you are interested in. He believes in GARP which is Growth at Reasonable Price. H would not buy a stock with a 25 P/E Ratio with 10% EPS growth, but would buy a stock at a 30 P/E Ratio if it had a 30% EPS growth.

He also limits the sectors that he invests in (something like 89%+) in 3 industries of consumer franchise, technology, and diversified industries. He likes boring and unglamorous companies that generate high returns on capital on a consistent basis. He gives examples of Savaria which is assisted living and Estee Lauder which owns MAC Cosmetics.

He also very much likes companies in which the management owns part of the business that they manage. He says that he does not trust management that does not invest their own personal money into a company. You can find management insider holdings for the US market at Insider Tracking and for the Canadian market at Canadian Insider.

Robin Speziale ends the book with some of his Do It Yourself (DIY) investor friends including Paul Andreola; Be Smart Rich Blogger, Donville’s Blog; Max; Christopher Gimmer; Philippe Bergeron-Belanger; Mathieu Martin; and Zachary Trease and Bizy Beaver. Plus, he gives a 100 web site resources.

An index of the books I have reviewed are on my website at Books. I have three blogs. The first talks only about specific stocks and is called Investment Talk . The second one contains information on mostly investing and is called Investing Economics Mostly. My last blog is for my book reviews and it is called Non-Fiction Mostly. Follow me on Twitter.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Enlightenment Now by Steven Pinker

This book’s full title is Enlightenment Now. The case for Reason, Science, Humanism and Progress. He starts of well. I fully agree with what Enlightenment era has bought us. However, he veers off in the last part to what I have a hard time agreeing to.

He admires Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, both of which I have no respect for. They believe that if you do not believe as they do then you are either stupid or evil. They seemed to have made atheism into a religion. They sound more like ISIS then the religions people I grew up with. I am sorry but there are far too many people nowadays who think that those who do not believe as they believe are either stupid or evil. I have no respect for anyone that does this.

I should probably talk about my upbringing. The churches that I went to had people who were religious, but were also well education, liberal, moderate, open minded and believed in science. I well remember Sunday school where there were very nice ladies that read to us and gave us colouring books. They were bible stories, but as a kid that was not important. What I remember is enjoying Sunday school.

I have not gone to church since I left home. If pressed about if I believe in God, I would say I do not know. It is not something I think about. There is no point in going from the religion I was bought up in to another religion called atheism. Dawkins and Hitchens are atheist and if you listen to what they say, they sound like they belong to a religious cult.

I also have problem with the global warming people. They have made global warming into a religion. Any one that calls others a “denier” because they do not have the same beliefs sounds religious to me. They have been calling for worldwide global warming disasters for a number of years and it is always some 10 or 20 years in the future. It is now set for around 2030.

The Global Warmers disaster folks have been shouting at the top of their voices about coming disasters for so long that it now seems that fewer and fewer people are paying any attention. There are now even national leaders who say that they do not believe in global warming. It is not only Trump.

I read everything, so I know that there are also people who are worried about the lack of sun activity, the number of volcanos that are going off around the world and that the magnetic north and south poles might be getting ready to switch. They are moving around a lot.

If I were an American, I would have voted for Hillary Clinton despite the problems she has. Even today, I would still do so. However, I am also not a foaming at the mouth Trump hater as I know a lot of people are. What do I say? I am a moderate. My politics are liberal on the centralist side. However, in Canada I have vote for all three major parties of Conservative, Liberal and NDP. Canadian politicians are not that polarized as seems to be the problems is many countries.

Also, I do not believe that scientists are always open minded. Just look at the history of plate tectonics and the asteroid that hit in the Gulf of Mexico. Some of this makes sense because if you were taught certain theories in school and worked most of your life believing these theories, it would be hard to accept some total new and different theories.

What I am being critical about is the last part of the book. The first part was wonderful in explaining all the advancements that we humans have made. We have made phenomenal progress especially in the Western World. Pinker covered this progress also in his other books.

There is a wonderful review of this book by Alison Gopnik in The Atlantic. As usual, there are some wonderful reviews at my favourite site of Good Reads. There is another interesting review by Jennifer Szalai at New York Times.

Here Bill Gates does a short interview with Steven Pinker. Adrian Mckinty on YouTube talks about this book pointing out all the good stuff going on in the world which is in the first part of the book. Steven Pinker is interviewed on Reason.com. Steven Pinker speaks at University of Cambridge. He some on after a 3 minute introduction.

An index of the books I have reviewed are on my website at Books. I have three blogs. The first talks only about specific stocks and is called Investment Talk . The second one contains information on mostly investing and is called Investing Economics Mostly. My last blog is for my book reviews and it is called Non-Fiction Mostly. Follow me on Twitter.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Age-Proof by Chatzky and Roizen

This book's full title is "Age-Proof: Living Longer without Running out of Money or Breaking a Hip by Jean Chatzky and Michael F. Roizen, MD with Ted Spiker". I thought that the best advice for me was in health where I should be stretching after sitting for long periods. I thought that the jumping was also a good idea. Other places I have read talk about jumping in order to keep hips in good shape also.

We have to pay attention to both health and wealth as we are living longer. I like the idea of living to a ripe old age if I am health. I do not have any problems with money at least not presently. One never knows what the future holds.

There are some good reviews on Good Reads. Many thought that the book was too basic or just a rehash of what the authors have said before. Maurice on Books gives a review of this book. I especially liked the review by Janet Alvarez on Wisebread.

Interview of Chatzky and Roizen on The Morning Break of linking wealth and health. Interview of Chatzky Roizen on Today on Training your brain. Interview of Michael Roizen on the 700 Club on CBN.

An index of the books I have reviewed are on my website at Books. I have three blogs. The first talks only about specific stocks and is called Investment Talk . The second one contains information on mostly investing and is called Investing Economics Mostly. My last blog is for my book reviews and it is called Non-Fiction Mostly. Follow me on Twitter.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

The Intimate Bond by Brian Fagan

This book's full title is "The Intimate Bond: How Animals Shaped Human History". This is an interesting book about our relationship with animals and it is a good overview of our history and relationships with domesticated animals. The author, Brian Fagan has his own Website.

I had not realized how important the donkey was to early history or how much the camel changed once it too was domesticated. The camel was apparently the eighth animal to be domesticated after the wolf (dog), goats, sheep, pigs, cattle, donkey and horse. Our relationship to our domesticated animals has changed much over time.

The Good Reads site again provides various reviews at various levels. There is a short review at Kirkus Reviews. There really is not much in the way of reviews on this book.

There is an interview with Brian Fagan on another book of his at South Dakota Humanities Council called The Attacking Ocean. In another video Brian Fagan talks about the last great warming.

An index of the books I have reviewed are on my website at Books. I have three blogs. The first talks only about specific stocks and is called Investment Talk . The second one contains information on mostly investing and is called Investing Economics Mostly. My last blog is for my book reviews and it is called Non-Fiction Mostly. Follow me on Twitter.

Friday, January 26, 2018

SPQR by Mary Beard

This book's full title is SPQR, a History of Ancient Rome. SPQR is short for the Latin phrase "Senatus Populusque Romanus" or the Senate and People of Rome. What is interesting about Rome is that it gave Roman Citizenship to outsiders. They also had a permanent criminal court where even foreigners could seek redress. This is a very readable book and it is the way history should be written.

Dwight Garner writes a review for the New York Times. As always there are some good reviews at Good Reads. Natalie Haynes gives a review of this book on The Guardian. Emily Wilson also has a great review on The Atlantic.

Mary Beard talks about her book via 92nd Street Y. Mary Beard talks at the 2016 Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. Mary Beard talks about misogyny in the ancient world on Women in the World. In this video Mary Beard answers the questions via BBC Newsnight of "What can ancient Rome teach us about the migrant crisis?"

An index of the books I have reviewed are on my website at Books. I have three blogs. The first talks only about specific stocks and is called Investment Talk . The second one contains information on mostly investing and is called Investing Economics Mostly. My last blog is for my book reviews and it is called Non-Fiction Mostly. Follow me on Twitter.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

The Ends of the World by Peter Brannen

This book's full title is The Ends of the World: Volcanic Apocalypses, Lethal Oceans, and our Quest to Understand Earth's Past Mass Extinctions. I have always been fascinated by the destruction of live in the past.

I do not think that most people know how unforgiving nature can be. There are tales each year of people getting lost in Algonquin Park. They go out for a walk but do not know how to walk in a straight line in the wilderness. People can get lost in a large area of woods quite easily. When I was a kid on my Grandparent's farm, which was mostly woodland, I meet people out for a walk but got lost and did not know how to get back to their car.

People that live in cities have no appreciation of the power of nature. I sure most people do not recognize how lucky we are that we currently live in a rather stable climatic time. It is hard to say if and when this might change.

There are some good reviews of this book on Amazon. There are some decent reviews on Good Reads, but most people knew nothing about the subject before reading this book and it shows. This site on One Wrold Publications is interesting as it pulls reviews from other sources.

Elizabeth A. Bell on Science Mag writes a review on this book. This review on the Economist looks at this book and Inheritors of the Earth: How Nature Is Thriving in an Age of Extinction by Chris Thomas.

Peter Brannen wrote an article in the The Atlantic about why we are not in a time of another mass extinction. Peter Brannen talks at Google. Peter Brannen does a talk by on C-Span . Lauren Sallan talks on TED Talks talks about mass extinctions.

An index of the books I have reviewed are on my website at Books. I have three blogs. The first talks only about specific stocks and is called Investment Talk . The second one contains information on mostly investing and is called Investing Economics Mostly. My last blog is for my book reviews and it is called Non-Fiction Mostly. Follow me on Twitter.