April 9th, 2020


My tweets


Thursday reading

Gideon the Ninth, by Tamsin Muir
Oathbringer, by Brandon Sanderson
The European Parliament, by Francis Jacobs, Richard Corbett and Michael Shackleton

Last books finished
The Moomins and the Great Flood, by Tove Jansson
A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess
A Prayer for Owen Meany, by John Irving

Next books
The First Men in the Moon, by H. G. Wells
Wiske, by Willy Vandersteen
pointless, repression

Red Notice, by Bill Browder

Second paragraph of third chapter:
Based on countless viewings of the movie Animal House, I decided that if I was going to go to a party school, I might as well do it right and join a fraternity. I pledged the Delta Upsilon fraternity and, after the requisite hazing, was accepted as a member. Everyone had a nickname there—Sparky, Whiff, Doorstop, Slim—and mine, on account of my curly, black hair, was Brillo.
This is an impressive first-person account of one businessman who was ruthlessly targeted by the Kremlin for trying to operate freely in Russia. Browder managed to make a lot of money in Eastern Europe in the wild days immediately after the fall of Communism, but ran foul of the Russian authorities, who used the full force of bad law to strip his assets (of which he had a lot) and, much worse, arrested Browder's legal adviser Sergei Magnitsky, who then died as a result of his mistreatment in jail. Browder's is not the only such story, but it is very well told, and he has vindicated Magnitsky's memory by getting legislation passed in various jurisdictions allowing direct sanctions against those who have abused human rights. One or two people who I know personally show up in the narrative (in a good way!) which is always interesting too. Recommended. You can get it here.

This was my top unread non-fiction book. Next on that list is The Ode Less Travelled: Unlocking the Poet Within, by Stephen Fry.