Thursday, October 27, 2022

This changes everything - Naomi Klein

Although I’ve seen Naomi Klein’s books on bookstore shelves dozens of times, this is the first one that I actually bought and read. For some reason I thought she was a particularly good literary version of a no-global fanatic. And I am not very attracted by fanatics, even though their cause might be a noble one. Damn, I was wrong. She is quite the opposite: a competent, clever, original opponent of neoliberal and free trade fanaticism. In this book she tackles the effects of the modern capitalist dogmas on arguably the most precious thing that we - as a community, a living species, and an integral part of nature - all posses and share: the earth, its ecosystems and delicate balance. 
More than three decades after the first intergovernmental climate-change related debates and agreements, carbon emissions, rather than being reduced or at least kept stable, have increased manifold and global warming has reached unprecedented levels, causing ever more frequent and devastating natural disasters all over the planet, the poorest parts of it in particular.
Why? What happened?

Thursday, October 20, 2022

The reluctant fundamentalist - Mohsin Hamid

This is the story of a well groomed, clever and charming Pakistani young guy who moves to the US, graduates brilliantly from one of the best American colleges, finds a well paid job in a successful New York financial firm and gets a rich and beautiful - although troubled - girlfriend.
Everything seems to progress perfectly for Changez, when, all of a sudden, 9/11 happens.

Monday, October 10, 2022

Five past midnight in Bhopal - Dominique Lapierre & Javier Moro

I’d already read a couple of books by the French author Dominique Lapierre. I particularly liked “Freedom at midnight” about India and Pakistan independence and partition, which I read when I was traveling in the subcontinent. “O Jerusalem”, about the birth of the State of Israel and the first dramatic days of war between the Jewish state and its neighboring Arab countries, is also a very good one.
“Five past midnight in Bhopal” takes us back to India, a country that the author knows well. Lapierre often collaborates with some colleague when writing non fictional works. He wrote the aforementioned books together with the American journalist Larry Collins and this one with Javier Moro from Spain.
Bhopal is for chemical accidents what Chernobyl is for nuclear ones.

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

The algebra of infinite justice - Arundhati Roy

I read Arundhati Roy’s bestselling debut novel “The God of small things” many years ago. It’s a fantastic story about castes, power, exploitation, love and violence. “The algebra of infinite justice”, on the other hand, is a non-fiction book: a collection of essays and articles that Arundhati wrote between 1998 (the year Pakistan and India tested their newly developed nuclear weapons) and 2002, one year into the war on terror waged by the US and their allies after 9/11, when talks about attacking Iraq after Afghanistan were mounting.
The themes of the book are pretty much the same as the ones of the novel, but on a much wider scale.