Something topical…the G20

I spent most of the day not working and watching the protests on Sky and BBC news today, and remembering a time when I would have been there myself, before the Stop the War marches in 2003, when I saw that despite millions of people turning up to protest peacefully about something that was so obviously wrong nothing changed and nothing ever would.

Rowena Mason, blogging for the Telegraph put together a reading list for G20 leaders – books that she thought could have ‘helped to prevent this crisis – exposing greed, financial carelessness, complacent over-consumption and others qualities that went towards creating economic busts of the past’.

  • Money: a Suicide Note, by Martin Amis
  • Moll Flanders, by Daniel Defoe
  • Tulip Fever, by Deborah Moggach
  • American Pscyho, by Brett Easton Ellis (love, love, love Christian Bale in the film of this as it goes)
  • The Great Gatsby, by F Scott Fitzgerald
  • The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck
  • Little Dorrit, by Charles Dickens
  • Bonfire of the Vanities, by Tom Wolfe
  • L’Argent, by Emile Zola

It’s not a bad list, as I’m so taken with The White Tiger at the moment I’d throw that in for good measure, maybe JM Coetzee’s Disgrace and no such list is complete without 1984 (natch) – but I don’t think reading any of these book would make the blindest bit of difference. Books are powerful things, but I don’t think they aren’t powerful enough to make a real difference anymore – but I’d love someone to contradict me on this!

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