Book: The Progress Paradox

If you feel inundated by bad news, this book may provide a nice counterbalance. Easterbrook points out the many ways that the human condition has been steadily improving for some time. The thesis is more subtle than ‘everything is just fine’, though. He also explores why human happiness doesn’t seem to have increased at all and how that might be changed.

Book: Assassination Vacation

A light ramble over the history and geography of three presidential assassinations. Great fun. This book has a strange tie-in with ‘The Biggest Game in Town’: they both refer to Ken Smith, the chess and poker player who was Bobby Fisher’s second when he played Boris Spassky in Reykjavik.

Book: Our Endangered Values

The former President enumerates many ways in which the present administration is deviating from or actively destroying what have been long-standing American values (even if Americans have not always lived up to them). Carter has a light but meandering style that makes for a quick read.