I feel like I've gone a bit stale lately (you'd noticed?). I put down a lot of stuff half finished. I don't seem to be able to get any traction. I need a new entertainment.
All by way of a shoutout for two great new finds. One (for which I thank Michael Gilleland) is the blog of Andrew Rickard, Canadian translator and seeming polymath. Michael thought I'd enjoy "Weimar Wednesdays" on the literature of German inflation. He's right there, but the whole thing is wonderful, with snatches of Schopenhauer, Belloc and Céline, and what's not to like?
Thanks also to Bo for pointing me to The Whiskey Rebels by David Liss. People keep telling me I ought to read Liss' novels of commerce/fraud, and I can see why: there's certainly nothing like a little chicanery to get the day off to a good start. Up to now I've dipped into a couple but wandered away again. Whiskey Rebels is out of the main line in that the setting is American, not European--specifically America at the dawn of the Republic. Bo is right that Liss captures the volatile contention between pastoralist republicanism and the dynamic new vision of the market. I may even have to go back and take a second look at the others.