It is the sixth of the Inspector Rebus novels. The plot links Scottish nationalist groups and paramilitaries.
Dead Souls also by Ian Rankin is the tenth of the Inspector Rebus novels. Rankin incorporated his novella Death is not the End in this novel.
Siddhartha Mukherjee. The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer.
Winner of this year’s Pulitzer prize in the general non-fiction category.
Shing-Tung Yau. The shape of inner space. The various reviews are mostly positive:
explores many beautiful areas of modern geometry and physics; the book is very down to earth and has a style which not only explains how different ideas have unfolded in the past couple of decades, but how beautifully natural they all fit with one another; gives the layman a remarkable glimpse into the mysterious inner world of one of the most beautiful and important parts of mathematics; The collaboration between a mathematician and a science writer has worked wonders in this book; The book is an entertaining read; A very well-written book, and one that scientifically minded laymen will find easy to follow.
Why We Are Poor (Termites In The Sala, Heroes In The Attic)
by F. Sionil José
This book was first published in 2005, but I only first laid my hands on it last month.
Jose’s essays tackle matters of Filipino national development, the Filipino character and other issues. He readily admits that "most of the essays can really be divided into those that are critical of Filipinos, and quite a few that are commendatory. It is for this reason that I have used a title about termites and heroes to define that differentiation."
I like his analogy. I think it’s right on. He savages the termite who
hoists the mediocre and the inane on pedestals. In this, media are largely to blame, especially the talk show hosts on television and some editors of the entertainment and features sections. They pander to the crassest tastes.Jose's other pet termites are
...the non-entities, the phoney nationalists, the crass poseurs who preen on our TV screens, and who are anoninted with honors, we show them off like the heirlooms that adorn our living rooms, not realizing they are actually the termites that will eventually bring our house down.On heroes, Jose bemoans
Indeed, we have willfully relegated our sterling heroes in the attic where they are conveniently forgotten--the role models that could easily redeem us.Jose suggests some of the reasons of 'why we are poor': education, modernization, ravaging of our non-renewable natural resources, overpopulation not helped by the Catholic Church’s conformity with doctrinal purity, the vestiges or moral malaise of colonialism, indolence (echo of Rizal more than 100yrs ago), materialism, 'Yabang' – inward looking nationalism, agrarian reform, faulty moral compass or loss of ethical moorings.
Many reactions to Jose’s essays do not take kindly to the reasons he mentioned as to why we are poor. Some take it personally and are quite scathing in their responses. Jose merely pointed out that the emperor had no clothes.
Who would deny that they are lazy or corrupt, if not the lazy or corrupt?
To quote Jose Rizal "We should not be content to simply deny it. We must “examine the question calmly with all the impartiality of which a man is capable who is convinced that there is no redemption unless based solidly on virtue."
The solutions to our socio-economic plight in the Philippines have been debated ad nauseam. There's no need to stoke the fire. Some suggestions have been canvassed by Kishore Mahbubani in The New Asian Hemisphere.
Back to F Sionil Jose
Look at our history. We are the first in Asia to rise against Western colonialism, the first to establish a republic...If there’s one thing I am not enamored with in the book, it is this dwelling on past glories. To use a sporting analogy: you’re only as good as your last game.
Filipino to a fault.