Christmas 2011: James Allan


The highlights of my non-law reading this year were a bit odd.

I re-read Bernard Lewis’s The Crisis of Islam, which is excellent. Lewis knows as much as anyone in this area and he writes beautifully. The message, alas, does not ooze optimism but I highly recommend this.

I also enjoyed working my way through a chunk of the Leslie Charteris The Saint books. In some ways this series is mightily out-dated, but it’s out-dated in a very charming way. Not as good as Sherlock Holmes or Agatha Christie or the Flashman series, but very enjoyable.

My last pick is related to the fact that I’m off for Christmas to the Galapagos. Knowing that I forced myself to read The Origin of Species and surprised myself with the extent to which I enjoyed it (but be warned there are boring bits). Still, the book is so good that Karl Marx (a big fan) offered to dedicate his Capital to Darwin, an offer the naturalist politely declined. But pick who will have more influence in the long term on world affairs. It won’t be Marx.

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