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Mike's Recommended Reading

Eat the Rich My idol. P.J. O'Rourke, journalist from Rolling Stone, who describes his transformation from drug dependent hippy activist to alcohol dependent cynical reporter, takes on economics. Seeking the answer to the question "Why are some places rich and prosperous while others just suck?" he travels the world, talks to prominent experts in the field, and outlines the basic economic philosophies which purport to dictate how the world spends its wealth. Insightful, witty, and at times scathing in his observations, Mr. O'Rourke explains one of the world's most important and least understood forces in a way that the common man can grasp. After reading "Eat the Rich" you will no longer shake you head in bewilderment at the concept of economics. You will shake it in disbelief.
Give War a Chance

If you like "Eat the Rich", the following are also available. The titles should give you an accurate idea of the tone and content.

Give War a Chance : Eyewitness Accounts of Mankind's Struggle Against Tyranny, Injustice and Alcohol-Free Beer

Age and Guile Age and Guile Beat Youth, Innocence, and a Bad Haircut
All the Trouble in the World All the Trouble in the World : The Lighter Side of Overpopulation, Famine, Ecological Disaster, Ethnic Hatred, Plague, and Poverty

Steven Brust's tale of Vlad Taltos, an ethnic minority-a human- who overcomes prejudice and hardship by studying witchcraft, becoming an assassin, and working his way up the underworld ladder of organized crime. He's really a nice guy, though. This is one of the most unique and interesting series available in print today.

The Phoenix Guards

Steven Brust does Dumas in this witty and hilarious homage to the author of The Three Musketeers.

Brust again rejects stereotype by experimenting in a radically different style of literature, and putting a fantasy spin on it. He stands head and shoulders above the crowd of current fantasy writers.

The Black Company Glen Cook evokes a gritty realism in this tale of a mercenary company in the sevice of a powerful sorceror lord of a dark empire. Told through the voice of the cynical and war weary veteran surgeon of the company, the story tells of the company's campaigns against the rebels and of the Byzantine politics of the empire, as it's ruling magicains struggle for position. This is an excellent look at the character of professional soldiers and how loyalty to the unit can be stonger than loyalty to squabbling political animals who make up the ruling class. An excellent read. Be advised, Cook doesn't pull his punches.
Slog Review forthcoming!