Liar’s Poker, The Magicians, The Age of Dreaming, The Alchemist, Ash

Ugh, 5 books and none of them were really that good. 

Another week, another book that is free from the Kindle Lending Library that talks about finance. I had enjoyed Boomerang and The Big Short, so figured I’d return to Liar’s Poker, where Michael Lewis first got his start. It’s much more of a personal memoir and is not meant to teach high finance concepts. Originally written in the 80s, it’s not going to tell a reader who picks it up now anything they didn’t know about about Wall Street. At the time, the notion that traders were self-serving know - graduates of top schools might have been shocking, but now it’s just par for the course.

The Magicians is a dark take on Harry Potter/Narnia. Given that, I was kind of expecting to love it but I didn’t. Heavy on the navel gazing, with a utterly uncompelling main character. So many better books I could have read.

The Age of Dreaming is a historical fiction book about the silent film industry, from the perspective of a (fictional) Japanese film star. It’s by the same author as Southland, and handles a lot of the same themes. The narrative style is a bit clunky, with lots of flashbacks to past times - it would have been more effective if the author had just told the story in the moment rather than attempting to set main story in present day. Worth a read if you’re particularly interested in silent film, I guess.

The Alchemist - somehow I missed this book in high school. I read lots of Paulo Coelho, and I remember like Veronika Decides to Die much better than this. Super quick read, not particularly life changing (despite what the back cover says).

Ash is a lesbian retelling of Cinderella. It’s not particularly well written - too many subplots, and too much going on, but I liked the ending, and enjoyed how the author played with the fair tale tropes.