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2020 Reading List

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Published : March 23rd, 2021
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I wasn’t going to put up my reading list for 2020, since it is a little personal. But, I think it can serve as a useful example for someone. As in 2019, I have been in the middle of a systematic review of “Classic” texts. This has excluded many books with more of a current-events theme, or continuing investigations of some finer points of economics. Basically, it is a process of getting the education that I think people should get, when they are younger. I perceived my own lack of what I consider a sufficient education, and set about remedying it. This was largely inspired by our decision to homeschool our son, now Age 9. The educational model that we follow ( is very ambitious. They overtly recognize that there is a generational deficiency, where parents today have not had the education that they would like to give to their children. So, parents have to catch up.

This program has involved reading the Harvard Classics, which continues this year. I have been on about an eight books a year pace (these are chunky books), which works out to six years for the 50-volume set. Then, I will review Durant’s The Story of Civilization, which I haven’t even begun yet. In 2020, I also added a systematic review of Opera and Ballet, on DVD box set mostly from the Royal Ballet of Britain and the Bolshoi in Moscow, which was great fun. I should complete my Opera ambitions in 2021 (I am aiming for a four-day Ring effort), and will probably add more Ballet in 2022. I have also had a review of pre-1915 novels, which should finish in 2021, but I think there will be some casual add-ons for 2022.

The Healing of America, by T.R. Reid. Excellent review of healthcare systems around the world. I would say all of them are better than the present US situation. But, the Singapore system is far better than these socialist solutions. Also, I think US government is very corrupt, and bureaucratic solutions that work for Germany or Japan won’t work here.
Hooked, by Joe McIlhaney. A biochemical investigation of pair-bonding.
Don Giovanni (opera), by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
The Sleeping Beauty (ballet), by Pyotr Ilych Tchaikovsky
Le Nozze Di Figaro (opera), by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
The Child Whisperer, by Carol Tuttle. Four distinct kinds of children, and how to raise them.
Gargantua and Pantagruel, by Francois Rabelais. I was going to listen to this on audiobook, but the language was too difficult so I ended up reading it.
The Magic Flute (opera), by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Giselle (ballet), by Adolphe Adam
Cosi Fan Tutte (opera), by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The title is literally: “All Women Are Like That.”
Labor of Love, by Moira Weigel. A history of dating.
The Flames of Paris (ballet), by Boris Asafyev
Origins of the Second World War, by AJP Taylor. This and Icebreaker are required reading if you want to understand World War II.
The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling (audiobook), by Henry Fielding
Harvard Classics #26: Continental Drama
Harvard Classics #27: English Essays: Sidney to Macaulay
La Bayadere (ballet), by Petipa/Minkus
Mansfield Park, by Jane Austen (audiobook)
Harvard Classics #28: Essays, English and American
Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte. I think the Brontes are rather dubious, but this was not so bad.
Marco Spada (ballet), by Daniel-Francois-Esprit Auber
Harvard Classics #29: The Voyage of the Beagle, by Charles Darwin
Swan Lake (ballet), by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Icebreaker, by Victor Suvarov. Part of my WWII investigations.
The Golden Age (ballet), by Dmitri Shostakovich. Part of the Bolshoi productions that I got in a boxed set. Not normally considered one of the top ballets.
From Major Jordan’s Diaries, by George Racey Jordan. WWII-era Lend-Lease. Includes how the Soviets got the plans for the atomic bomb.
The Predatory Female, by Lawrence Shannon. Old-time Red Pill.
Harvard Classics #30: Scientific Papers: Faraday, Helmholtz, Kelvin, Newcomb etc. This is probably the volume of the Harvard Classics that I was least looking forward to. But, it is actually a series of lectures for the general public, sort of like a Discovery Channel documentary, but by the original scientists themselves.
Hillsdale College Constitution 101 course, including The U.S. Constitution: A Reader. Excellent.
Harvard Classics #41: English Poetry #2
Macbeth (opera), by Giuseppe Verdi
La Traviata (opera), by Giuseppe Verdi
Greece, by Michael Rostovtzeff
Carmen (opera) by Georges Bizet
Parsifal (opera) by Richard Wagner
Cavalleria Rusticana (opera), by Pietro Mascagni
Pagliacci (opera), by Ruggero Leoncavallo
Harvard Classics #31: Autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini. Never heard of it, but like everything else in the Harvard Classics, it was fantastic. Cellini was a celebrated goldsmith who was a contemporary of Michelangelo Buonarotti in Renaissance Italy.
La Boheme (opera), by Giacomo Puccini
Il Trittico (three one-act operas), by Giacomo Puccini
The Economics of Inflation, by Constantino Bresciani-Turroni. Probably the best single investigation of hyperinflation in Germany. Hard to find in print, but .pdfs are available.
Turandot (opera), by Giacomo Puccini
Harvard Classics #32: Literary and Philosophical Essays
Sonnets of Shakespeare

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Nathan Lewis was formerly the chief international economist of a firm that provided investment research for institutions. He now works for an asset management company based in New York. Lewis has written for the Financial Times, Asian Wall Street Journal, Japan Times, Pravda, and other publications. He has appeared on financial television in the United States, Japan, and the Middle East.
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