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November RandomCAT: It's all about money...

2018 Category Challenge

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Oct 16, 2018, 2:01am Top

This is the time of year where all we talk about is the budget - who gets money, where it comes from, what we use it for...

Here's some more interesting ways to look at it:

- the things some do to get money: e.g. a crime story that's not (only) about murder

- what it means to have money: e.g. a biography about somebody who has or makes money

- what money does to families: e.g. an epic tale of family ties and inheritance

- learn more about money:

or you fill the box in the BingoDOG (one of three boxes I've yet to fill): Money in the title

Enjoy! and don't forget the wiki!

Oct 16, 2018, 4:17am Top

Oh, great theme. This offers a wide range of opportunities. Actually, my most recent read could also fit: Charlie M, where the main character, a spy, is married to a rich woman and she is always afraid of the money question ruining the marriage.
I may read Paper and iron for this, a non-fiction book about monetary politics and finance in Germany on the eve of the hyperinflation of 1923.

Oct 16, 2018, 9:21am Top

I think my possibilities here are

The Merchant's House by Kate Ellis (merchants make money) or

My Name is Red by Orhan Pamuk (one of the narrators is a coin)

Oct 16, 2018, 11:07am Top

I'm not sure if I'm going to manage this month's challenge or not, as I have quite a lot of books lined up for other challenges, but I'm going to try and squeeze in Ann Pettifor's The Production of Money: How to Break the Power of Bankers if I can.

Oct 16, 2018, 11:56am Top

Fun theme and this looks like the perfect opportunity to pick up Crazy Rich Asians since I am one of the few on the planet who hasn't read it yet.

Oct 16, 2018, 12:50pm Top

Hmmm. I think I'm going to run with the 'what it means to have money' option, but go toward fiction. I've been meaning to read How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire for a while now, and that will fit perfectly!

Edited: Oct 23, 2018, 10:08am Top

I'm going to read Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right's Stealth Plan for America. Discusses James McGill Buchanan and the Koch brothers using their billions to get the government that they want.

Oct 16, 2018, 1:48pm Top

Oh, I just read Crazy Rich Asians this month. It's definitely all about the money.

Oct 16, 2018, 3:53pm Top

haha! I love the way you worked in one of your remaining Bingo squares for your randomCAT theme!

Oct 16, 2018, 8:45pm Top

YES! That is one of the squares I have yet to fill as well! I'm filling it very easily, with Black Money, by Ross Macdonald.

Oct 16, 2018, 10:05pm Top

I notice that Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann is on three of the four lists from links in >1 sushicat:. Our book club is reading it for our November read so that is one title I'll read. Also, I bought Cat on a Hot Tin Roof by Tennessee Williams for the September ColorCAT but did not read it. It's on at least one of the lists so I plan on reading it also.

Oct 16, 2018, 10:21pm Top

I think I'll read The Raphael Affair by Iain Pears.

Oct 16, 2018, 11:18pm Top

I haven't decided for sure yet, but one I might read is called:
The Value of Nothing: Why Everything Costs So Much More Than We Think / Raj Patel

Edited: Oct 17, 2018, 1:52am Top

>3 Robertgreaves: Good rationale for My Name is Red. I might pick up on this one.

>11 sallylou61: Killers of the Flower Moon is a great fit for the tag - I loved the book.

Oct 17, 2018, 4:32am Top

>12 clue: Ooooh, I'd forgotten about the art theft series.

Oct 17, 2018, 5:53am Top

I actually found a couple in my TBR that refer to money in some way:

Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende
Fortune's Rocks by Anita Shreve

And a couple of BBs I could read:

One in a Million Boy by Monica Wood
Commonwealth by Ann Patchett

I'll decide when Nov gets here.

Oct 17, 2018, 10:38am Top

>5 DeltaQueen50: ooh, I'd forgotten i have Crazy Rich Asians sitting on my the shelf. I think I'll try to get to that one, as well.

Edited: Oct 17, 2018, 1:00pm Top

I just read Sugar Money last month (for that BingoDOG square!); it would be perfect for this.

I love the links to various ways of thinking about this challenge. And I have two weeks to decide what to read. :-)

Possibilities from my TBR shelves include:

American Tabloid by James Ellroy
Mistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin
Native Son by Richard Wright

Edited: Oct 25, 2018, 7:46pm Top

Interesting topic! I think I'll plan to read The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism by Naomi Klein, which I've been meaning to read for years.

Oct 26, 2018, 7:36am Top

I'm hoping to read Mary Coin by Marisa Silver for this one.

Nov 7, 2018, 2:06am Top

I have completed Crazy Rich Asians and boy, it really is "all about money". It's pure escapism and I really enjoyed this light, romantic comedy.

Nov 9, 2018, 12:04pm Top

I've just realized that my ColorCAT selection fits here also, as there is a lot of thievery going on, Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch, book 2 of the Gentleman Bastard series. This was a fun adventure.

Nov 13, 2018, 10:11pm Top

The Value of Nothing / Raj Patel
4 stars

This book looks at why things cost what they do. The author, mostly, does a decent job with examples to explain what he’s trying to explain, but much of the actual economics/finance discussion went over my head. He really tried to “dumb it down”, and it’s probably enough for some, but unfortunately, it wasn’t always enough for me. Again, though, his examples were good and made it easier for me to follow. But, economics is just not my interest, so I’m leaving it with an “ok” rating.

Nov 14, 2018, 6:52am Top

In Der Kaffeedieb, the hero forges bills of acceptance from the Amsterdam Wisselbank to finance his scientific habits and is caught. The Dutch East India Company offers him a fortune if he can steal coffee trees from Araby, so they can earn a fortune from breaking the Turks' monopoly on coffee. Great story, well written.

Nov 14, 2018, 10:55pm Top

I've just posted December's RandomCAT:

Nov 15, 2018, 4:34am Top

Tod am Nord-Ostsee-Kanal is a historical mystery where fraud by one of the building contractors for the Kiel Canal project is a major element.

Nov 23, 2018, 9:38pm Top

I read High Stakes by Dick Francis
I've always enjoyed a Dick Francis mystery, where gambling is front and centre. Where money is involved there is sure to be trouble.

Nov 24, 2018, 6:21am Top

I just realised I forgot to post my review here this month!

Ann Pettifor's The Production of Money: How to Break the Power of Bankers was a pretty accessible guide to economics - I'll be honest that some of it went over my head, but I think that might be because I mostly read it at the end of the day; it's definitely one I'll return to. What I did like about it was her 'call to arms' for greater public understanding of the financial system, and her focus on the environment and social issues within her exposition. It's not the easiest read, but I'm glad I read it and have chipped away a little bit of my ignorance about the financial systems that govern so many of our day to day interactions and processes without us even realising it. 4/5.

Nov 25, 2018, 4:42pm Top

Finished How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire--full review written :)

Nov 25, 2018, 10:55pm Top

H.H. Holmes: The True History of the White City Devil / Adam Selzer
4 stars

H.H. Holmes, born Herman Mudgett, did more than murder women in his “hotel” during the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893. He was all about money and not shy about committing fraud to gain it. He had a number of alias’s, and he lied all the time. He was “married” to three women, but only legally married to the first, since he never divorced her. He eventually wrote a “confession” with more lies, as he confessed to killing people he couldn’t have. He was only convicted of murdering one person, Ben Pitezel, though it’s fairly certain, he also killed three of Ben’s children. There were a few women who worked for/with him in his “hotel” who were most likely murdered by him.

There is so much misinformation out there. Adam Selzer went to primary sources to write this book. Even many of those are not reliable, but Selzer does his best to sift through all the information and try to come up with the most plausible story of Holmes. It was good, and for enjoyment of/interest in the book, I’d actually give it 3.5 stars (good), but I really want to give it an overall of 4 stars for all the detailed research. I feel like this should be the primary book on Holmes, with all the research that went into it. Selzer also looks at other books/articles written about Holmes and looks deeper into where the information came from for those works to determine how legitimate the information is (including Eric Larson’s “The Devil in the White City”). Well worth the read for anyone interested in learning more about Holmes.

Nov 29, 2018, 12:37pm Top

I finished Mistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin. Four enthusiastic stars.

Dec 1, 2018, 1:42pm Top

I had originally planned on reading Carnegie's Maid for the Let's Play Cards challenge last month (Old Maid), but I didn't get to it until November. I think Andrew Carnegie is the very definition of money so it fits well here. I liked it, but didn't love it. 3 stars.

Dec 2, 2018, 12:14pm Top

I finished The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism by Naomi Klein. It was super interesting, much more than I thought it would be. Highly recommended.

Dec 2, 2018, 7:28pm Top

I finished The Confusion by Neal Stephenson. It's an alternate-history novel set in the late 17th century. There's a lot of exploration of financial institutions and currency, so it was a good fit for this challenge.

Group: 2018 Category Challenge

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