Grimes and Rosales succeed in imparting the small, telling moments in loving relationships.

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HOPSCOTCH LOVE

A FAMILY TREASURY OF LOVE POEMS

Poems about love indeed hopscotch among the generations, and every one of the 22 entries tells a story.

Many of the poems focus on Valentine’s Day; a teacher finds a heart on a blackboard, and decides not to erase it, or a girl writing in her notebook complains of the lack of valentines, but the entry stops when she receives one. Several of the poems bring up black history, e.g., a strong poem about the love between Medgar and Myrlie Evers, and a somewhat less convincing one about a father and daughter trading anecdotes about Malcolm X. The illustrations capture familiar situations, from a group of teenagers together in school to a lone girl shyly reacting to unexpected compliments.

Grimes and Rosales succeed in imparting the small, telling moments in loving relationships. (Poetry. 10-13)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-688-15677-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 1998

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An enlightening, scary journey.

BOOMERANG

TRAVELS IN THE NEW THIRD WORLD

A world tour of nations that have collapsed financially or that played a role in the collapse of others.

In his previous book, The Big Short (2010), Lewis dug deep into the housing-market failure that precipitated the economic collapse of 2007-08. Here the author tours Iceland, Greece, Ireland, Germany and California to compose a broader picture of what went wrong. Like Lewis’ other bestsellers, this book is alternately wry, snarky, laugh-out-loud humorous, serious and, most importantly, filled with insights. The author is a master at explaining financially complex realms by casting them as narratives of individuals. In each place, he finds people famous, infamous and nearly anonymous who can fairly be rendered as villains or heroes. Each chapter started as an article for Vanity Fair, yet the seemingly disparate features coalesce nicely in the book. Lewis is willing to court danger by generalizing about the characteristics within each nation that led to unexpected consequences. As usual, the author delivers a nice balance of trenchant analysis and lucid writing. In regards to Greece, the most distressed nation of all, "it turned out, what the Greeks wanted to do, once the lights went out and they were alone in the dark with a pile of borrowed money, was turn their government into a piñata stuffed with fantastic sums and give as many citizens as possible a whack at it."

An enlightening, scary journey.

Pub Date: Oct. 3, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-393-08181-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Norton

Review Posted Online: Nov. 3, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2011

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A unique examination of the limits of models and theories in understanding and predicting human behavior, and a nice...

MODELS.BEHAVING.BADLY.

WHY CONFUSING ILLUSION WITH REALITY CAN LEAD TO DISASTER, ON WALL STREET AND IN LIFE

A fascinating cross-disciplinary exploration of how and why financial and scientific models fail.

Derman (Financial Engineering/Columbia Univ.; My Life as a Quant, 2004) is a former theoretical physicist turned Wall Street financial engineer, or quantitative analyst (“quant”). Having previously written about the world of quantitative finance, he now sets out to discover why existing financial models failed to predict the economic crisis of 2007-08. Quants use mathematics and physics to create their predictions of how markets work; Derman argues that these models fail to account for the human element, or what John Maynard Keynes called “animal sprits.” Drawing on his experience as a child in Apartheid South Africa, the author exposes the failure of models and theories when applied to politics. By incorporating philosophy, physics, social theory and economics, he presents an eclectic, multidisciplinary discussion about what happens when models are taken too seriously and the human factor is ignored. “The greatest conceptual danger is idolatry; believing that someone can write down a theory that encapsulates human behavior and thereby free you of the obligation to think for yourself,” he writes. Derman draws intriguing connections between the language of physics and economics, and while the material may be complex for nonphysicists, the author’s prose writing is fluid and makes many of these complicated theories accessible.

A unique examination of the limits of models and theories in understanding and predicting human behavior, and a nice rejoinder to the equations-can-solve-or-explain-everything crowd.

Pub Date: Oct. 25, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-4391-6498-3

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Free Press

Review Posted Online: Oct. 3, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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