This week's interview
The writer and historian selects five Western perspectives of the East, including a novel of colonial India, a travelogue of disappearing Japan, and the collection of essays that lifted the veil on Mao's China.
Books of the Week
http://fivebooks.com/recommended/finder-keepers-by-seamus-heaney"I could happily have chosen any of his books, but I went for this collection of essays."
Fred Inglis on The Cult of Celebrity (http://fivebooks.com/interviews/fred-inglis-on-cult-celebrity)
http://fivebooks.com/recommended/polio-american-story-by-david-oshinsky"We now know that FDR in all likelihood did not have polio."
Seth Mnookin on Vaccines (http://fivebooks.com/interviews/seth-mnookin-on-vaccines)
http://fivebooks.com/recommended/fragments-memory-story-syrian-family-by-hanna-mina"I didn’t know, before I read it, that Hanna Mina was one of the most well-known Syrian authors."
Nikolaos van Dam on Syria (http://fivebooks.com/interviews/nikolaos-van-dam-on-syria)
http://fivebooks.com/recommended/myth-rational-market-by-justin-fox"Fox does a wonderful job of telling the story of how the concept of the efficient market got completely out of whack."
Barry Ritholtz on Causes of the Financial Crisis (http://fivebooks.com/interviews/barry-ritholtz-on-causes-financial-crisis)
http://fivebooks.com/recommended/malgudi-days-by-r-k-narayan"Narayan is a genius. I only discovered him last year and I have now read everything he has ever written."
Jeffrey Archer on Bestsellers (http://fivebooks.com/interviews/jeffrey-archer-on-bestsellers)
http://fivebooks.com/recommended/letters-evelyn-waugh-by-evelyn-waugh"The pleasure of reading his letters is to see somebody at work on constructing a personality, on constructing a self."
Jonathan Keates on Great Letter Writers (http://fivebooks.com/interviews/jonathan-keates-on-great-letter-writers)
http://fivebooks.com/recommended/bridge-drina-by-ivo-andrić"He shows the lives of ordinary people set against major historical events."
Arnold Jansen op de Haar on A Poet Soldier’s View of Bosnia (http://fivebooks.com/interviews/arnold-jansen-op-de-haar-on-poet-soldier’s-view-bosnia)
Quote of the Week
“Travel writing should be like traveling with an interesting person.”
Colin Thubron on Travel Writing (fivebooks.com/interviews/colin-thubron-on-travel-writing)