Greenback: The Almighty Dollar and the Invention of America

“Paper money cost nothing to produce; it was just a promise, like America.” declares Jason Goodwin, author of this chronicle about the dollar. Maybe that’s why Americans spend extravagantly and save not a single buck. Goodwin shows the qualities of a storyteller while guiding the reader through the history of America. In an era where electronic money gains ground increasingly, the greenback is not only a theoretical currency that borrows no support from valuable metals but also the potent symbol of ecomonic power and unique blueprint of the U.S. modern evolution.

The Business Week interview with Goodwin on the book.

Greenback: The Almighty Dollar and the Invention of America
by Jason Goodwin
Penguin Books
Condition: Good
Flow Price: HK$59


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Before Sunrise

This award winning (Silver Bear for Best Director, Internationalen Filmfestspiele Berlin) film is simple in its plot but entwined with intelligent and expressive dialogues. You can easily find the whole screenplay on web jotted down by dedicated fans. Julie Delpy (Three Colours White, 1994) and Ethan Hawke (Great Expectations, 1998) played the couple who encountered on a train and spent a night in the glittering Venice. Directed by Richard Linklater, the film was very well received since its release and achieved a rare 100% positive review on the renowned film site rottentomatoes.
Before Sunrise DVD
Flow Price: HK$78

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The Bridges of Madison County

This short fiction by Robert James Waller became the movie sensation  which starred Meryl Steep and Clint Eastwood in 1995. First published in 1992, the book is famous for it effective depiction of an affactionate middle-age adulterous affair that happened back in the 1960s. It reached #1 on the New York Times Book Seller list for an impressive 13 weeks and stayed on the list for 3 years. More notably, with the moive a blockbuster, it beat Gone With the Wind to become the best selling ficion of all time in 1995.

 Detailed review and analysis of the book’s popularity here

The Bridges of Madison County
by Robert James Waller
Warner Books
Condition: Good
Flow Price: HK$39

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Bumper Book of Unuseless Japanese Inventions

The Japanese are admirable in terms not of their wittiness but of the audacity in putting their seemingly laughable inventions into practice. In the Bumper Book of Unuseless Japanese Inventions, Kenji Kawakami details some of the most funniest and thought-provoking inventions devised for the sake of daily convenience, avoidance of clumsiness and multi-tasking. It makes you wonder just why those little tricks had never sprang up in your mind, and of course, how considerate they are.

Take “Hay Fever Hat”-the all day tissue dispenser, for example, this gadget stands right atop your head when you go out. As grotesque as it can be, it claims “to cope with heavy blowing and incessant sneezing from dawn to dusk”. Serious cold would not be a problem when you got a presentation in the morning or if you want to go clubbing at night.

The “Automated Noodle Cooler” is also a design for busy city dwellers. Time is money and the Japanese think they can save it for you with this fishing-rod like chopsticks. As soon as the noodle (or whatever food) is served you can start eating as the fan is turned on. Bravo. But I also want a version of it for barbecue fork!

Bumper Book of Unuseless Japanese Inventions
by Kenji Kawakami
Harper Collins
Condition: Good
Flow Price: HK$ 68

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