Friday, July 28, 2006

Book Review: The Coffee Trader

I'm always open to recommendations for books, and a couple months ago in the shop a customer suggested that I try out David Liss; he's written three historical novels. I read A Conspiracy of Paper earlier this year and enjoyed it quite well, so I picked up the other two and have just finished the second, The Coffee Trader. While the first focused on the English stock market, Coffee Trader centers around the commodities trade in 1650s Amsterdam - in particular, as might be surmised, around a scheme to profit in the emerging coffee market.

Liss writes well, and is able to provide valuable insight into the intricacies of financial markets without losing even me. Also, one of the more interesting things about this book is its discussions on Jewish culture in Holland during this period, a most interesting subject and well handled. His plot in this book as well as Conspiracy is meticulously constructed, and I was kept guessing until the end how the whole thing would unravel. Certainly not a bad read.