Home > What I've Read > Book Reviews in Review: 2020

Book Reviews in Review: 2020

Here are my favorite five of the books I reviewed in 2020:

It seems pretty simple, but I’m kind of a simple guy:
  1. Acknowledge the “Resistance” and fight it: every day, all the time, without fail.
  2. Be a professional…and all that it means.
  3. Honor the sacred mystery of the creative process — whether it is a muse, an angel  or gravity.
And yet in all the writers groups in all the world, there are so, so, so many books that have yet to be written. I wonder why…
You can fight it if you want, but Pressfield has laid it all out pretty clearly. 
Like I said, I’m a simple guy. (5 of 5 Stars)
“Why don’t I write a children’s story about how people really are, about how people actually behave?” asked the author of Lord of the Flies.
William Golding’s chronicle of the descent of Ralph, Jack and their minions into tribalism and savagery is only so horrific because deep down—without the guardrails of civilization—we know that it is true.
And here and now, watching the unrelenting rage of young protesters as they attack the icons and foundations of society, it gives me pause to wonder what kind of islands those “safe spaces” of academia actually are. (5 of 5 Stars)

The most famous American fighter pilot I never heard of–not Rickenbacker, Bong, Boyington, Yeager, McConnell, Olds–but the one who re-rewrote the book on tactics; developed the engineering models that led to the F-15, F-16, F-18 & the A-10; and he was the one who developed the OODA Loop (Observe-Orient-Decide-Act)–not some psychologist, but a damned fighter pilot. Probably not much of a surprise that he was hated by the guys with stars on their shoulders. Good. Ornery guys getting their way can be prickly–especially when they are right. (5 of 5 Stars)

Link to Boyd on Amazon (Paid Link)

You gotta love it when the whole Animal House Delta Tau Chi vs “The Establishment”  thing works out in real life again! Give a lowly Lt. Commander 6 months and spare change to fix the whole air warfare mess over North Vietnam and what do you get?  Topgun and a 22:1 U.S. Navy kill ratio.  A great saga by Dan Pederson of his Naval Aviation career.  My favorite part was the “Fight Club” in Whiskey 291 off San Clemente Island.  Compare this story to Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War. Definitely a “Golden Era of Jet Aviation.” (5 of 5 Stars)

Hmmm…and what would you have a couple of Navy SEALs write about in a book on leadership? The Ramadi war stories are to the point and engaging. Real world stuff there.  Principals learned and applications to business situations might seem a bit repetitive, but it’s classic PowerPoint format:   Tell me what you are going to tell me; Tell me; Summarize what I just told you. Remember, it is a business book.

As for those who claim the information is simply what everybody already knows about:  “There is nothing more uncommon than common sense.” ~Frank Lloyd Wright   (4 of 5 Stars)



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