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Archive for the ‘Opinion’ Category

Book Review: Steve Jobs

July 17, 2020 Leave a comment
 
Man, it seems like there was a lot of screaming and crying going on in the Apple Offices. And then the weird bromance with John Skulley, which didn’t work out so well. The supporting cast—Steve Wozniak, best friend, Larry Ellis, and his wife, Laurene Powell—all seem like cardboard cutouts. What is clear from this book is how critical Steve Jobs was to the creation and, later, the reinvention of Apple with the iPod, the iPhone, and iPads. But by the end of the book, I didn’t really feel like I knew much about him, except that he was dedicated to integrated closed systems and a stickler for product introductions. I felt like I missed something along the way, but maybe that’s just the way he was. (3 of 5 Stars)
 

Categories: What I've Read

Book Review: Lord of the Flies

July 3, 2020 1 comment
 
“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.
 
Indeed…
 
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)
 

Categories: What I've Read

Book Review: Brave Companions

May 15, 2020 Leave a comment
 

You know, sometimes I just don’t want to plow through seven or eight hundred pages of biography. Besides Charles Lindbergh and Teddy Roosevelt, most of the information was new to me and for the most part entertaining. Personally, I enjoyed the Fred Remington, Washington Roebling, and David Plowden pieces the most. Sometimes a snack is much more satisfying than a five course meal and David McCoullagh delivers some tasty morsels. (4 of 5 Stars)

 

Categories: What I've Read

Book Review: Extreme Ownership

April 24, 2020 Leave a comment
 

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)

 

Categories: What I've Read

Book Review: PERFECT: Short Stories about the Dark Side of Perfection

April 17, 2020 Leave a comment
 
“Everything that looks too perfect is too perfect to be perfect.”  ― Dejan Stojanovic
 
If you are a fan of The Twilight Zone, R.B. Weber’s stories often catch the ironical twists and turns of unintended reality intruding on our best intentions. While not “perfect” we should all be very careful about what we wish for. (4 of 5 Stars)
 

Categories: What I've Read

Book Review: Boomerang

April 3, 2020 Leave a comment
Boomerang by [Hutcheson, Alan]
 
I have to admit I lost track of the MacGuffin pretty quickly in this book, but that’s what MacGuffins and boomerangs are for, right? Who cares. The colorful cast of characters kept me entertained all along the way to the grand finale in suburban Phoenix. And being that I’m a sucker for anything labelled Gibson, Ted’s reunion with his L-5 CES was just deserts. (4 of 5 Stars)
 

Categories: What I've Read

Book Review: Guts 'N Gunships: What it was Really Like to Fly Combat Helicopters in Vietnam

March 20, 2020 Leave a comment
 
You just keep your damn mouth shut and suck down your PBRs as Mark Garrison tells you what it was like driving a Huey in Vietnam. The tales sometime seem a bit disconnected like, “Oh, yeah, remember when we…” But he covers it all from flight training to checkrides to combat to coming back home to the very worst of America. (4 of 5 Stars)
 

Categories: What I've Read

Book Review: The War of Art

March 13, 2020 Leave a comment
 
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)
 

Categories: What I've Read

Field of Fire: A Novel

February 28, 2020 Leave a comment
Fields of Fire: A Novel by [Webb, James]
 
Of all the books I’ve read about the Vietnam War, only two have been novels: this one and Red Flags by Juris Jurvevics. Fields of Fire is definitely a Naked and the Dead/Thin Red Line foxhole kind of story. The home front and love interest stories seem like necessary dramatic distractions. But James Webb is dead-on with his battlefield reports. (4 of 5 Stars)
 

Categories: What I've Read

Book Review: Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything

February 21, 2020 Leave a comment
 
The best thing about this book is the title:  Feakonomics.  Beyond that it mostly seems pretty banal:
 
The small club of professional sumo wrestlers work the system to help each other keep their status. Isn’t that what professionals do…
 
Some number of teachers in Chicago cheated on state mandated test grades. I am shocked, shocked I tell you…
 
When the sales price is actually going into a realtor’s pocket, they definitely want more of it.  Your point being…
 
To the bizzare:
 
So all those aborted babies since Roe v. Wade are why the crime rates went down in the 1990s.  Hmmm, that seems harsh on those parents, not to mention the unborn kids, too…
 
But then later, whether a child’s family is intact or not doesn’t seem to matter. Huh?
 
rogue [ rohg ] (noun):  An unprincipled, deceitful, and unreliable person; a scoundrel or rascal.
 
It does give one pause… (2 of 5 Stars)
 

Link to Freakonomics on Amazon (Paid Link)

Categories: What I've Read
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