Friday, February 29, 2008


William F. Buckley was an interesting man. I did not particularly care for many of his political views but I enjoyed his wide vocabulary and debate skills. I used to watch Firing Line, a political discussion show, when I could and enjoyed watching him in debate. He was extremely fast on his feet and flashed wit and humor when the occasion arose.

He was one of our modern day Renaissance men. He was a prolific writer, in fiction and in politics. He was a political philosopher promoting conservatism. He started a political magazine, The National Review and was an accomplished speaker. In addition, he was a musician (piano?) and yachtsman.

While I was not a customer or frequent reader of National Review, I would occasionally view his political articles on the Internet. I was not a fan of his Blackford Oates, spy series books. (I tried it. I did not like it). Too dark, not enough action...

I did read and enjoy many of his books and essays on politics and on his life. I enjoyed two in particular Miles Gone By and Overdrive: A Personal Documentary.

I'd recommend reading his articles and books just to improve one's vocabulary and use of the English language.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Speed of Trust by Steven M. Covey

I think anyone who is in business or is studying for a business degree should read Covey's book. I'm essentially at the tail end of my corporate career and I found the book very useful. I am planning to start my own business shortly and I think Covey offers an invaluable strategy on how to gain and keep customers.

This is a very practical and extremely useful book. From my own business experience, I can attest to the importance of trust. No trust= no productivity= no results.

What dooms most managers and business executives is the lost trust they have with customers, employees and their investors.

Easy to read, Covey offers a series of practical advice to further one's career and business interests. I recommend this book highly as it is one of the best business books I have read in the past year.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Hit and Misses

I was on a 12 day cruise that finished last Friday. I took along a few books including Stoner that I reviewed earlier.

One of my greatest pleasures is to read a good book while laying in a chair by the pool....


The Last Assassin by Barry Eisler. This was an entertaining book to read on the cruise. Rain, along with Dox and his past squeeze, Delilah, attempt to eliminate a long bitter enemy of Rain who is threatening his infant son. Rain also has to balance his feelings for Midori, the mother of his son and Delilah. Plenty of action. Great dialogue. I really enjoy this series. Each book is better than the previous one.


The Sack of Rome by Alexander Stille. Stille covers the rise of Silvio Berlusconi, a media magnate and political power in Italy.

The Way of the Small by Michael Gellert. This book was not persuasive or fascinating to me as some of those promoting it claimed.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Stoner....A Great Read !!!!!!

I have a tendency when I get bored with a book to page forward to see what's coming up. It's not unlike what I do with a remote as I watch television.

I enjoyed Stoner by John Williams from page 1 through the end on page 278. It is a great book, probably the best piece of fiction that I have read in a long time.

Stoner should be on the reading list for all college and high school students. It's a great piece of literature that offers instructive life lessons on riding the rocky waves that come at us.

The book tells the life story of William Stoner, an unexceptional "everyman" born at the end of the 1800's, who overcomes a variety of obstacles in his life. Coming from very humble beginnings and a poor and hardworking family, Stoner is immediately sympathetic.

His greatest challenge is a loveless marriage from a cold and manipulative wife. Stoically he also endures what life and academia (Stoner is a literature professor) throw at him.

Stoner is at his most vulnerable when he finds and loses the true love of his life. This isn't a "feel-good" book. It's how one man handles a lot of hard knocks...