Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Summer Book Buffett

So many books, blogs, magazines, newspapers and so little time...

Sadly I have started a number of books that I did not finish or I quickly scarfed through like a hurried and hungry man at a buffet sampling the entire menu...

For example:

Crisis Economics: A Crash Course in the Future of Finance by Nouriel Roubini was a good read for an economics and finance book. Roubini has received a lot of praise for his analysis and predictions prior the financial meltdown...

I skimmed through a novel, Imperial Bedrooms by Brett Ellis, as if I held a fast forward button in turning the pages. I saw the author on Morning Joe and picked up the book from the library. I did skim to the end of the book as I was curious how the story and Clay's obsession with a young actress would end. I bet they make this as a movie sometime soon.

I may go back and spend more time reading the biography Pulitzer: A Life in Politics, Print and Power by James McGrath Morris as it piqued my interest even on a quick peek inside the book.

I re-read Disclosure by Michael Crichton in about two days. I remember reading it over 20 years ago in less than a day. The book is as good or maybe a bit better than the movie. It has plenty of corporate intrigue, dirty corporate political tricks, sex and an evil woman temptress. It's an oldie but a goodie.

I tried to get through Spies of the Balkans by Alan Furst as it was recommended by one of my colleagues at work. I usually like novels based in the World War II period but I could not pick this book up after I put it down. Likewise I could not get into Helmet for My Pillow: From Parris Island to the Pacific by Robert Leckie. Both books have been widely praised so the blame is on me...

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

My Confession

I picked the wrong time to start this blog.

Not because I don't read. I do read. But not very deeply. My reading diet is varied. I probably read business 40 -50 emails daily. I skim the Inquirer daily on my Kindle. I read the delivered local newspapers.  There are about a dozen blogs I religiously read every day. I read, edit and review as many as a dozen or more business documents (policies, procedures etc.) Even as I sit down to watch a sporting event on TV, I read the scroll at the bottom of the screen.

What I don't read well are books. There is just too many distractions for my time and attention. I have picked up a startling number of books that I have not finished or have skimmed through looking for specific information.

What bothers me is that very few books keep my attention. Most times I guess it's my fault but there are so few compelling and original stories, thinking, research and ideas.

I just may be in a slump. Hopefully I can regain my interest in just reading for entertainment and knowledge....

Monday, August 9, 2010

Best Book I Have Read (in the past month)

I enjoyed and got a lot out of The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to our Brains by Nicholas Carr. Since I have a hard time with my concentration when I read or write, Carr's explanations on how the Internet affects our mental discipline and focus was interesting. I don't read books or articles as much as I skim and scroll through them. And I have a very hard time remembering what I have read. I blamed much of this on my advancing years but I can see how the Internet has scrambled the way I think.

Very insightful. A very good read (or skim given my lack of concentration).

Demise of Public Libraries

I'm very concerned about the cutbacks in what I consider are our intellectual meccas, our libraries. In my experience, a library has been more important to my intellectual and self development than college or high school or any teacher or any class I have taken. I'd rather see a recreation area closed than a library. I am particularly concerned about reducing or terminating library services in poor or urban areas where intellectual resources are scarce anyway.

How depressing that we may be depriving people, especially young people, from ideas, information and motivation to improve their lives!