Monday, December 27, 2010

White House Diary by Jimmy Carter

If you are interested in the Carter Presidency (1977-1981) or about the Presidency, you may enjoy this book.  I skimmed through it primarily to see Carter’s reflections during the Iran Hostage crisis and his observations about people like Ronald Reagan, Edward Kennedy, Tip O’Neill and the Shah of Iran. It was also interesting to read of his wife Rosalynn’s participation and input into his Presidency.
Like Carter himself, this book is straight forward and no nonsense. There are no scintillating stories or earth shaking revelations. (Carter was upset with Ted Kennedy and mistrusted him. Kennedy ran unsuccessfully against Carter for the 1980 Democratic nomination for President.)
I view Jimmy Carter as a good man. He has done an extraordinary amount of work for charitable causes since he left Office. As President, he was at best, Fair. I remember the feelings of helplessness that this country suffered during the hostage crisis.

The Longevity Prescription by Robert N. Butler M.D

Robert N. Butler delivers on the 8 Proven Keys to a Long, Healthy Life.  He lists the eight keys (below) and provides great advice on how to accomplish and use them.

1.     Maintain Mental Vitality
2.     Nurture Your Relationships
3.     Seek Essential Sleep
4.     Set Stress Aside
5.     Connect With Your Community
6.     Lead the Active Life
7.     Eat Your Way to Health
8.     Practice Prevention
This is an excellent resource book for those on the northern side of 50. Very practical book with plenty of good and well documented advice.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Bed of Procrustes: Philosophical and Practical Aphorisms by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Aphorisms are nuggets of insight and wisdom. I enjoyed Taleb’s book. I can’t say I agreed with all his insights but it was thought provoking.

Work destroys your soul by stealthily invading your brain during the hours not officially spent working; be selective about professions.


Using, as an excuse, others’ failure of common sense is in itself a failure of common sense.


Your reputation is harmed the most by what you say to defend it.


Friendship that ends was never one; there was at least one sucker in it.


The three most harmful addictions are heroin, carbohydrates, and a monthly salary.


Avoid calling heroes those who had no other choice.


A mathematician starts with a problem and creates a solution; a consultant starts by offering a “solution” and creates a problem.