Thursday, June 26, 2008

What I'm reading now.....

Time for a new feature here at CogentPassion - what I've been reading recently.

I'm currently into From the Third World to the First: the Singapore Story, as told by former Singapore Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew.

I've been to Singapore twice, and am amazed not just at the city, which is vibrant, exciting, and well-run, but how just miles to the north (Malaysia) and miles to the south (Indonesia) are countries that without the leadership of someone like Lee are still backwards third world countries. As I've learned through the first ~150 pages, a lot of this is due to the iron hand of Lee. Sometimes this is good, though one can not read the Singapore story without noting the absence of liberty in Singapore.

Initial grade: 1 star of 5. It's a plodder, and at ~750 pages, it is going to take a while....

Just to catch up, here's two other books that I've finished this month:

Beyond Band of Brothers: the War Memoirs of Major Dick Winters. I was absolutely riveted by the HBO/Hanks/Spielberg TV series Band of Brothers about an "average" WWII infantry company. While Winters' recollections were a big part of the TV series, there's no substitute for hearing about the story of Easy Company first hand. The book repeats many of the stories of Band of Brothers, but adds the personal perspective and many lessons and leadership.

Rating: 3 stars of 5.

The Collectors, by David Baldacci

Standard Baldacci fare, involving Washington D.C. and the Camel Club. It's not anything like his initial thriller Absolute Power, but still OK beach/deck reading material.

Rating: 2 stars of 5.

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With my new friends on the Great Wall of China

With my new friends on the Great Wall of China
Click to go to my online photography

World sun clock

Uncommon Man's Creed

"I do not choose to be a common man. It is my right to be uncommon -- if I can. I seek opportunity -- not security. I do not wish to be a kept citizen, humbled and dulled by having the state look after me. I wish to take the calculated risk; to dream and to build, to fail and to succeed. I refuse to barter incentive for a dole, I prefer the challenges of life to the guaranteed existence; the thrill of fulfillment to the stale calm of utopia. I will not trade freedom for beneficence, nor my dignity for a handout. I will never cower before any master, nor bend to any threat. It is my heritage to stand erect, proud, and unafraid, to think and act for myself, to enjoy the benefit of my creations, and to face the world boldly and say, "this I have done." All this is what it means to be an American." -- Anonymous