April 15th 2019

Pocket Mentor. The entrepreneurs’s guide to building a lasting business from scratch. Mark Nureddine

Pocket Mentor. The entrepreneurs’s guide to building a lasting business from scratch. Mark Nureddine 2018.  ISBN 9781943386307.  A very pragmatic, straight forward approach to mentoring that would work with many entrepreneurs.  The case studies and examples are real world. His language is concise and easy to understand.  His products were tangible and hands on so the examples her may need to be finessed for technology plays.  I appreciate the author’s can do attitude to pretty well everything. His advice to entrepreneurs is plain enough that no one would misunderstand how hard it will be to start and run a successful business. Quite a useful summary of pricing here as well.

April 8th 2019

Dollars and Sense. How we misthink money and how to spend smarter. Dan Ariely & Jeff Kreisler.

Dollars and Sense. How we misthink money and how to spend smarter. Dan Ariely & Jeff Kreisler. 2017. ISBN 9780062651204. Ariely ( Predictably Irrational)  and Kreisler take a look at pricing, value and how we deal with it in several new ways.  Some of their definitions will seem novel, however everything makes sense and is back yup with psychological case studies and stories. With a concise and humorous style the authors make the topics quite delightful.  All of us will recognize our own thought processes in this book and yet I doubt we will not always take heed and change for the better.  Good book for sales managers, husbands and someone just starting out.

April 1st 2019

The Forgotten Genius of Oliver Heaviside. A maverick of electrical science. Basil Mahon.

  • The Forgotten Genius of Oliver Heaviside. A maverick of electrical science. Basil Mahon.  2017. ISBN 9781633883321. This book gave my college physics a work out, but in a good way as many of the underlying principles I learned ( not readily) were based on the prodigious output of Heaviside.  He was a true pioneer in telegraphy and telephony, translating Maxwells work into usable discoveries. We often forget that brilliance does not always equal readability . It takes hard workers like Heaviside to forge the links and do the heavy math lifting to allow for technological progress. Put this alongside Heaviside,s reclusive life, lack of business awareness and general approach as a curmudgeon  and you have a brilliant researcher who despite a prodigious output , lived a desperate poor life.  A useful read, and you can skip over the physics parts, ( which are fascinating to any engineer like to me).  Lots of insights into the early pioneers such as Faraday, Maxwell, Heinz and others.

March 25th 2019

Rebel Talent. Why it pays to break the rules at work and in life. Francesca Gino

Beauty in Red

Rebel Talent. Why it pays to break the rules at work and in life. Francesca Gino. 2018. ISBN 9780062694638.  The author is a Harvard business professor who researches the psychological, cultural and business structures which lead to growth, innovation and success. Since she uses the case study method, the book is a collection of case studies that she has collected in the  the course of her career. The studies are diverse and often ones you will not have read before. She has  knack of pulling out the inner stories of widely variable subjects like Napoleon, Houdini, Hot dogs, Italian high end cuisine, Landing a jet on the Hudson, Pixel and more. She has a tidy and compelling writing style . A good book for a summer read or a four hour flight. I read it almost non stop.

March 18th 2019

Perennial Seller. The art of making and marketing work that lasts. Ryan Holiday

Perennial Seller. The art of making and marketing work that lasts. Ryan Holiday. 2017. ISBN 9781101992142. A refreshing book by the author of The Obstacle is the Way.  He is proponent of releasing products only when they are ready – as his goal is to create lasting works, classics that will be read for a long time and generate long long royalty lives.His case studies and work with authors like Tim Ferris, James Altucher, Mark Strauss are well documented . Clearly written, this looks like a book that will stand up over time. Good for a four hour plane ride read.

March 11th 2019

Robin. Dave Itzkoff.

Robin. Dave Itzkoff. 2018. ISBN 9781627794244.  A detailed and fond look at the life of Robin Williams.   Reading this book feels like a page by page preview to tragedy. It is a heartfelt autobiography that allows us to revel in the many favorite Robin Williams moment.  The author has tried to be objective and truthful in all his work.   Clearly and concisely written it is worth the time to learn more about this wonderful comic.

March 5th 2019

John Rain Series . Barry Eisler

John Rain Series . Barry Eisler.  A series following the exploits of John Rain a Japanese-American living mostly in Japan ( Tokyo) . He is a US special forces, SOG type who was in Vietnam at 17 and went from there.  He becomes a gifted judoka and assassin , specializing in making death look natural.  He has his share of romantic episodes and through the series picks up a few associates/friends who come in and out of the stories.  A jazz and scotch lover the hero gives quite good descriptions of good bars and coffee shops in the carious cities he finds himself. Underlying the books are two themes, the chronic corruption of the Japanese govt/yakuza and the over reach of US surveillance power – NSA and CIA (which comes as results of the US being run by big business interests/corrupt politicians).  The author has a deeper vocabulary than most of these types of books and he allows the heroes some deep emotional entanglements and  times of mental angst. The pace moves well and they last about four hours.

January 6th 2019

Donald J Trump. A president like no other. Conrad Black.

Donald J Trump. A president like no other. Conrad Black. 2018. ISBN 9781621577881.  Well Black does take on unpopular biographies ( Nixon and now Trump).  He is always well spoken, careful and detailed in his language.  By following a chronological method – from Trump  ancestors roots and his own personal and business development, Black does put Trump into a context.   The strongest section for me was the detailing of how Trump was able to recognize a deep seated unhappiness in the populous and harness it into a steady base and build a swelling momentum prior to and during the race for the Presidency.  Black was one of the first to recognize this coming of the demagogue and was not surprised with the result.   With this chronology approach you can see how very long Trump has developed the attitudes he has and espouses.  Also you  are led to recognize the failures of the prior four presidents and their entourages which opened the door for  Trump coming on the scene.  Black has no time for the Democrats nor a do nothing partisan Senate and Congress.  He is acerbic toward the national press and  Washington commentators- so color Black well within Trump’s Republican/conservative aura.

This book will not make you like Trump any more then before and you will still cringe at his looseness with language and malapropisms.  However Black may let you be a little less terrified of Trump daily and perhaps recognize his negotiation tricks learned in New York and now being attempted internationally.  The book moves quite well , will occupy the East – West airflight and halfway back. Reading it is not time wasted.

December 18th 2018

Jake Needham books. Samuel Tay and Jack Shepherd series

Jake Needham books. Samuel Tay and Jack Shepherd.  Needham writes about crime in Asia . Singapore, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Macau.  Samuel Tay is a steady Hong King detective who like DCI Banks in England may be thought to be long in the tooth, but his doggedness and human appeal gets him to solve the nasty crimes that others can’t.  Jack Shepherd is lawyer/fixer who seems to get mixed up with less than sterling clients despite his reluctance to stay law abiding.  Both  series are replete with curious characters, numerous bad guys and sleazy neighbourhoods. However the author keeps the plots rolling and ensures that the readers interest remains high.  Recommended if you wish a change form US or British based detective stories. Needham is good with his location descriptions and will take you on a bit of a travel guide to Asia.

November 2nd 2018

Quick trip to the Republic of Ireland. Oct 22.2018

Quick trip to the Republic of Ireland. Oct 22. 2018. This was a pleasant and very enjoyable tour of parts of Ireland.  The weather was fantastic – blue skies and warm.

A complete trip description is on my wife’s blog . This is my short form.

Dublin was a hoot and we would like more time there. 

We went to Galway – which is the cultural center of Ireland – lots of music in the streets .

Great lunch in a cozy pub!

Then to the Coast – the cliffs of Moher .  We followed the WAW. Wild Atlantic Way – Highly recommend it

Limerick – which is cool and included a Medieval concert/banquet in a castle!

Quick stop in Adare. Very pretty 

Then off to Kerry . The Ring of Kerry is a do not miss  drive)   Great lunch with a view

 

Lovely country

 

Next Killarney.  

This is a pretty town – which for us includes a jaunty ride with great tales from our driver.

And another castle

Had to stop at Blarney – I was struck dumb after the stone kiss. My wife did not see much improvement however.

.

Waterford ( remember the crystal? ) was next – Needed deep pockets for this stuff.

Much happier.

 

Last stop in Ireland – Tramore

which included a song and drinks at Aggies pub, (300 year old mudwalled)

Great singer Richie Roberts

Local brew Beamish – like Guiness.

Then catch the ferry to Wales from Rosslare, Irish Ferries is surprisingly good – good food too!

We ended up in Cardiff– which is very scenic, compared to the devastation of Western Wales from English industrialization. 

Liked Cardiff castle. 

 

That evening a Welsh dinner and concert at the Millenium Hall. Fantastic.

 

Next day Bath my maternal  grandfather’s home. I have always liked this town.

Roman Baths

Georgian terraces

Of course Stonehenge – with its hordes of tourists – still pretty neat.

One of the pesky tourists spoiling the shot.

And we end up on London.  Whether we are there for a few days, a week or longer,  we just can not get enough of London. The Brits do tradition so well.

That evening we had a Thames cruise- recommend it

 

Lots of poking around still to do.

You do not go on this tour  for the cuisine.  If you seek out the fresh fish special (not deep fried) its usually superb. The full Irish breakfast can get tedious.  The Irish are so friendly, social and hospitable that it makes the trip. The Guinness is always fresh – damn fine. The country views are outstanding, and the cities are so walk-able and interesting.  If you have not been – bucket list item for sure.