What’s on my nightstand?

I love to read. At least, I used to. There was a time when I read two to three books a week. Lately, I’m lucky to finish one every two months. It’s a sad state of affairs that I hope to remedy. I need to rekindle my love affair with books, and I recently began a book that has me hooked (see below). In any case, I usually have a bunch of books that I keep on my nightstand. I read a few chapters in one, then read a few chapters in another, and so on, depending on my mood. Sometimes I crave fiction, but most times, I’m into non-fiction. Pretty much a polar opposite to Jen, that’s for sure, especially considering that our interest in non-fiction differs greatly!

What is currently on my nightstand:

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What I’m reading right now: Why Nations Fail? by Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson

A great book that turns a bunch of theories on their heads, including Jared Diamond’s recent attempts at examining the reasons behind state and societal collapse in his own very good books, Guns, Germs and Steel and Collapse. It is very well written for the lay person, and although I am not yet done, it has already done enough to have me reconsider much in the way that our world works.

Scale of 1 to 10: 10

(with 1 being that Jen would most definitely read it, and 10 being that Jen would never read it, even if she was promised a pool with a cabana boy going by the name of Antonio)

What I’ve been reading on and off: The U.S. Army/Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Field Manual

I’ve always been a fan of military theory and/or doctrine. I’ve read Clausewitz, Sun Tzu, Jomini and a few others. It is very interesting to see the evolution of theoretical thought in military matters over the centuries. I find it especially interesting in that much of it remains unchanged over the millenia. The latest doctrine permeating Western military organization is most definitely the counterinsurgency (COIN) doctrine. This doctrine evolved over the middle to later parts of the 20th century, and surprisingly, only became a central part of American doctrine in the 21st century, in the later stages of the Iraq debacle. I find it important to understand how our top military minds think, as it will influence future deployments and capabilities.

Scale of 1 to 10: 10

What I began reading but stopped…for now: The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Nassim Taleb became famous for his Black Swan Theory that helped him predict the crash of 2007/2008. It is a very difficult book for me to get into, probably because I’m not an economist. The curious person in me wants to read it though, as I consider it important to understand how the study of probabilities helped him predict this event, and has kept he and his clients afloat in a world where investment in the stock market is almost as unpredictable as a night at the casino.

Scale of 1 to 10: 10

What I read in 3 days but was too lazy to put away: A Company of Heroes by Marcus Brotherton

This is a book that follows the lives of those soldiers of Easy Company, of the 506th Regiment of the 101st Airborne during the Second World War. It is basically an oral history book, where the author interviewed relatives of soldiers either killed in the war, or that died before they could be interviewed. It’s a fun read that gives us a view into the lives of soldiers before, during and after the war.

Scale of 1 to 10: 7 (I’m stretching a bit here with a 7, might be an 8)

What I keep here to piss off a bunch of my fellow Canadians: Memoirs by Brian Mulroney

Say what you will about Brian Mulroney, but I admire the guy. He took on issues that meant something, Meech Lake, the Charlottetown Accord and the GST. Let’s not forget the role he played in isolating South Africa’s apartheid regime amongst the Commonwealth nations. Yes, there was the Airbus scandal, but explain to me how it compares to what the Liberal party did in the Chrétien years, or what has happened in Montreal with the revelations of the Charbonneau Commission. Mulroney was a leader and a politician. Nowadays, we just have politicians. Leadership has gone missing since the Mulroney years. Hopefully, it only lies dormant and will one day come back to Parliament. It’s a very good read by the way.

Scale of 1 to 10: 9

I also have a few other books. A couple of fiction books written long ago by Leon Uris, mostly about the formation of Israel. I also have a book on Corruption that I haven’t started yet. Again, nothing Jen would read. In fact, I think the last book I read that she actually did read herself was A Game Of Thrones. I’m sure that I will find another book that she will read. If I do, I’ll make sure to post about it!!!

See what Jen has on her nightstand.

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3 Responses to “What’s on my nightstand?”

  1. 100% with Jen. Almost fell asleep just reading the titles. GAH.

  2. Lol. At least you’re honest!

  3. […] interests in books. Not even close. I believe that was demonstrated quite well by our blog post, “What’s On My Nightstand?”. Hence, when Jen told me I absolutely had to read this book, that it was amazing, etc…I had […]

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