Sunday, January 15, 2012

December to January 2011 to 2012


I took on the task of reading a couple of “mammoth” books – in audio format over the holidays.

My life is too busy right now to give a full review – so I’ll just offer a few words. I was recently inspired by the leadership of Abraham Lincoln and enjoyed Doris Kearns Goodwins Team of Rivals. I was amazed by the intricacy of “back story” that Goodwin gave into so many issues of personal, professional and political lives – (and it is lives!) – of the team of leaders that Lincoln pulled around him. Lincoln was (is) complex – his time in history was (is) complex – and the people who shaped the U.S.A. and politics of his era were complex too. This book helps mine that depth.

My interest in Lincoln – and my extended interest in Rivalry from perspectives close to Rene Girard, led me to read, My Thoughts Be Bloody: The Bitter Rivalry that Led to the Assassination of Abraham Lincoln by Nora Titone. I learned significant detail about the Booth family history – connected as they were to the “arts” and Shakesperean Theathre in the U.S., in particular. And I discerned how, as Titone frames the story, that the rivalry of stage acting – and the crowd appeal it garnered played into Titone’s belief regarding the decisions and actions of John Wilkes Booth. Fascinating details I had no idea existed.

Enjoyed another audio read – Under the Streets of Nice – which included translation by Ken Follett, thus inspiring my desire to get it. Ken Follet’s other stories have been fantastic. The book narrated a bank heist. It was not moving in any significant way, just a simple story.

Additionally over the holidays, I read all the leadership books noted in the OSLEP program I was part of.

And, separately, I audio-recorded (not audio-read – but I audio-recorded!! ) hours and hours of lecture through the books of 1 and 2 Samuel and the start of 1 Kings!

Further, I completely renovated a duplex that we own – all the paint and hardwood floors, much of the plumbing and lots of other work!

It was a very, very, very busy “break.” Way too busy, in truth. Too much work for sure!

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