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Portable Magic

Reading, for me, is entertainment and an escape from the real world. But it can also inform and stretch the boundaries of the life I live.

Currently reading

The Bungalow Mystery
P.M. Carlson, Russell H. Tandy, Carolyn Keene
The Remains of the Day
Kazuo Ishiguro, Simon Prebble
Duel of Eagles: The Mexican and U.S. Fight for the Alamo
Jeff Long
Progress: 11/431 pages
The Secret of Shadow Ranch
Carolyn Keene
I am No One You Know
Joyce Carol Oates
The Return of the King
J.R.R. Tolkien, Rob Inglis
Progress: 13 %

Great by Choice ★★★★☆

Great by Choice: Uncertainty, Chaos, and Luck--Why Some Thrive Despite Them All - Jim Collins,  Morten T. Hansen

Collins presents his conclusions drawn from examining several companies that continued to grow even during times of great chaos and uncertainty. All his findings seem to intuitively make sense, so they don’t seem like earth-shattering truths. The findings are decidedly un-sexy, since they involve concepts like order, consistency, discipline, and planning for disaster. But he is able to keep this a light, fast read by distilling the information into snappy catchphrases, like 20 Mile Marching, and illustrating the concepts through case studies and comparisons. In fact, what I most enjoyed about the book was his use of the Amundsen and Scott polar expeditions, which occurred during the same timeframe, with one ending in fame and success, and the other ending with the party miserably freezing to death. I'll also note that the author is quite open about his research methodology, including exhaustive detail in the final chapter and bibliography that I did not bother to read, but appreciate having been made available.


This was a required text for my Management of Operations course.