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Category Archive for ‘Book Club’

Jake Tapper – The OutPost – The Untold Story of American Valor

Tania meets Jake Tapper

On Thursday evening I had the opportunity to listen as Jake Tapper as he described his inspiration and experience in writing his latest book, The OutPost – The Untold Story of American Valor.

The book describes a 2009 battle at Compound Outpost Keating (COP Keating) in remote Kamdesh, Afghanistan where 58 American soldiers prevailed against nearly 400 taliban terrorists. Eight American soldiers lost their lives protecting the outpost and their fellow soldiers during this battle.  The novel shares the compelling and largely unknown story of COP Keating and the soldiers who served at the outpost.

Jake described how the idea for the book came to him – he caught a brief news clip of the attack while in hospital holding his newborn son and the questions soon began.  He also shared his detailed research that went into the making of this book; making sure to carefully review sections with those he interviewed.  This was a good reminder of the power of due diligence during the writing process and the hallmark of a good journalist.

As he described the background history of this outpost and the battle itself, I kept having thoughts that I had previously heard of this untold story but could not recall any specific detail to confirm these thoughts.  It turns out I did read of this battle on an awesome milblog called This Ain’t Hell when Jonn reported on the battle in 2009.  While national media was barely covering the battle in October of 2009,  milbloggers at The Burn Pitwere organizing the Combat Outpost Keating Relief Fund.  It was a resounding success for the surviving soldiers of COP Keating with Target donating matching funds to this cause and bloggers going public with their thanks.  Milbloggers are a special group of people and I’m happy to know these soldiers were not completely abandoned when they arrived back home.  I strongly believe we need to know the full story of our involvement in Afghanistan and The Outpost makes a great contribution to our story of Afghanistan. Get your copy today!

Awesome photo credit: Richard Chaitt

Tania

The Book of Business UnAwesome/The Book of Business Awesome by Scott Stratten

Scott Stratten of  @unmarketing, has released a  remarkably witty and informative guide to help readers become better withing the realm of social media. The book is titled The Book of Business UnAwesome/The Book of Business Awesome.  I had a blissful and uninterrupted weekend in December to read this book cover to cover. During this weekend, I broke a personal time record for a Half Marathon race –  maybe the book inspired my run? Anything is possible.

It is a two sided book – literally.  One side is titled The Book of Business UnAwesome which looks at the cost of not using and engaging in social media properly. Or as Scott observes, by simply not being great at what you do. I read this side of the book first.  Personally, I like to know what I’m doing wrong before I discover what I am doing right – but that’s just me. You can pick your own side :)

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Tania

Sherlock Holmes – The Final Problem

Lily Love @ Longwood Garden

Apparently, Sherlock Holmes did not die after his suicide jump off the roof of St. Bartholomew Hospital.

The last episode of Season 2 of BBC’s Sherlock Holmes recreates ‘Reichenbach Falls” in which Sherlock Holmes has a dramatic confrontation on the roof of St. Bartholomew Hospital with his arch enemy James Moriarty.  The result of this meeting has Moriarty taking his own life with a bullet to the brain and Sherlock Holmes committing suicide shortly after by jumping off the roof.

Sherlock’s apparent suicide is witnessed by a horrified John Watson and a lurking assassin with a high powered rife aimed at John.

In the final scene of this episode, John is visiting Sherlock Holmes grave and as the camera pulls away, you can see the profile of Sherlock  in the distance.  The great detective is indeed, alive.

The burning question of how Sherlock faked his death is a chief topic of discussion among fans of the show. Clearly, I am one of them.

SPOILER ALERT! If you are one of the few on this planet that has not viewed this episode, please be aware the discussion below the break contains numerous spoilers and assumes the reader knows the necessary background information.

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Tania

Book Review – The Impact Equation

Finished reading The Impact Equation by @chrisbrogan @julien #impact -  So much good stuff in one book!

Finished reading a review copy of “The Impact Equation”  authored by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith. Both are considered gurus in the social media marketplace and New York Times bestselling authors of Trust Agents.

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Tania

Book Review – David Mamet’s The Secret Knowledge

mamet

David Mamet’s The Secret Knowledge was selected for discussion during the May meeting.

I read David Mamet’s book The Secret Knowledge with great enjoyment. His talent for story telling shines through with this novel.

David Mamet, a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright.  Well known for Glengary Glenn Ross and American Buffalo, he turned the tables on the entrenched political narrative of Hollywood when he penned an article for the Village Voice in 2008 which they entitled ‘Why I’m No Longer a Brain Dead Liberal’.

This book is an expansion of the theories presented in his Village Voice article and has made me a fan girl.

 

It was interesting to read an insiders take of Hollywood’s political monolith, a place where conservatives need not apply. One of the criticisms that came out of the book club discussion was Mamet’s affinity to Hayek who was no fan of conservatives. While that may have been true during Hayek’s day; I would believe that he would find fellowship among modern day conservatives.

If you are conservative, you will appreciate his skill of crafting the debate, but I don’t believe this book was written for conservatives. This was an open letter to other liberals in Hollywood who are quietly questioning the political status quo. It stands as a primer for educating these people to the divergent political philosophies that exist outside the Hollywood bubble.

This is a good read, well worth the time and money. Get your copy by clicking on the links in this post, then share your thoughts of the book in the comment section.

 

Tania

Bookclub Selection: The Forgotten Man by Amity Shlaes

A year ago, I joined a most excellent book club that meets monthly to discuss books that tilt toward a political nature – both left and right. We meet in the club room of a cigar store, enjoying cigars and brandy. Every now and then we are treated to French Absinthe. As I am the only non-smoker of the club, I pass on the cigars, but enjoy participating in the lively discussions. I find it is a privilege to be including among the members of this bookclub, as they are all knowledgeable and seasoned by life.

This month we are discussing ‘The Forgotten Man’ authored by Amity Shlaes.

Amity Shlaes revisits the late 20′s and early 30′s to investigate the net effect of Roosevelt’s ‘New Deal’ on the lives and fortunes of average Americans.

Back cover description:

Amity Shlaes takes us back to show us how the roots of our disillusionment can be found in a single election year, 1936. In that year, Franklin Roosevelt systematically established the modern political constituency, from unions to artists, to senior citizens. Roosevelt’s solution was to spend for these groups, so extensively that federal spending that year outpaced state and local spending, for the first time ever in peacetime. The consequence was the Roosevelt landslide of 1936 –but also the modern entitlement trap. Roosevelt often spoke of the Forgotten Man, the man “at the bottom of the economic pyramid.” Yet, Miss Shlaes shows, his New Deal created a new forgotten man, the man who subsidizes the funding of other constituencies — and who haunts politics in all developed nations today.

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Tania