Book Beginnings and Friday 56 – Willful Blindness (Oct 17)

For this week’s Friday meme combo I have chosen Willful Blindness: Why We Ignore the Obvious at Our Peril by Margaret Heffernan. I bought this book a couple of years ago, not long after it came out, but I am only getting round to reading it now. Recent events in our little community prompted me to pick it up now and get it read. The following description is found at GoodReads:

willful blindnessA book that will open eyes to the most serious problem of our times.

In the case of the US Government versus Enron, the presiding judge chose to employ the legal concept of willful blindness: you are responsible if you could have known, and should have known, something which instead you strove not to see. The guilty verdict sent shivers down the spine of the corporate world. In this book, Margaret Heffernan draws on psychological studies, social statistics, interviews with relevant protagonists, and her own experience to throw light on willful blindness and why whistleblowers and Cassandras are so rare. Ranging freely through history and from business to science, government to the family, this engaging and anecdotal book will explain why willful blindness is so dangerous in a globalized, interconnected world, before suggesting ways in which institutions and individuals can start to combat it. Margaret Heffernan’s thought-provoking book will force us to open our eyes.

Now for this week’s excerpts:

book beginningsBook Beginnings is hosted by Gilion at Rose City Reader, who invites anyone to join in, saying: ‘Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.  Please remember to include the title of the book and the author. Leave a link to your post.  If you don’t have a blog, but want to participate, please leave a comment with your Book Beginning.’

The beginning of Willful Blindness:

On July 19, 2011, the British Member of Parliament Adrian Sanders asked James and Rupert Murdoch a question that temporarily silenced them both.

“Are you familiar with the term ‘willful blindness’?”

This week some of our local council officials were deemed by a judge to have been ‘willfully blind’. I have to admit that I wasn’t all that familiar with the term until I picked up this book, so I am looking forward to finding out more about it and why our officials were described in this way.

Friday 56The Friday 56 is a book meme hosted by Freda’s Voice and the rules are as follows:

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56.
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it) that grabs you.
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post below in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url.

It’s that simple.

From page 56 of Willful Blindness:

Cold War ideology had blinded McNamara and his colleagues to the fundamental, primary motive of the Vietnamese. They weren’t fighting to become part of a greater communist bloc. They were fighting to become free from all imperial powers.

Not perhaps the most exciting excerpt, but I am still fascinated enough by this idea to want to get this book read soon. I’m off for a week of holiday’s now, so maybe I’ll get a bit more reading in and be able to get through this one.

Bookmark Monday – Thanksgiving (Oct 13)

bookmark-mondayBookmark Monday is a weekly meme hosted by Aloi from guiltless reading. Take a picture of one of your favourite bookmarks, post it on your blog, and head over to guiltless reading to share a link to your post.

Today is Canadian Thanksgiving, so here are some bookmarks to fit in with that theme:

thanksgiving

Book Beginnings and Friday 56 – Mostly Harmless (Oct 10)

My choice of book this week for my Friday meme combo is Mostly Harmless by Douglas Adams. I was going through a box of my books tonight and came across this one, realising that I haven’t read it yet. As Sci-Fi Month is coming in a few weeks time I thought it might be time to give this one a read. The front cover describes it as: ‘The fifth book in the increasingly inaccurately named Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy trilogy.’ The following brief description is found at GoodReads:

mostly harmlessArthur Dent hadn’t had a day as bad as this since the Earth had been blown up.

Depressed and alone, Arthur finally settles on the small planet Lamuella and becomes a sandwich maker. Looking forward to a quiet life, his plans are thrown awry by the unexpected arrival of his daughter.

There’s nothing worse than a frustrated teenager with a copy of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy in their hands. When she runs away – Arthur goes after her determined to save her from the horrors of the universe.

After all – he’s encountered most of them before…

Now for this week’s excerpts:

book beginningsBook Beginnings is hosted by Gilion at Rose City Reader, who invites anyone to join in, saying: ‘Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.  Please remember to include the title of the book and the author. Leave a link to your post.  If you don’t have a blog, but want to participate, please leave a comment with your Book Beginning.’

The beginning of Mostly Harmless:

The history of the Galaxy has got a little muddled, for a number of reasons: partly because those who are trying to keep track of it have got a little muddled, but also because some very muddling things have been happening anyway.

I like this beginning and I know I am going to enjoy this one as much as I enjoyed the other books in the series.

Friday 56The Friday 56 is a book meme hosted by Freda’s Voice and the rules are as follows:

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56.
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it) that grabs you.
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post below in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url.

It’s that simple.

From page 56 of Mostly Harmless:

As Arthur had left their offices he found he was trembling slightly. Not only had he lost Fenchurch in the most complete and utter way possible, but he felt that the more time he spent away out in the Galaxy the more it seemed that the number of things he didn’t know anything about actually increased.

Hopefully I’ll get around to reading this soon. I can’t believe that I actually had forgotten that I picked up this book a while ago. I know that I’ll like it, so I need to get it read.

Teaser Tuesdays – Doctor Who: The Five Doctors (Oct 7)

teasertuesdays2014eTeaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Here are my teasers for this week:

doctor who the five doctorsSeconds later, the Doctor was streaking down the road in the opposite direction, leaving a black skid-mark on the road behind him, and a smell of burning rubber in the air. He checked his driving mirror and saw, with indignant surprise, that the obelisk was tumbling rapidly down the road in pursuit – and it was gaining fast.

From page 18 of Doctor Who: The Five Doctors by Terrance Dicks.

Bookmark Monday – Fair Trade (Oct 6)

bookmark-mondayBookmark Monday is a weekly meme hosted by Aloi from guiltless reading. Take a picture of one of your favourite bookmarks, post it on your blog, and head over to guiltless reading to share a link to your post.

October is Fair Trade, so I’m sharing a picture of the following fair trade bookmarks, made in South Africa:

fair trade

Book Beginnings and Friday 56 – 1929 (Oct 3)

For my Friday meme combo this week I have chosen 1929 – A Crisis that Shaped The Salvation Army’s Future by John Larsson. It’s a book I’ve been reading lately that I have found to be more fascinating than I thought it would be. GoodReads has the following short description:

1929 largeIn 1929 a constitutional storm that had long been gathering suddenly burst, sweeping from office General Bramwell Booth, the son and successor to William Booth, Founder of The Salvation Army. So traumatic was this event that for many years ‘1929’ – for that is how it was known – was only talked of in hushed tones in Army circles. The telling of what happened was left to those outside the Army family. Now after more than 80 years the full story of the crisis, with all its astonishing twists and turns, is set out by General John Larsson (Retired). In drafting this account, John Larsson has had access to hitherto unpublished material, much of it in the Army’s heritage centres around the world.

Now for this week’s excerpts:

book beginnings
Book Beginnings is hosted by Gilion at Rose City Reader, who invites anyone to join in, saying: ‘Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires.  Please remember to include the title of the book and the author. Leave a link to your post.  If you don’t have a blog, but want to participate, please leave a comment with your Book Beginning.’

The beginning of 1929:

It was New Year’s Day 1929. As the car inched its way along the icy London roads on the 100-mile journey towards Southwold, the small east-coast community near Lowestoft, Commissioner Catherine Booth looked out on the wintry scene and prepared her mind for the distressing task ahead.

This doesn’t sound like a good beginning to the year for someone!

Friday 56The Friday 56 is a book meme hosted by Freda’s Voice and the rules are as follows:

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56.
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it) that grabs you.
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post below in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url.

It’s that simple.

From page 56 of 1929:

The first seismic movement had been felt exactly one year previously, March 1925, when headquarters officers around the world received an anonymous four-page manifesto ‘The First Blast of a Trumpet’ addressed ‘To Staff Officers Only.’

It was an attack on the established order of things.

It sounds like trouble is brewing! I’m about two-thirds of the way through the book now and should probably get it finished during the coming weekend. It has been a great read so far.

WWW Wednesdays (Oct 1)

www_wednesdays43To play along with this weekly book event, hosted by Should Be Reading, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

Here are my answers for this week:

1929What are you currently reading? As usual, I have quite a few books on the go at the moment, but the one I’m enjoying the most just 1929 – A Crisis that Shaped The Salvation Army’s Future by John Larsson. It is a fascinating account of the events of 1929, when a constitutional crisis eventually led to the removal of the General of The Salvation Army. I’m actually enjoying it a lot more than I thought I would.

essentials of christian experience thumbsilver sixWhat did you recently finish reading? I finished a couple of books this week – Essentials of Christian Experience (Frederick Coutts) and The Silver Six (A.J. Lieberman and Darren Rawlings). Although they are very different books one a theology book, the other a graphic novel – they were both very decent reads.

stardustWhat do you think you’ll read next? If I don’t concentrate on trying to finish some of the books I’ve started, I might be tempted to start on Stardust by Neil Gaiman. It has been sitting unread on my shelf for far too long now!