Thursday, February 12, 2009

All The Best

This morning, I completed my "morning reading" book, All The Best, George Bush. For those of you who have read my first couple of postings on this blog, you'll remember that I have one book that I read exclusively in the mornings before going to work. I read about half an hour per day on it and just keep going Monday through Friday. That's why it has taken me all the way from January 1st to today to get through this one.

This was a book that has been on my shelf for quite a few years. I received it as a Christmas present from my parents and I thought its format would suit my morning routine well. You see, it's a collection of letters and personal dictations from George H. W. Bush throughout his life. The book is divided into major sections that align with what he was doing at the time. It includes letters to his mom back when he voluntered to enter the US Navy after the bombing of Pearl Harbor and goes all the way up until the date of publication of the book, just prior to 9/11. It includes sections during his time as an oil man in Texas, as a congressman, as the Ambassador to the UN, as the Chairman of the RNC (during the Watergate era), as the Director of the CIA, as the US liaison to China, and of course as the Vice President to Ronald Reagan and ultimately as the US President.

I have not read very many political autobiographies, at least not of the modern era. I figure they are pretty much attempts to justify their own actions, show things from their point of view, etc. But since this was a collection of actual letters written at the time I think that phenomenan is lessoned. Overall, I was very happy to have read this was a far better experience than I was expecting. Afterall, George Bush, our 41st president is usually considered forgetable, despite Desert Storm. This is probably due to being only a one term president sandwiched between the personalities of Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton. It was fascinating, however, to see what his thoughts were regarding all of the events he participated in. He spent a lifetime at or near the top of huge events in this world and that fact can be easy to forget. I was struck by the very nature of the man. This book confirmed my impressions of him, showing him to be a compassionate man, who holds high ideals, who loves his family above all else, and who tends to give everybody, even his political foes, the benefit of the doubt. Of course an arguement can be made that only the letters that showed him in a positive light were included but there is just too much here to dispute the very nature of the man himself.

I'm not sure of my next pick for my morning reading program...I have plenty of books to chose from but I prefer to use this time for factual reading, not fiction. So we'll see...

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Top 10 Books in no particular order (Well Known Authors)

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  • "Kane and Able" by Jeffrey Archer
  • "The Killer Angels" by Michael Shaara
  • "The Dark Elf Trilogy" by RA Salvatore
  • "Name of the Wind" by Patrick Rothfuss
  • "River God" by Wilbur Smith
  • "Mortalis" by RA Salvatore
  • "Ender's Game" by Orson Scott Card
  • "Centennial" by James A Michener
  • "The Repairman Jack" series by F. Paul Wilson

Top Books/ Series in no particular order (Lesser Known Authors)

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  • "Revolution at Sea Saga" by James L. Nelson
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  • "Top Producer" by Norb Vonnegut
  • "Prairie" by Anna Lee Waldo
  • "The Wild Blue" by W. Boyne & S Thompson
  • "Unsolicited" series by Julie Kaewert
  • "Freedom" by William Safire