Book(s) here for a voyage of discovery

“I spend a lot of time reading”       Bill Gates

Here’s a quiz question.

Who said?:

“A room without books is like a body without a soul”

a) Damian McBride

b) Damian McBride’s publisher

c) Ed Miliband (who is currently reading ‘Power Trip’)

d) Marcus Cicero

In the 2119 years since Cicero lived many wonderful books have been published. Next week I am going to shut myself away in a Devonian cottage and I’m going to read three books:

‘The New Middle East: the world after the Arab Spring’: Paul Danahar: Bloomsbury Publishing (2013)

I was recently challenged to explain the Muslim Brotherhood and, to my horror, realised I was completely uninformed. I found this book, written by the former BBC Middle East Bureau Chief, and am half way through it. I’m going to start again: it is gripping starting with the Arab Spring in Tunisia and moving on to Egypt. There is clear background material and international politics. There is also the human side which the author has seen at first hand.

‘Rising Tides: facing the challenges of a new era’: Liam Fox: Heron Books (2013)

Dr. Fox is MP for North Somerset and a former Secretary of State for Defence. The writing of this book probably marks the recognition that he will never fulfil his dream of launching a leadership campaign (Conservative, of course). Frankly he has some alleged weaknesses. Nevertheless he is bright and experienced and the book is well reviewed. It’s a global political and economic reflection. It will make me think.

‘Making It Happen: Fred Goodwin, RBS and the Men Who Blew up the British Economy’ (2013)

Must read although it’s a silly title. I want to know how the non-executive directors let Fred do it. Iain Martin is a really good journalist and that’s why it’s the third book I shall read.

The best to the last. I hope it makes rich like Bill Gates.

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