Mike Dariano


Read Next

Books read in August 2011 (chart)

My reading theme for August was grab books off the table nearest the library check-out and as a result the books were largely pretty bad. My thoughts, from best to worst.

Unbroken: was probably the best book I've read all year. I enjoyed Hillenbrand's previous book, Seasbiscuit, except for it being a bit chewy on the part of the Jockey's lives. This book, like its protagonist, has no fat or excess. It would have been an incredible non-fiction book with the twists, turns, overall story, and the heroes and villains. After reading it I had a better understand of history and wish more of what was taught to me would have been taught like this. The inevitable movie version will be the best war movie since Saving Private Ryan and if done well it will be better. The story is that good.

In the Garden of Beasts: is the story of ambassador Dodd living in Hitler's Berlin. Both this and Unbroken are recent publications which makes now an excellent time to be reading about World War 2. If Unbroken excels in the telling of history this book does well in focusing its light on a small piece. There are probably many books about Germany and Hitler leading up to the invasion of Poland but probably none are as good as this.

The Buffalo Creek Disaster: is the story of the lawsuit following a 1972 coal dam failure that lifted water levels to over 30 feet and killed 125 people. The stories the victims tell of the disaster were the most difficult tragedies I've ever read. Somewhat striking to me, the book written by a the plaintiff's lead counsel, reads quickly though deliberately, a model for any lawyers writing books.

I'm Feeling Lucky: a story of the beginning days of Google. This book wasn't especially well written or compelling on its own. It's about the beginning years of a really incredible company and would probably have been the same story had any one of the first two-hundred people there written it. Very little content on the engineering about not much new about the Google culture.

Leave it better than you found it

On Kicking Thoughts

My Karate Instructor asked me to teach class for him yesterday. I was only supposed to teach the kids class, but when one of the Black Belts who was supposed to show up, didn't, I ended up also teaching the adult class as well (1 whopping student).

I'm not sure why, but I always want the students to come away with something new or better when I teach. It's not that I'm in competition with my instructor; I guess I want to make sure that even though I'm a lower belt, that the students are getting value from what I have to offer.

Last night, with my one student, I was able to help her make her punches more crisp by troubleshooting a body mechanics issue and I got her thinking in a more abstract manner about self defense techniques.

All in all, it was a good class. Oh and the kids had fun too. :-)

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