Book Review: Steelheart, Mitosis, Firefly

SteelheartMitosis, Firefight - Brandon Sanderson

Dear Brandon Sanderson, never stop writing.

Once again, I devoured this book.  Unlike his others I've read, this one is situated as an alternate future in the U.S. (Newcago) and almost feels like Sci/Fi rather than Fantasy.  It's fast-paced and easy to read, though perhaps lacking a little in depth.  I think this one could make an excellent movie.

Book Review: Business Adventures

Business Adventures: Twelve Classic Tales from the World of Wall Street - John Brooks

Overall, this was a mildly entertaining book.  I enjoyed several of the tales, including those on insider trading, the sterling pound crisis, trade secrets, and communication at GE, but found a few of the others quite dry and not terribly interesting.

As usual, here are a few quotes:
Any board-room sitter with a taste for Wall Street lore has heard the retort that J.P. Morgan the Elder is supposed to have made to a naive acquaintance who had ventured to ask the great man what the market was going to do. "It will fluctuate," replied Morgan dryly.

On the Stock Exchange floor itself, there was no question of any sort of rally; it was simply a case of all stocks' declining rapidly and steadily, on enormous volume. As de la Vega might have described the scene--as, in fact, he did rather flamboyantly describe a similar scene--"The bears [that is, the sellers] are completely ruled by fear, trepidation, and nervousness. Rabbits become elephants, brawls in a tavern become rebellions, faint shadows appear to them as signs of chaos."

Book Review: The Dude and the Zen Master

The Dude and the Zen Master - Jeff Bridges and Bernie Glassman

Sometimes rambling, sometimes pithy, The Dude and the Zen Master was a fun read.  It was interesting to shed more light into the inner workings of Jeff's life, while at the same time, getting Zen lessons in a conversational and western manner from Bernie.  Not a terrible lot else to say on my end, but I'll leave some quotes from a few of my favorite sections.
Bernie: But you know what your story reminds me of?  Those dolls that are full of sand at the bottom.  You push them and they oscillate quickly from side to side, and then come back to center.  So as you practice, you're filling up with sand.  At first, even a weak force hits you and almost knocks you over, but you oscillate in big arcs till you come up standing again.  As you practice more and more, it takes a stronger and stronger force to get you knocked over, and even then the oscillations aren't so big, and before you know it you're back to center.

Bernie: When you first start doing Zen meditation, we give this instruction: Thoughts will come; the brain's job is to produce thoughts. Don't try to stop them, and also don't ollow them. Pretend it's an open door; let the thoughts come in and let them go. Don't try to manipulate them because you'll get into trouble.

Bernie: People hear that the practice is to live in the now, and they feel like a failure that they can't do that. I give lots of talks, and almost always at the end somebody raises his hand and says, "You know, I've been trying to practice this for so long, and I still can't be here now". At that point I always say, "Whoever is not here now, please stand up". Of course, nobody stands up because we're all here now. Where else can we be?

Bernie: I tell people that when stuff comes up and at a certain point it feels like it's too much, move on. It's not going anywhere and there'll be a time when you'll be ready to work with it. For now, listen to yourself. If it's not the time, don't push it. Gently down the stream. Some people say you have to work with everything, but there's a time and a place. If it feels like a knot, wait. It will come up again when you and the universe are ready.