This week I'm on holiday with my wife at Caloundra, on the Sunshine Coast just north of Brisbane, Australia. The weather is supposed to be pleasantly mild at this time of the year, with warm sea-breezes and partly cloudy skies foretelling the easing of the summer heat and the arrival of cooler temperatures. However, this week, the weather is not doing what is it supposed to. We've had passing showers every day until today, when steady rain has been the norm. Fortunately, the temperature is still hovering around 20 deg C. Anyway, wet weather provides a nice benefit: that of relaxing inside with a good book. This week, I've started reading two books. Both have gripped me and caused me to think quite deeply about a few things. I thought I'd share them with you, even though I have not finished reading them yet.
Thinking, Fast and Slow (published 2011) is Daniel Kahneman's latest book. It was an impulse-buy in mid-2012, while buying some research books at Amazon, one that has been sitting on my bookshelf since. Snippets from the flyleaf: Kahneman takes us on a groundbreaking tour of the mind and explains the two systems that drive the way we think. System 1 is fast, intuitive, and emotional; System 2 is slower, more deliberate, and more logical. Kahneman reveals where we can and cannot trust our intuitions and how ewe can tap into the benefits of slow thinking. He offers practical and enlightening insights into how choices are made in both our business and our personal lives—and how we can use different techniques to guard against the mental glitches that often get us into trouble.
A Long Walk in the Himalaya: A trek from the Ganges to Kashmir (published 2007) was written by Garry Weare, an explorer and writer. Long Walk caught my eye while I was passing the time in a second-hand book store a few days ago. Although I've never been a tramper or trekker as such, I have long harboured dreams of undertaking long journeys on foot, be they pilgrimages like the trek across northern Spain to Santiago de Compostela, or indulgent hikes in Yosemite, Kakadu or Fiordland National Park. While I've visited some of these places, I'm yet to tackle any long journeys as such. Anyway, to Long Walk. This book provides an account of Weare's five-month trek from the source of the Ganges—through valleys and over mountain passes—to Srinagar in Kashmir. On one level, the book is a straightforward travelogue. One another, it provides a rich history of the region. On yet another, it stimulates spiritual and socio-political thought, of the type I've not experienced from reading a book like this before.
I'm partway through both books, and not normally wont to make recommendations. But in this case, I'll make an exception. If you are at a loose end, and are looking for something that will stimulate your mind, you could do far worse than read either of these books.
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Thoughts on corporate governance, strategy and the craft of board work; our place in the world; and, other things that catch my attention.