Finished reading Moby-Dick


Revenge is self-defeating. It will eat away at you until there is nothing left. ― Chris Bradford
      
Moby-Dick” by Herman Melville is one of those classic books I should have read long ago but never got around to reading. It took me a couple of months to get through it—about as long as it would take to sail from Nantucket around Cape Horn—but I’m glad I finally read it.
  
The dominant figure in Moby-Dick is moody, one-legged Captain Ahab, who is hell-bent on getting revenge on the white whale who took one of his legs on a previous voyage. You get the idea he’s willing to do whatever it takes to kill Moby-Dick—even if it means putting the lives of everyone on the ship in danger.
  
First Mate Starbuck becomes convinced that Ahab's obsession with Moby-Dick not only jeopardizes the investment of the ship’s investors, but puts the lives of the entire crew at risk. So Starbuck tries to reason with Ahab, without success. In Chapter 123, Starbuck considers killing Ahab in an attempt to save everyone else, but decides against it. With no one else on the ship willing to challenge Ahab, the captain continues in his mad pursuit.
  
The tragic ending—everyone on the ship except Ishmael dies—illustrates the inevitable result of Ahab’s insane quest for revenge.
  
One unexpected thing I enjoyed was noticing some of the expressions in the dialogue that are still used today. “Hay-Seeds” (pg 37), a derogatory term for unsophisticated people from the country, is still used in the US. Also: "chowder-headed people" (pg 74). Chowderhead, meaning a stupid person, is an expression still used in New England. So 170 years after Moby-Dick was published, some of America's slang expressions from the 1840s are still around. I like that for some reason.
  
Caution: several chapters explore the science of whales, whaling and whale ships, and those chapters get tedious.
  
I really like the Penguin Classics Edition. To buy it from Amazon, click here.

Top Christmas Gifts for Book Lovers—That Aren’t Books

Finding the best Christmas gift ideas for book lovers can be a little challenging, so I'm happy to help. The book-related gifts below are a sure bet to bring a different kind of joy to the reader on your Christmas shopping list. 

1. Bibliophile socks  

These socks are a unique and comfortable way for any bibliophile to show their love of books. Click here to buy from Amazon.

Coffee mug  

This coffee mug tells it like it is. Click here to buy from Amazon.

3. Shirt    

This shirt will let people know your priorities. Click here to buy from Amazon.

  
4. Vintage dictionary art prints

Vintage dictionary art prints will spruce up any book lover's library. (Heads up—the print does not come with a frame, but it fits standard 8 x 10 frames.) Click here to buy from Amazon.     
    
5. Neck tie

This silk necktie with array of golden brown books on a dark navy blue background is absolutely beautiful! Click here to buy from Amazon.
   
6. Adjustable reading lamp


Show your favorite reader how much you care about good lighting (and good eye health) by giving them a reading lamp. Pictured here is a top-rated floor lamp at Amazon. Click here for details at Amazon.  


Got my copy of "The Operator" by Rob O'Neill, the Navy SEAL who killed Osama bin Laden

I'm happy to have my own copy of The Operator: Firing the Shots that Killed Osama bin Laden and My Years as a SEAL Team Warrior by Rob O'Neill, the Navy SEAL who killed Osama bin Laden.
   
I ordered my copy from O'Neill's website — and on impulse I paid extra to get it autographed. My copy (see below) is inscribed "Never quit!" which is one of the themes when O'Neill speaks to groups. I will start reading this book once I finish reading Moby-Dick. Click here to get your copy from Amazon

Six Books Top CEOs Think Everyone Should Read


When successful people recommend books, I always pay attention. Few things in life have the power to change your perspective like reading quality books. If you are looking for the inspiration, strategies and new perspectives that will get you to the next level, take a look at these books recommended by six highly successful CEOs.  
     
1. Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft: Business Adventures: Twelve Classic Tales from the World of Wall Street by John Brooks.

Via Bill Gates's blog: “Not long after I first met Warren Buffett back in 1991, I asked him to recommend his favorite book about business. He didn’t miss a beat: “It’s Business Adventures by John Brooks,” he said. “I’ll send you my copy.” I was intrigued: I had never heard of Business Adventures or John Brooks. Today, more than two decades after Warren lent it to me—and more than four decades after it was first published—Business Adventures remains the best business book I’ve ever read. John Brooks is still my favorite business writer. (And Warren, if you’re reading this, I still have your copy.)” To see this book at Amazon click here.    
     
2. John Chambers, former Cisco Systems CEO: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain.
     
Via The Mercury News: John Chambers says Mark Twain’s classic novel helped him learn to manage dyslexia. “The book that most inspired me as a young person was the ‘Adventures of Huckleberry Finn’ by Mark Twain. It was not only very entertaining, but I read it in a time in my life when I was learning how to effectively manage dyslexia. It was a book that helped me turn one of my greatest challenges into a strength.” To see this book at Amazon click here
    
3. Marc Benioff, founder of Sales Force: The Art of War by Sun Tzu.

Marc Benioff is such a believer in The Art of War he wrote the forward to a 2008 adaptation of the book: “Since I first read The Art of War more than a dozen years ago, I have applied its concepts to many areas of my life. The tenets of the book provided me the concept to enter an industry dominated by much bigger players–and gave us the strategies to render them powerless. Ultimately, it is how salesforce.com took on the entire software industry.” To see this book at Amazon click here.
    
4. Mark Hurd, co-CEO of Oracle Corp: The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload by Daniel J. Levitin.

Via Financial Advisor: Mark Hurd believes The Organized Mind is a timely and vital book: “The time is rapidly approaching when insights driven by Big Data will dominate not only most business decisions but also many choices we make in our personal lives. So when I read a review of Levitin’s book, I sat up and took notice because I’m bombarded by information every hour of every day. Levitin does an excellent job in discussing the science of thinking in language that’s not only clear and informative but also entertaining. Readers of this book will get a better understanding of the mind along with some valuable guidance on how to exploit the emerging world of Big Data.” To see this book at Amazon click here.
     
5. Marc Cuban, Owner of Dallas Mavericks and investor: Rework by Jason Fried and David Hansson.

Via The CEO Library: When it comes to building a business, Jason Fried and David Hansson are proponents of learning by trial and error, instead of relying on the traditional approach of business plans and extensive market research. Billionaire Marc Cuban is of the same mind. Cuban wrote this endorsement of Rework: "If given a choice between investing in someone who has read REWORK or has an MBA, I'm investing in REWORK every time. A must read for every entrepreneur." To see this book at Amazon click here.
   
6.Burly Vinson, founder of Snappies: The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell.

Via The CEO Library: “Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point really showed me how it’s not always about the big picture, but sometimes it’s the tiny details that make all the difference. People tend to think that if something isn’t working then big changes need to happen to see the results you want. But that’s not the case. A lot of the time, the only separation between success and failure is a slight tweak or pivot.” To see this book at Amazon click here