Apr 29, 2007

The Art of War by Sun Tzu

The Art of War basically is old old book of Chinese advices how to fight, lead army and overcome enemy. I read two copies of it - one with only Sun Tzu`s thesis, second with other authors commentaries and explanations. Why I read it? Because I read one magazine article, where it was said, that Art of War was used by Cesar, Napoleon and others, as well as it is used in nowadays in USA army and some big companies trying to be the best in market.
Hmm, this book can really be used in company`s management, because some war strategies are quite similar to organization management. For example, need for clear and not doubtful commands, advice to put best soldiers (workers) on first line, importance of understanding ones own weaknesses and strengths etc.
Overall, it`s boring literature if one don`t think how to use those advices in life.

Apr 27, 2007

Free audio-books

Simply Audiobooks usually sells audio-books, but now they offer some books for free. I downloaded:

  • The Stolen White Elephant by Mark Twain
  • The Madonna of the Future by Henry James
  • The Waste Land by T.S. Elliott
  • Famous Missions of California by W.H. Hudson
  • The Camel`s Back by F. Scott Fitzgerald

I don`t know anything about those books, but I hope I`ll like at least 2 of them. Lately I`ve been working on computer much and my eyes get tired soon so I`m not able to read much in the evenings, so the audio-books are great choice for me now.

Apr 25, 2007

Even trash bins can be art

We all get used to sculptures, graffitis (art?), fountains and other art object, but lately I saw that also trash bins can be made like art objects.

Trashbins from Ventspils, Port promenade. First one I had to take a look inside to guess that its trash bin, `cause there are art object all over the promenade. Thanks God, second one has sign on it...

Apr 20, 2007

Detective story lovers drink champagne today

Today, 20th April in 1841 Edgar Allen Poe`s story the Murders in the Rue Morgue was published. This tale is considered to be the first detective story.

Following the publication of Poe's story, detective stories began to grow into novels and English novelist Wilkie Collins published a detective novel, The Moonstone, in 1868. In Collins' story, the methodical Sergeant Cuff searches for the criminal who stole a sacred Indian moonstone. The novel includes several features of the typical modern mystery, including red herrings, false alibis, and climactic scenes.
The greatest fictional detective, Sherlock Holmes, first appeared in 1887, in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's novel A Study in Scarlet. The cozy English mystery novel became popularized with Agatha Christie's Miss Marple series in the 1920s, when other detectives like Lord Peter Wimsey and Ellery Queen were also becoming popular. In the 1930s, sometimes called the golden age of detective stories, the noir detective novel became the mainstay of writers like Dashiell Hammet, Raymond Chandler, and Mickey Spillane. Tough female detectives such as Kinsey Millhone and V.I. Warshawski became popular in the 1980s. [via History.com]

I have to admit, I haven`t read any of Poe`s stories, but I have read almost all Doyle`s and Christie`s stories. I loved Sherlock Holmes, but I can`t say the same about Miss Marple, Erquile Puaro I liked much more. Although these are old stories I still think that those writers are one of the best detective writers ever. In modern detective stories I can usually guess the guilty person in first 50-100 pages, but in these old stories I`m kept in obscurity till the end pages.

Apr 18, 2007

Unce upon a time....there was no electricity.

Such lanterns are used by tourists in Cesis castle museum.

Can you imagine life without electricity now? It`s hard... but sometimes it`s nice to forget about electricity: suddenly there are things you can`t do and there are new things you can do, working and living conditions change, different thoughts come to your mind. In winter 2005/2006 we had a big storm in Latvia and almost all households, shops etc. were without electricity for a day and even more. We were sitting in dark at candle lights, drinking strong tea and talking, talking, talking... Suddenly we got so much time to spend just on one another, no TV, no books, no computer. Great!

Apr 12, 2007

Goodbye Mr. Vonnegut

I suppose everyone already knows that Kurt Vonnegut has passed away, but I have to mention it, because of great article in NYT and because this year I`m finally going to read at least one of his books. I don`t know why I haven`t read any of his books so far, it`s big mistake I suppose.

It`s always sad when great personality leaves this world....

Apr 11, 2007

What`s wrong with the law&order?.....

Some people can brake your property, threaten your employees, but police just laugh and say that they don`t want to get into it, tell them to calm down and drive away. Next few days you get misleading information from police - one says that there is nothing they can do, other says that those people will get sued. It`s like I have to know how police should work, otherwise I`ll get fooled....There is definitely something wrong with the law&order. Seems, that the ones who brake law have more rights. It`s miserable if people can`t trust the police!

Apr 10, 2007

All quiet on the Western Front by Erich M. Remarque

My fourth TBR Challenge book. I`m not sure why I choose it. Maybe because I have read some other books by Remarque and loved Black Obelisk. I have always loved Remarque`s humour and his ability to make reader laugh even in sad moments.

All quiet on the Western Front shows World War I through the eyes of young soldier Paul who dies almost at the end of war. It`s so realistic that it may even get you sick in some parts of novel and make you laugh at others. I have read some other war novels, but this is the most realistic one. It tells what really happens to men who becomes soldiers and what the life is for them.
It`s hard to tell more, You have to read yourself....