Wizards of Oz

"Life is fraughtless ... when you're thoughtless."


Quantum Libraries

Esteemed historian and 'blogfriend Zenpundit has posted his "Quantum Library" -- books that are so rich in content that each time you re-read them, they elicit new insights. Since he was kind enough to ask, my own Quantum Library is offered here:
  • The Prophet : Kahlil Gibran's beautifully written tale of a wise man, beloved in his community, poetically offering life advice to his friends upon his departure from their city.
  • The Lord of the Rings trilogy : J.R.R. Tolkein's masterful story of the 3rd Age of Middle Earth, seen by some as a corollary to the Cold War stand-off between NATO and the Warsaw Pact.
  • The Book of Five Rings (Tarver translation): Miyamoto Musashi's 350-year old book on success in swordplay is equally applicable to modern business.
  • On War (Paret/Brodie translation): Karl von Clausewitz's magnum opus that distilled Napoleon's genius into theory.
  • The Prince : Niccolo Machiavelli's timeless guide for heads of state.
  • The Art of War (Griffith translation): Sun Tzu's classic text on success in war -- where the acme of skill is to achieve victory without fighting -- is as apt today as ever.
  • Diplomacy : Elder statesman Henry Kissinger's very accessible, very readable account of the evolution of diplomacy from the Peace of Westphalia to the present day.
  • The Sea Power of the State : Soviet Admiral Gorshkov's admirable counterpoint to Alfred Thayer Mahan, this book is even more admirable considering the limited navigable ports of the former Soviet Union.
  • Dreadnought : Massie's fascinating history of turn-of-the-20th-century U.K. and Germany, brilliantly describing the seeds of animosity that led to The Great War.
  • The Innovator's Dilemma : Prof. Clay Christensen turns traditional B-school lessons on their head by postulating why businesses fail (rather than succeed), with fascinating and counterintuitive results.
  • the innovation manifesto : Innovation guru and mentor John Kao (a true Renaissance Man) wrote a modest little pamphlet with "commandments" for innovators -- small in size "for extremely busy people", but big in ideas.
  • Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance : Pirsig's book on values crosses a wide swath of subject areas, from physics to philosophy to auto shop.
  • The Stand : Stephen King's compelling novel of the Apocalypse -- and those who live for the ultimate battle of good and evil.


At 15/10/08 14:37 , Blogger fabius.maximus.cunctator said...


Fully agree on Dreadnought which should have been on my list at ZenĀ“s place, too. However, ithe list was too long already.

Sergei Georgievich Gorshkov sounds like an interesting author to read for a contrarian these days. Care to let the rest of us have a short review ?

At 16/10/08 16:00 , Blogger deichmans said...


Excellent idea -- I think I'll make that my first post at Antilibrarium.

sf/ s

At 4/11/08 07:15 , Blogger J. said...

I have about half your books in my library as well. Guess that means I will have to check out the other half... thanks


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