The Black Swan: the Impact of the Highly Improbable by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. Wow. Not only does Taleb explain what I have wanted to say (some things just happen out of the blue and by their very nature are unpredictable) but he does so in a funny, entertaining, and remarkably sticky. Taleb sets much of what we rely on on its head. For instance, you will never think of stats the same way—you will find yourself thinking more about tails (uh, not like that;), well maybe?). Not only does this way of thinking have huge financial implications (consider managing a large fund, you may be hedged against things you can think of, but not other Black Swan events), it also should have implications in many many walks of life. For instance, before BonaResponds goes to a disaster area, we concede we can not prepare for what we did not know. Rather than plan for an infinite number of eventualities, we plan to be flexible enough to adapt to whatever happens. The same is true in most businesses, armies, governments, and even many personal dealings. VERY good and important book. BTW Be sure to read the Prologue. Even if the rest of the book were not included, I would have been happy with my purchase BEFORE page 1.
Innocent Man by John Grisham. Not sure where to start on this one. It is Grisham’s non fiction work on two men (the focus, and hence title, is on one of them) who were improperly convicted of a very violent rape and murder. In some ways it is this era’s To Kill a Mocking Bird or Black Like Me. Not From the treatment of prisoners, to the fallibility of police and courts, the book is eye-opening and disturbing. As an aside, I now see why when I was interviewed to be on a jury, one of the questions the lawyers asked was whether I had read the book.
Duel in the Sun: Alberto Salazar, Dick Beardsley, and