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Sunday, January 11, 2009

Today's reading tip

Most of us have favorite authors... those we usually link to books... and I've got mine. But I have always been a sucker for favorite writers... those I can read more often than their latest best seller. I come from a publication background so I read lots of magazines, newspapers, commentary, humor, satire, opinion, knowledge--every day prose, on-line or the old fashion way. It is often more 'bite-size' and ready for instant gratification. Think Peggy Noonan, Rick Reilly, David Sedaris for style, poignancy and humor.

Today, I'd like to point you to Peggy Noonan. She was a former speech writer for Ronald Reagan and worked with George Bush before his first term. Don't let the republican credentials fool you... she writes without bias in a way I wish lawmakers and politicians would act. She writes a weekly opinion column in the Wall Street Journal (which you can read on-line at wsj.com or on her website, peggynoonan.com) and she gets it right so often... and always in a well-written way.

In her latest column titled "Mere Presidents," she says "American leaders are mortal, not magical." Referring to the human in all of us, she reflected upon the latest meeting of our four living presidents and past presidents and President-Elect Barak Obama and their mere mortal traits. My favorite paragraph in that piece:

"Did you notice how they all leaned away from Jimmy Carter (referring to the photo), the official Cootieman of former presidents? It was like high-school students to the new girl: 'You can't sit here, we're the Most Popular Table.' "

I just read her latest book, Patriotic Grace: What It Is and Why We Need It Now. It's an easy and incredibly insightful book that I highly recommend. If you aren't hooked by the prologue, 'The view from gate 14', then don't buy it. But if you are and you like common sense opinionating, you won't be disappointed .

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