Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day to all. Perhaps the gift I could have received on this holiday was the opportunity to spend time with my son and read a good book. Dear Reader, don’t think for one minute that I’m not busy, because I am very busy with our impending move back to the United States. However, I’m happy to report that I’ve read more books in 2007 than I did during all of 2006. In 2006, I managed to finish one novel, "Eragon." Today I finished my second book of the year. The first was "America (The Book)," a satirical masterpiece by Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart. The second was "Chasing Daylight," a book by Eugene O’Kelly, former Chief Executive Officer of KPMG, the international accounting firm. "Chasing Daylight" is O’Kelly’s memoir. He wrote it after he was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer and given just three-to-six months to live. The memoir is touching, thoughtful, and a provocative guidebook on dying written to appeal to "Type A," business types. The book carries a strong, yet simple message–slow down and enjoy the Perfect Moments in life. In layman’s terms, stop and smell the roses. You don’t know what you’re missing.
I had started reading both books last year, and this year I set out to finish them. Instead of reading a business magazine as I usually do to fill time gaps, I decided to take time out of my busy schedule to read something more meaningful. While the value of "America (The Book)" is debatable–it’s valuable to those who are political junkies like me who savor satire–"Chasing Daylight" was definitely a worthwhile read. It was short, as was the time leading up to Mr. O’Kelly’s death; short enough to read in one sitting or one plane right. It’s the perfect book for the busy business executive who needs to be reminded to take time to enjoy life.
So what will I read now, other than the Bible? (I didn’t include Bible reading in my list, because that is an ongoing endeavor that never ends.) Well, I’m planning to tackle "The Honorary Consul," by Graham Greene, a classic suspense novel set in provincial Argentina and Paraguay. It will be a good read. At 281 pages, it should be an easy read to devour on a plane ride–if I make the time and effort to read it.