Latest Reading: World III and Talking to Dead People

During the school year I struggle with sleep sometimes as my mind goes through problems I encounter leading an international school. Reading calms my mind and going over the stories puts me to sleep. This post features two recently released books.

2034 is the story of the next world war between USA and China. James Stavridis is a retired US Navy admiral and many of the war scenes take place at sea with air craft carriers, cruisers, destroyers, etc. He wrote the book with author Elliot Ackerman. Ackerman is a former marine and war hero, CIA employee, political fellow and now author. I think he is a good role model for young men, combining service to the country and academics. I would love my sons to have a similar career.

The book is a page-turner that has lots of action and good story lines. It jumps from following US and Chinese military commanders leadership teams in the Pentagon and Beijing and a war hero fighter pilot. I was a little depressed with Stavridis’ view of the recent developments with the Chinese military. On a podcast interview, he pointed out despite the US military having a big advantage in traditional warfare (tanks, air craft carriers, drones, etc.) China is gaining the advantage with their focus on cyber security. Both China and India can inflict damage on the US by shutting off the communication and utilities at will. He also points out that our divided congress cannot form a coherent and effective long-term foreign policy and military strategy towards China.

Stephen King is one of my favorite authors. He is such an incredible story teller. An early novel of his, Salem’s Lot, was the first book that I really loved when I was in ninth grade and jump started my adult reading. Previously, I read many of the Hardy Boy Detective stories, but Salem’s Lot pushed me into bigger books. I’ve read many King novels through the years, The Stand, Thinner, 11/12/63, etc. All of them engrossing and not able to put down. Later is no exception. The boy featured in the book can talk to dead people who recently passed away. He can see them for a few days after death and then they fade away. His family finds ways to use this power, especially his book editor/publisher mother. The book takes place in New York and has lots of good details. It is a highly entertaining read.

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