Finished the section on the IPO of China Telecom (Hong Kong) and read through the more difficult IPO of PetroChina. There are some conflicting statements between the two accounts which I find interesting as they relate to doing business in general. I’m sure they stem, in part, from retelling the stories nearly 20 years later along with editorial oversight. In the first account he complains of not having enough time while in the second he complains of a client dragging things out and going too slowly.
The retelling of history from his perspective is perhaps a bit too measured but expected given that he’s still actively working and maintaining an image. There are a few interesting bon mots from time to time, but I’m beginning to think that reading a bit more hard-hitting history would be more enlightening given what I know of China. I’m beginning to read this more for enjoyment and entertainment that the original historical and economic visions I had anticipated.
While a generally interesting read so far, I find it to be a bit too antiseptic as if it’s either been over-edited or the ghost writer watered down all the personality.
📖 33.0% done with A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond
The plot moves somewhat slowly and the action is mostly what one would expect from a 5 or 6 year old–except that it’s a bear–but the charming language and the way in which is told makes all the difference.
📖 On page 24 of 274 of Complex Analysis with Applications by Richard A. Silverman
I enjoyed his treatment of inversion, but it seems like there’s a better way of laying the idea out, particularly for applications. Straightforward coverage of nested intervals and rectangles, limit points, convergent sequences, Cauchy convergence criterion. Given the level, I would have preferred some additional review of basic analysis and topology; he seems to do the bare minimum here.
A simple preface followed by an anecdote about the beginning of a deal relating to telecom. The style is quick moving and history, details, and philosophy are liberally injected into the story as it moves along. This seems both interesting as well as instructive.
Highlights, Quotes, & Marginalia
“There are some who believe that an immutable law of history holds that conflict is inevitable when a rising power begins to bump up against an established one. But no law is immutable. Choices matter. Lessons can be learned.”
“Prescriptions, after all, are easier to make than predictions.”
“Note taking allows Party and government officials to get quick reads on what went on at meetings they didn’t attend. […] Private meetings with senior government officials without recoring devices or note takers are rare and highly sought after.”
“…the so-called iron rice bowl, the cradle-to-grave care and support guaranteed by the government through the big companies people worked for.”
“The Party had made a simple bargain with the people: economic growth in return for political stability. That in turn meant Party control. Prosperity was the source of Party legitimacy.”
“Messages in China are sent in ways that aren’t always direct; you have to read the signs.”
“It was the nature of dealing with China: nothing was done until it was done.”
📕 100.0% done with Fletch’s Moxie by Gregory Mcdonald
Not sure how I feel about a group of potential suspects showing up in the final act this way. The racists in KKK garb here could certainly have been the motivation for the scenes in the film Fletch Lives.
The plot here was very subtly crafted together and done rather well for a novel format. Things seem to have unraveled so quickly at the end–I wish it had been a tad slower so that I could have enjoyed it longer.
📖 60.0% done with Fletch’s Moxie by Gregory Mcdonald
This feels more like a drawing room mystery or a book version of Clue rather than a traditional shoe-leather detective story. All the suspects seem to be holed up in a house and conversing as Fletch makes a few calls out for details. In this sense, it’s not a nail-biter, but is focusing more on character than some of the others in the series.
📕 100.0% done with Fletch’s Fortune by Gregory Mcdonald
The second half read incredibly fast. The plot particularly began unfolding in the end almost too quickly. I wish the last act could have lasted a bit longer.
I really enjoyed the Crystal character and the snide banter she continually spouts with Fletch. The wrap up with Freddie was generally unexpected, but delicious in its oddity in the larger canon. There was surprisingly little talk of Fletch’s ex-wives or even of his potentially adding another to the collection.
Some of my favorite jokes were the chapter headings of the schedule of the conference along with even funnily named rooms in which the sessions were taking place.
📖 53.0% done with Fletch’s Fortune by Gregory Mcdonald
Making good progress, hope to finish tomorrow. There are certainly some interesting characters here, though perhaps feeling like too many, particularly since most seem to potentially have committed the murder.