Parramatta City Council Counillor Andrew Wilson is one of the National Year of Reading Ambassadors for Parramatta City Library. He has this to say about being an ambassador and his joy of reading and books –
Being a Parramatta Reading Ambassador is a chance for me to share my love of reading.Readingis a great hobby. It is of course informative and fills a gap in people’s lives. Books let you share your time with the most In the modern stress filled world reading is also an escape. I agree with the saying “what exercise is for the body reading is for the mind”. It is something that should be encouraged.
My five favourite books are
Dreadnought by Robert K Massie
This book covers the build up to World War One For those of us told by the Socialists World War One was “a wicked trade war” it puts things into perspective. The heroic efforts of Lord Grey to preserve peace deserved a better outcome.
Rise of the Dutch Republicby John L Motley
The first book is particularly beautiful in its prose. It took him five years to write. The imperial dynamism and religious conviction ofSpainversus the immovable humanism of William and the freedom loving Dutch. In battle the Spanish were unbeatable for decades. Yet the Dutch held on like paint. Prof Parker has written some excellent modern books on the period. They however lack a strong view point. Motley is on the side of tolerance and freedom.
1984 by George Orwell
This famous horror story about a future of continual repression and war is frightening. The prose is wonderful. The way the government approved “newspeak” clashes in the ear is striking. The hero is crushed. It is a plea to the future against totalitarianism. Wonderfully written it continues to act as a necessary warning.
Liberalism the Classical Tradition by Von Mises
Most books by Von Mises are pretty good. The Austrian school of economics has not convinced me about the value of hard money. However most of their central arguments on economic management are sound. Still this is a good light introduction to Liberal philosophy.
Diplomacy By Henry Kissinger
Any policy maker who is concerned about world peace needs to read Kissinger. He succeeded where many lighter spirits have failed. Good intentions are inadequate where human life is concerned.
The National Year of Reading is a fine promotion. We are surrounded by the electronic media and it is an opportunity to remind us all of the joy of reading.