Two Books a Month: This is February

I chose to read about the passion of two men.

That sounds weird. Let me explain, the first book:

‘Railway Man’ – Memoirs of Eric Lomax

I was on a cruise going from Singapore to Thailand when I decided to pick my first book. It took me roughly three seconds, I skimmed and then immediately chose Railway Man because I remember seeing the trailer for it when I was in Prague and being deeply effected by the trailer. I read it over the next few days and it was so well written and so powerful I couldn’t put the thing down.  Eric Lomax wrote from his point of view of his passion as a child for locomotives and railways and how this passion eventually led to his experience as a Prisoner of War in World War II.  I almost cried, I clenched my teeth, I cringed and was there right next to him during the torture, abuse, and glimpses of hope.  But more than this, the book holds a greater look at humanity itself and how we can sometimes even connect to people we never ever imagined we could have.

‘Tides of Fortune: Memoirs of a Shipping Tycoon’ – Dr. Y. F. Chang 

This book made me realize how much I love, absolutely love my resolution, to read two books a month and that I can turn the resolution into some sort of adventure.  I picked up this book at a lonely library in Kenting, Taiwan.  It was the only English book in a sea of Chinese books.  At first, I was overwhelmed by the size of the book and also the fact that this was about container shipping which I had zero interest in.  But the Foreword was written and signed by Margaret Thatcher herself.  She stated that this book would inspire the youth to persevere in their dreams no mater what they face.  I was sold.

Have you ever heard of Evergreen? It is a world famous shipping company that eventually also went into the air with the airline known as Eva Air.  Evergreen Line operates the fourth largest container fleet in the world.  I read how Dr. Chang literally built this multi billion dollar company from scratch, and then never stopped even when challenged with politics, rumors or cartels. He was constantly fueled by this immense passion for the sea, ships, and integrity in customer service.

The main message I got from Dr. Chang was that anything is possible and to never give up.  And my favorite part is that now when I’m driving on the freeway in California I see trucks with the big Evergreen symbol and I literally smile to myself because it’s my own reminder to never, ever give up.



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