I did quite a bit of reading during a recent week off including two biographies. One was Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War and it was a long/interesting read. Boyd was quite the character, developing the OODA loop as well as being the first to put into writing the techniques and physics of aerial dogfighting. It's also an interesting view of defense procurement during the 1970-1980 timeframe. Not sure I agree with all of the authors conclusions on that, but still interesting. Boyd was also someone who it seemed was more interested in doing things than in being 'successful' - a philosphy I share to a degree, but he only seemed to partially get that to change the system you have to be part of the system. Cynical perhaps, but true!
The other book was Riding Rockets: The Outrageous Tales of a Space Shuttle Astronaut by Mike Mullane. I have read a lot of the Apollo era stuff over the years, hard not to be fascinated by that particular quest. I was at Kennedy Space Center doing the tourist thing and Mullane was in the gift shop autographing books, so I got a couple copies. Seemed like a nice enough guy in person. As for the book, it was interesting, and it spent some time on some of the issues NASA has had over the years. One thing I took away from it is that the astronauts want to fly so badly they aren't likely to complain/leave for anything less than an all out safety threat. In other words, it feels like to a degree they have helped create the environment that lead to Challenger/Discovery.
I stopped to read the Amazon reviews as I was writing up my notes, and not sure that I've said anything you won't find in the reviews already posted there. I think the thing I find amazing about the reviews is that rarely does everyone agree, and these books are no different. Some love them, some hate them! My reason for posting about them is one of the things I love are those accidental discoveries that the web is so good at - never know when one of these posts will be about something that was in the right place at the right time for someone else.