Friday, January 11, 2013

books

Cat's Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut - I could not put this book down. And I never say that about fiction. It flies by in a whirlwind of gripping, thought-provoking, never-mundane action. Several of Vonnegut's (excellent) tips for writing fiction have to do with conciseness, and he executes fantastically.

The Honest Truth About Dishonesty, by Dan Ariely - I've read too many books that pertain to this subject lately so I can't give a fresh opinion. Not bad. But it felt too much like a conglomeration of studies and observations wrapped in a book cover, rather than a cohesive argument. I liked Liars and Outliers better - it's thinner on content, but he beats you over the head with a well-formed point.

What the Dog Saw, by Malcolm Gladwell - Finally read some Gladwell. This book was more thought-provoking than anything else I've read in awhile, but in the unintentional way, where the existence of the book itself and the industry and society that led to it being a bestseller was the train of thought, rather than any of his theses. But, if I start ranting about it, I'll never stop. Another day, another post. Punchline (and I know I'm not the first to say so): he's an amazing writer. Don't trust anything he says.

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(In the last six months or so, I've been commuting to San Francisco by BART several times a week, which provides time when the only thing I can do without getting carsick is listen to my kindle with text-to-speech. Heavy nonfiction is hard to listen to because the stubbornly non-telepathic device refuses to pause when I stop to ponder a sentence. Fiction that is engrossing enough to listen to is exceedingly rare. Hence, a deluge of light pop-social-sci...)

1 comment:

james said...

Just wanted to say I love your blog, keep it coming, thank you.