Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Things to read on a snowy day

Photo by Keith Dotson

Well, it's snowing here, anyway.

1) For those of you who, like me, had yesterday off for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, here's the text and video of the I Have A Dream speech. Writers, take note: remember that post about breaking the rules? Remember when I said that it's all about what you can get away with? A badly written version of the same speech would have an editor writing REP in the margins for all those repeated uses of the word dream, especially that line that says "It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream." In awkward hands, enumeration and repetition is endlessly boring. In the right hands, it becomes the number one top speech in the history of the U.S.

2) While we're on the subject of race, go read:
3) While we're on the subject of snow, here are my daughter's favorite winter books:
4) Nerds rejoice! Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer are getting hitched! If you haven't read Gaiman's work, in particular American Gods, you are missing out.

5) Stephen Elliott writes about his D.I.Y. Book Tour.

6) My most recent reads: Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy (memoir of a poet, about her Ewing's sarcoma and the accompanying facial disfigurement) and Truth and Beauty by Ann Patchett (memoir of a novelist, about her friendship with Lucy Grealy). A good pairing; I read Patchett's book first.



  1. I just finished "Nibble & Kuhn," which is about a big firm lawyer up for partner who gets saddled with an unwinnable case while his firm is expanding too quickly for the shrinking economy. Damned scary read. Though I don't *think* it was intended to be a thriller...

    Now I am reading "The Lawyer Who Blew Up His Desk." Gee, I think I need a vacation.

  2. Oh, I am a big fan of "The Lawyer Who Blew Up His Desk." Hang in there.

  3. Aside from reading blogs, I'm trying to finish Christina Katz's GET KNOWN BEFORE THE BOOK DEAL, which is repetition of a lot of the same info I get on many blog posts-- but it's always good to be reminded about it.
    Waiting in the wings is Stephen King's UNDER THE DOME. I'm just trying to build up enough strength to lift it off the bookshelf and carry the tome into my reading room.

  4. I liked how you tied in the MLK Jr. speech with bending the rules. It's a great example. As for what I'm reading, I'm absorbed in the book called Tokyo Vice. It follows the journey of a gaijin reporter working for the crime unit of the Yomiuri newspaper. I'd recommend it to you, because as far as I remember, you live in Japan right?

  5. Reading Daniel Silva's "Moscow Rules." I am fascinated by Russia and sometimes, just have to read a book set there. Plus, it's a thriller. Plus, plus, Silva is an excellent writer!

  6. I was just born there, Voidwalker!

    I may have to get Under the Dome in audiobook format just to avoid the heavy lifting...

  7. I just finished Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (and loved it) and now just started The Help. The Help is a good example of a great book that hooks the reader in instantly. Trying to dissect exactly why that is (even while I devour it).

  8. I just finished The Quiet American by Graham Greene. It was very good -- well written, well informed, interesting.