Monday, February 10, 2014

Read Somewhat Lately

The Tipping Point, by Malcolm Gladwell

I'm late coming to this bestseller, I had to look it up and its been out for about 14 years. Like Freakonomics (which I greatly enjoyed last year) The Tipping Point gives us insights into how things work outside our usual perception. The analysis on how things worked out for Paul revere's ride to be so successful while simultaneously 'what's his name?' ride wasn't...
That was a joke - it was William Drake, but it shows how some people can work things out according to their own connections etc and others don't.
Like Freakonomics this left me wanting more knowledge more insights if only for the sake of better understanding human nature for the sake of my fiction. I don't read these books as I imagine so many others do to better get a handle on business etc, I want to understand human nature and write believable stories where the coincidences work and don't sound too far fetched.
So I'll have to look for more works like this - highly recommended for the sake of understanding humanity.

Last Argument of Kings, by Joe Abercrombie

This is a favorite reread of mine, yes I do that quite often. This took awhile though since I was doing it all on audiobook while taking short drives, same with People of the Black Circle. As before this is an absolute favorite of mine and it was great to revisit some favorite heroes and villains yet again. Abercrombies writing is visceral and fast paced but also with wonderful metaphors and imagery.

LAOK is the third part of the Last Law Trilogy and wraps up a complex tale involving one of my favorite secondary world fantasies. Like things mentioned in Tipping Point, small yet believable little things can ripple and create big differences.
Abercrombie has become one of my favorite living writers of fantasy.

Three Uses of the Knife, by David Mamet

A quick yearly reread, this is David Mamet's examination of Drama and how we need it. I'm reluctant to espouse too much, but this rather short work really makes me think about why we do art and how it gives us a cleansing awe. I just found another one of his essay books today and will start on Some Freaks, right away to continue that artistic high and push to keep working that his work gives me so strong.

The People of the Black Circle, by Robert E. Howard
Always a favorite passion of mine is to return to Robert E. Howard's worlds of wonders. People of the Black Circle is among the best of Conan's adventures, rife with swordplay and magic; its a great entrance to the Sword and Sorcery realm.
Capturing the Devi of Vendyha, Conan soon become embroiled in multiple twists with backstabbing sorcerers and the tumultuous nature of his own raiders. When the Black Seers of Yimsha become involved it only gets more desperate.
I just started The Hour of the Dragon on audiobook so I'll be keeping up with that state of adventure for my short drives for awhile.


Paul R. McNamee said...

Sounds like a good round of reading and listening.

Charles Gramlich said...

Haven't read Tipping point. I did enjoy Freakanomics. People of the black circle. Now you're talking.

David J. West said...

Thanks Paul.

Right on Charles.