Category Archives: on reading

some of what’s been read recently

Big Machine, Victor LaValle

The Elegance of the Hedgehog, Muriel Barberry

The Lacuna, Barbara Kingsolver

The Talent Code, Daniel Coyle

Linchpin, Seth Godin

Maybe I will manage a proper entry on at least some of those. The Talent Code was fascinating. I read it over a long period of time, but I really enjoyed it. The basic idea is that most “talent” is based on repetitive, hard work. That may seem obvious, but it was an interesting read with anecdotal discussion of musicians and athletes and their teachers and coaches. I loved it. I did not love The Elegance of the Hedgehog. A friend recommended it highly. It is one of the only books I can remember her passing on. So it turned into this weird thing with me not enjoying it and not wanting to read it, but feeling like I needed to enjoy it and waiting for it’s beauty to kick in. My friend never wanted it to end, and savored every word. I couldn’t wait for it to end. I found it silly and condescending. I am curious about what others think. Anyone read it? More on the others later.

What’s being read now

Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned, Wells Tower

Animals Make Us Human, Temple Grandin

Chi Running, Danny Dreyer

The Places in Between, Rory Stewart

What’s arriving soon

Wolf Hall, Hilary Mantel (I had convinced myself I would get an iPad first and read it on there because the book is just so big, but, really, Victoria? Silly.)


nothing happens

My brother and I were discussing microfiction recently.  His latest is attention-grabbing and full of action.  Mine has absolutely nothing happen.

Writing about what I read has made me realize that I like it when nothing happens.  Or when things happen, but you almost don’t realize they do.  The same applies to films and photography (the other two things I spend the most time and energy on).  A Single Man takes place in one day.  In one sense,  yes, a great deal takes place, but overall the film has a very slow quality to it. Brokeback Mountain is visually stunning, but it is incredibly quiet, especially for a movie.  I don’t think it is a coincidence that I love both film scores.  If you look at my favorites on flickr, there is a similar color scheme and feel to many of the photos (with some exceptions of great kid pictures).  Some photographers have pictures that scream, look at me!  And at times they are great photos.  But I like the subdued, the gentle.  Nothing is really happening and it is beautiful.

I can, and do, enjoy action-filled, or loud, fiction, movies, and photos, but as I learn more about my own style, and really about me, I realize how much I appreciate the quiet and the gentle.