What I’m reading

As part of the important stuff, I'm doing more reading. I'm going to keep a lot of books going for a little while, I think. All four books listed here are books I'm currently reading; not what I've recently read.

Days After the Crash by Joshua Fields Millburn. Millburn says that in the Internet age, while genre fiction certainly enjoys a large readership, literary fiction is in decline. I know I'm reading less of it (though I still do have my favorites). He's written this novella to challenge himself, and he's made it challenging for readers (as in, you actually have to focus and pay attention if you want to understand what's going on). The introduction was worth the time; I'm just getting to the meat.

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain. I'm hoping this book gives me a little insight into myself – and not in a Steven Covey sort of way. I'm just through the first chapter, and it's fascinating. In the late 19th century, we were a country that prized character; in the 20th century we became a country that prized charisma. The "extrovert ideal," as Cain labels it (I'm sure she didn't invent the term), says that if we're quiet and reserved and like to think and hang out by ourselves, there's probably something wrong with us. That probably explains the high percentage of people who are on anti-anxiety meds in the U.S.

The Secret History of the World by Mark Booth. It turns out that there are a lot of books with similar titles. Booth has always been fascinated by secret societies (Freemasons, Knights Templar, Rosicrucians, etc.), and he's written a book about some of their beliefs and where we see them in everyday life. Also, he's an editor at a major British publishing house, so he's not some crackpot on the street corner with a pen and a conspiracy theory.

The Great Shark Hunt by Hunter S. Thompson. If I'm going to do more writing, clearly I need to be reading stuff by people whose writing I really enjoy. So, back to Dr. Gonzo I ran.

Also on tap this summer: Darwin, Plato, Guevara, and more.