I read probably 99% for enjoyment these days, evidenced by the fact that a lot of what I’m reading are comic books.
I love going book shopping with Brian, not the least of which just for the excuse. He has less good used book places to go in Findlay so whenever he’s in town we do the rounds of the Half Price Books or Acorns. Trouble is whenever we leave the store I’m walking out with CDs/DVDs and a few comic books, and Brian is walking out with a whole stack of books on Zen philosophy or old classics or books that look a whole lot more impressive.
And Brian writes and distills these ideas well. When he discussed The Myth of Sisyphus I actually thought it might be something worth reading, and at the very least I came away with an understanding of what the book was trying to say.
Now truth be known I’m not suddenly going to become a philosophy major. And there’s a good case to be made for my love of genre fiction since I’m trying to be a good genre fiction writer. But the best genre fiction, the best writing, has a depth to it that comes from reading more than just pulp novels. It comes from a curiosity about the world.
Now I do have a curiosity about the world, particularly mathematics, and more specifically fractals, as you might have already guessed. But truthfully I haven’t figured out how to make fractals into a good story, or fractal thinking, or the fractal nature of the universe. I love writing books about how to create fractals, and suspect I will write another, but it doesn’t help the fiction much.
What I’m looking for are books that make me think. I read a lot of interesting articles, and sometimes I share them with all of you. But I only read maybe 1 or 2 books a year that really make me examine he universe, life, and everything. And more importantly, at least to me, spark ideas for how to explore those concepts in fiction.
I’d like to tackle the Singularity of course, but I feel like I haven’t quite figured out how to talk about that without sounding like the crazy bearded man on the street with a cardboard sign taped around his neck saying “Repent. The end is near.”
So I guess what I’m asking is what do you think I should read that I shouldn’t miss? What book that you’ve read would you look at me in disbelief for not having tried? And what new or old idea should I take a look at?
Maybe something old and something new, definitely something borrowed, but nothing blue. Not looking to be depressed people 🙂
Leave your thoughts in the comments and thanks!
One response to “What I’m Reading”
Some of the best stories deal with a single, and often simple, concept. Or – you can re-tell a well known story, but in a new setting. Like the movie Avatar – it is Dancing with wolves set on another planet. But the basic story remains the same. Or Heinlein’s “The Moon is a Dark Mistress” is a re-telling of the American revolution.
So pick a story, or a concept, or a simple idea that interests you – and write about it. You might surprise yourself. (And that is always fun.)