reading jan 2013

This year, let’s try doing it monthly!


The Wind-up Girl – Paolo Bacigalupi

I enjoyed this a lot. Tightly plotted, every character stuck in tight spots throughout, a fascinating post-collapse genetic nightmare world. My reading differs sharply from a number of critical reviews I’ve seen.

Story – Robert McKee

Mostly skimmed this classic on screenwriting. Very much the dehumanising abstraction version of story structure, but some interesting stuff. I would take Snyder’s ‘Save the Cat’ over this any day.

The Settler’s Plot – Alex Calder

Recent (2011) academic study of place in New Zealand literature. Surprisingly interesting, especially the early era stuff I had never heard of, but very much only relevant to specialists.

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly – Jean-Dominique Bauby

French magazine editor has a stroke and is totally paralysed; dictates book letter by letter by blinking, about his experience as a shut-in and his life before. Short, bittersweet.

The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien

This is what all the fuss is about? Crikey. Nicely told, anyway, but very lightweight. The dwarves are kind of… dicks. Anyway. Edging closer to finally reading LOTR.

Direct and Digital Marketing in Practice (2e) – Brian Thomson

Somewhat dry text, but comprehensive, and useful in places.

Adweek Copywriting Handbook – Joseph Sugarman

Really excellent text on copywriting from a master.

Ghandi on non-violence

Selection of Ghandi’s writings on non-violence. He is very much coming from a deep spiritual angle, rather than the diluted non-violent resistance of today; he is on about a process of being that seeks to transform both the non-violent and the aggressor.


And then the burn happened and unsurprisingly I didn’t touch a book for the past week or so.

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