About Me

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A 40-ish publisher (editor, project manager, etc.), husband, and father of an even number of offspring, I grew up, or failed to, reading fantasy and sci-fi. I still enjoy reading, and now am trying to write. My favorite books include YA fantasy, manga, biography, and advice to authors. I'm also a former history major/grad student/high school teacher and assessment writer. Now I work for a school supplement publisher, specializing in high-low chapter books. I spend a lot of my time controlling reading levels. At night, I cut loose and use long words. W00t!

Monday, April 2, 2012

note on breadth, depth

When I started blogging (was: "publishing," but that sounded like aggrandizement) thoughts about what I had read, the idea was to share the breadth of things. But who wants to read lists? (The Pillow-Book of Sei Shonagon notwithstanding - really, you should read this, and the lists are among the best points.)

Depth takes time, however, and I've been both reading and (gasp!) writing, and now that soccer season is starting, I'm coaching, too, with no letup in yardwork, commuting, or being Dad, none of which I'm great (deep) at, but breadth takes time, too.

As for breadth, I've recently (this morning) discovered behavioral economist Dan Ariely's blog, which is so well written I think I might enjoy reading more about economics.

Here are some of my other recent readings, scored on a scale of 1 (why did I bother?) to 10 (how did I live without it?):
  • Scott Westerfield, Uglies. 8/10. The protagonist doesn't know she's living in a nightmare, then discovers she is, then decides to unlearn that in order to rescue everyone else. Same character age (reader appeal) as Hunger Games, but far less violent. Still, the materials is directly linked to post-puberty issues, so I don't imagine 13 year-olds would be terribly interested. Anyone who wants to disagree, please comment! 
  • Orson Scott Card, "Salvage," (Wastelands). 7/10. Unreliable narrator, deep secondary characters. Unremarkable postapocalyptic scenario, but well fleshed-out. The strength here is the characters' interaction with the history and conditions of their situation. I'm embarrassed I haven't yet read Ender's Game. Going to remedy soon
  • Paulo Bacigalupi, "Bread and Bombs," (Wastelands). 9/10. Wowowow. What is human? Will we survive the changes we've wrought on the world, and if we do, will we still be human? And if we aren't, will we still be able to write like this? 
  • Hiroyuki Asada, Tegami Bachi (Letter Bee) vol. 3. 7/10. Asada's art is so wonderful, the world he creates so stark and mesmerizing, and the names he chooses so silly, that I've found if I just accept the silly names (Gauche Suede? Lag Seeing? Jiggy Pepper? No, really...), everything else just falls into place.
Here's another reason I was keeping the blog. I can't remember anything. What the heck else did I read? More later. I hope. 

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