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The Craft of Writing

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Time to Read!

I’ve been reading and listening to a number of new nonfiction titles. Some have been great. Some not so much. It just feels wonderful to have enough balance in my life to add this back into my routine. A quick rundown:

Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil” by Tom Mueller — Overview: Just what is in that bottle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil? Does the designation have any meaning? Is there any hope for this product? Plus: Exhaustive treatise on extra virgin olive oil. Well written. Minus: Sometimes circles around on itself. Sometimes has far more information than you could possibly want. Bottom Line: Well worth the time to read or listen. Will give you a solid working knowledge of the topic.

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” by Susan Cain — Overview: This book posits that there are introverts and extroverts, and that introverts are far better suited to many positions of importance. Plus: I learned a lot about studies into personality. Minus: More a personal journey than a scientific work. Bottom Line: The pro-Introvert bias is annoying enough that I nearly did not finish the audio book.

The Perfection Point: Sport Science Predicts the Fastest Man, the Highest Jump, and the Limits of Athletic Performance” by John Brenkus — Overview: Just how fast can a man run? How far can he drive a golf ball? How much can a person bench press? Plus: Convivial voice. Thoughtful reasoning. Minus: A lot of conjecture despite the ‘science’ in the book. Bottom Line: The conjecture is right up front. An interesting book.

The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon” by David Grann — Overview: Percy Fawcett vanished in the Amazon jungle in 1925. This book tells the story as Grann works to solve the mystery of his disappearance. Plus: Well written. Fascinating topic. Minus: Too many threads and outtakes. Bottom Line: The book is well done and the topic fascinating enough that it is well worth the read or listen.