Re: Books II
For some reason, I've been doing a lot more reading lately. Any books my roommate has that seem interesting, I've been grabbing:
"Stealing Time," by Alec Klein is all about the AOL-Time Warner merger a few years back. Pretty interesting stuff. I remember still being at InLine Hockey News in Santa Monica and thinking that it might be nice to buy some AOL stock. Good thing I didn't buy a lot and hold on to it... what a mess. It's interesting stuff and I got through it in a couple of days.
"The Miracle of Language," by Richard Lederer, is apparently a collection of columns written about the English language. It's a neat book, written in 1991, which I thoroughly enjoyed, probably because I am a former English major and I love almost anything relating to words. Here's a little bit from one chapter. Notice the wordplay and puns:
--The colas of the world have been shaken up explosively by translation. When Pepsi-Cola tried to convert the slogan "Come alive with the Pepsi generation" into Chinese and German, the effort fizzled. In Chinese the message emerged as "Pepsi brings back your dead ancestors," in German as "Come out of the grave with Pepsi."
Also, "Coca-Cola" in Chinese means "bite the wax tadpole."
"Beyond Fear: Thinking Sensibly about Security in an Uncertain World," by Bruce Schneier, is all about how we can best protect ourselves in this post-911 world. It is a fascinating book, and one I believe gives the straight story about the subject, without a lot of scare tactics, and with a lot of logic and examples from real-life episodes.
The book I'm currently reading, I almost gave up on early. It's a 1950 fictionalized biography of John Adams, the second president of the United States. I almost gave up because it started so slowly, because I didn't have much interest in Adams in the first place (bad American, Rich, bad American!), and because I'm leery of fictionalized biography in the first place. The fiction comes in where there are conversations between people that definitely would have met at the time, but where the words themselves are imagined, based on the historical realities of the time, place and people. So, as you're reading facts about a person, you're also getting a writer's imaginative rendition of conversations that MIGHT have come close to happening. All in all, a weird feeling for me, as a journalist. (Of course, LOTS of journalists lately are making things up; just do a Google search on "journalism fabrications" and see what comes up.)
Well, if I'm going to get back to sleep tonight (see my recent post on "Dreams"), I'd better get back to "John Adams and the American Revolution." [img]/wtimages/icons/wink.gif[/img]
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