23 Following


Currently reading

The Lonely Sea: Collected Short Stories
Alistair MacLean
Her Benny
Silas K. Hocking
Vedere din Parfumerie
Silvia Kerim
Mysticism and Logic (Western Philosophy)
Bertrand Russell
The Analects of Confucious
Pragmatism: A New Name for Some Old Ways of Thinking
William James
Does Anything Eat Wasps?: And 101 Other Unsettling, Witty Answers to Questions You Never Thought You Wanted to Ask
New Scientists Books Staff, New Scientist
Mutual Aid
Pyotr Kropotkin
City of Djinns: A Year in Delhi
Olivia Fraser, William Dalrymple
The Brothers Karamazov
Fyodor Dostoyevsky

The Elements of Style

The Elements of Style - William Strunk Jr., E.B. White Too short, too bloodless, too focused on being brief, explicit and direct, mostly by demanding construction of sentences using active voice. A friend with a PH.D, forced by the demands of academic publishing to write in nothing but passive voice, developed a maddening frustration, after being taught that this book was the gold standard in written English. The style White profers often makes simple writers sound more active, more certain, and more strident than most any writer is.

In secondary school I much preferred a book showing examples of really complex and interesting sentence structures. Take a book from the 19th century and notice how much longer and more fluid the sentences and paragraphs are, making you less self-conscious of the reading process, less expectant that you're responsible for the act in every sentence, giving you time to absorb and reflect, but increasing your pace, freeing you from the incessant feeling that a lone author or his active-voice stand-ins keep shouting for attention.

Still, the book does an excellent job of inspiring care and a love of constant revision in its perfectionism.