essays

Thumbs up for Daemon Voices: On Stories and Storytelling by Philip Pullman.

Pullman writes with such clarity of both thought and prose, he is simply a pleasure to read. As with any book of essays, inevitably, certain sections will strike each reader with greater importance. If you are a storyteller of any bent, or perhaps an armchair philosopher, you will find a gem or two of wisdom that speaks to you.… >> Read more

Thumbs up for Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion. Nonfiction.

My only excuse for not already having read Didion is that I don’t read many books of essays; and furthermore these essays are mostly about things I do not care about. That doesn’t matter. Her writing is so good it’s like the taste of water when you’re thirsty. Not many people can see truthfully or write beautifully; Didion does both.… >> Read more

What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures

 

Thumbs up for What the Dog Saw by Malcolm Gladwell. Nonfiction essays.

I adore Gladwell’s three other books, but I was rather disappointed by this one. Not that it’s bad: Gladwell is still one of the best nonfiction writers in the world, and if he wrote cereal boxes I’d recommend them. I liked the first section quite a bit, which dealt with the stories of unexpected things and people (gourmet ketchup, hairdye, Ceasar Millan the dog trainer).… >> Read more