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Recent Reading

I usually alternate between reading fiction and non-fiction, but in the last couple of months, I’ve been mostly on the fiction side of the literary table.  My last three reads included two fictional and one non-fictional books, I’d recommend them all.

Daemon by Daniel Suarez – Terrific cyber crime drama with enough internet-related acronyms and buzzwords to keep even the most sociopathic computer geek engaged while being totally readable by those yet to be able to spell PC.  Suarez blurs good and evil in what I feel is a bit disturbing (I like my bad guys to wear black and my good guys to wear white), but always keeps the reader on his/her toes.  The ending is a total setup for a sequel.  Thanks Brad!

Beat the Reaper by Josh Bazell – While time, place and mood have loads to do with how one feels about a book being read, I’m pretty sure that this is the best work of action fiction I have ever consumed.  A total blast.  Proud Jew raised by grandparents who are murdered, turned mob hitman turned physician.  Yeah, yeah, yeah, you probably read stuff like this every day.  Highly recommended.

Street Gang: The Complete History of Sesame Street by Michael Davis – If you hadn’t guessed, this is a work of non-fiction.  While the book is OK, the story is terrific.  I had no idea that Sesame Street was completely engineered – nothing random about it.  The goals of the show were almost too lofty to believe – not so much to educate young kids, but to fundamentally change the fabric of American society.  It certainly helped that those goals were so well aligned with the Johnson administration, when the show was founded.  Who would have guessed that it could succeed?  Even the competition with Barney is interesting.  Fun and informative read.

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 March 2nd, 2009  
 Will  
 Books  
   
 4 Comments

4 Responses to Recent Reading

  1. Will,

    There’s some interesting comments of Sesame Street in Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell. In the book he also goes on to compare it to Blues Clues. Some of the observations on the engineering of Sesame Street and then later on Blues Clues, is a fascinating insight into the minds of younger children. Like his earlier book, Blink, this is not the only stuff covered in his book, but is one of many disparate subjects. An interesting read.

    John

  2. Will,

    There’s some interesting comments of Sesame Street in Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell. In the book he also goes on to compare it to Blues Clues. Some of the observations on the engineering of Sesame Street and then later on Blues Clues, is a fascinating insight into the minds of younger children. Like his earlier book, Blink, this is not the only stuff covered in his book, but is one of many disparate subjects. An interesting read.

    John

  3. John,

    Yeah, I’ve read Tipping Point, but I completely forgot about the mention of Sesame Street. That would be odd except for the fact that I can’t remember *anything* these days.

    Blues Clues is interesting, especially as a counterpoint. Apparently, Blues Clues is a rehash of earlier projects aimed at kids. Several TV and even radio programs used a similar format years before Blues Clues. They were very effective, but didn’t last in the long haul. Interesting.

  4. John,

    Yeah, I’ve read Tipping Point, but I completely forgot about the mention of Sesame Street. That would be odd except for the fact that I can’t remember *anything* these days.

    Blues Clues is interesting, especially as a counterpoint. Apparently, Blues Clues is a rehash of earlier projects aimed at kids. Several TV and even radio programs used a similar format years before Blues Clues. They were very effective, but didn’t last in the long haul. Interesting.