What I read this month

Short and sweet, to the point where it’s not even worth it to write it in list form: I finally finished Telling Lies for Fun & Profit by Lawrence Block, and just started A Carlin Home Companion, Kelly Carlin’s autobiography about growing up as the only child of comedy legend George Carlin. So far it’s excellent.

A note about Telling Lies. I’ve read countless books on how to write better. I won’t say it’s an obsession, because there are tons of such books that I haven’t read and don’t feel compelled to. But when I hear or read about something in that genre that catches my attention for whatever reason, I don’t hesitate to pick it up.

Telling Lies for Fun & Profit is, bar none, my favourite book on writing well. The only reason I didn’t do a Read This Book post about it is that by its nature, it’s very writing-specific. I know writers, and they’d do well to read this book, but to the everyday person who isn’t looking to hone their fiction writing skills, it’s probably not going to be of much interest.

There’s no single reason it took me so long to get through, though tending to leave the day’s reading to just before bed, and so finding myself often falling asleep while reading it, didn’t lend itself to getting through it at any great speed.

Perhaps I should make that a somewhat retroactive New Year’s resolution: Read more, and earlier in the day. The latter part of that will almost certainly help the former part.

Another aspect is that every chapter, and often the sub-chapter sections, had valuable insight. This isn’t a murder mystery you’re eager to eat through as fast as you can. It’s an instructional book that has a lot of teachable moments. So it also didn’t lend itself to blasting through it, but rather is something to be read, enjoyed (Block has a very casual, entertaining style), and processed piecemeal.

But let’s try to get to more in February, shall we?

We shall.