[LMB] OT: Entertaining writers was Re: Vashnoi goes live

alayne at twobikes.ottawa.on.ca alayne at twobikes.ottawa.on.ca
Tue May 22 23:16:16 BST 2018

On Tue, 22 May 2018, A. Marina Fournier wrote:
> There are writers who can make non-fiction delightful (e.g., Mary Luke, 
> Victoria Finlay, Michael Pollan, Frank Brown, and Amy Stewart) and 
> writers who make fiction tedious or otherwise groan-worthy, making what 
> they write candidates for wallbanging.

Do try Mary Roach, particularly _Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of 
Life in the Void_. Roach is a journalist who asks the questions you always 
meant to -- fascinating stuff.

Any anything by the late, great Molly Ivins (or the late, great Jessica 
Mitford) is wonderful read.

One recent book I found fascinating on many levels was _Collaborating With 
the Enemy How to Work With People You Don't Agree With or Like or Trust_ 
by Canadian author Adam Kahane. It's based on his own experiences as a 
negotiator in extremely fraught circumstances indeed and, while short, is 
very dense.

And I quite enjoyed _The Woman Who Smashed Codes A True Story of Love, 
Spies, and the Unlikely Heroine Who Outwitted America's Enemies_ by Jason 
Fagone, although it was a bit repetitive in places. It's about Elizebeth 
Smith Friedman, the woman codebreaker who with her husband was a prime 
mover in establishing American cryptography before WW2, and her important 
solo successes in that war -- including keeping the Nazis from creating 
puppet governments in South America.


Alayne McGregor
alayne at twobikes.ottawa.on.ca

"As a writer you’re always surprised when you think of the right note or the right word.
You think, 'Oh, I didn’t know I could — oh, that’s good!' You know, writing’s full of
surprises for oneself." - Stephen Sondheim, T Magazine, October 16, 2017,
interviewed by Lin-Manuel Miranda

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