This one is really short. Promise. Because I can only stand so much of my own gorpy fan behaviour.
First, Paula Poundstone followed me on Twitter. Then CBS News (but then they dropped me, sigh). Then Molly O’Neill. Now Simon Winchester.
In the pantheon of book writers I admire, he’s in the top three. And if I’m actually at the moment reading, or re-reading, one of his books, as I am now (The Atlantic, which is utterly wonderful & brilliant & engaging), then he’s Number One.
It was actually Simon Winchester who turned me on to the genre called “literary non-fiction” with a book called The Professor & The Madman. I’ve read it twice now, and could easily read it again, but I haven’t gotten through all of Mr Winchester’s books yet, and there are quite a number of other LNF books waiting for me, so I might have to wait a while to get back to the history of Oxford English Dictionary. In the meantime… Mr Winchester is following me on Twitter. So freakin’ cool!
FYI, if you too are a fan of literary non-fiction, today is the day the Charles Taylor prize is handed out. This is a Canadian book award which has been kicking around for about 6 or 7 years, and I have a very distant and completely unimportant connection to the prize (other than trying to read the short listed books every year), which is my dear cousin, Dr David Staines, is one of the trustees for the prize. Also pretty cool!
Check out the short list for yourself, and maybe we can discuss books next time.