Reading: Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie (and now Ancillary Sword today) as recommended by Stefanie of the blog So Many Books and Sarah of the blog Sarah Says Read, also read Dataclysm: Who We Are (When We Think No One’s Looking) by Christian Rudder as recommended by Sarah and others.
Watching: Friends on Netflix as recommended, and reminded, by several folks on Twitter.
Listening to: Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper as recommended by Pitchfork.
This past week I tried to read The Marshmallow Test: Mastering Self-Control by Walter Mischel but after about 70 pages gave up. I guess I just don’t have the self-control to finish it. Actually, I think it’s a bit more scientific than I wanted but what do you expect from a professor at Columbia? However, I had a similar feeling with Dataclysm when I first began it.
So why continue with one and not the other? Maybe with Rudder’s book, it was his ability to analyze the data and what it meant, or at least might mean, for me. As far as I had gotten with The Marshmallow Test, and from skimming the rest, I didn’t think he was going to get to the point of what it might mean for me. However, in fairness, I didn’t read the rest of Mischel’s work so I might be wrong.
With fiction, I don’t always have the same restrictions in regards to technical, or complicated or complex, language. For example, with The Martian by Andy Weir, I pushed through the more technical aspects to get to what I thought was the meat of the story: his attempting to survive. Similarly with Ancillary Justice, I didn’t, and still don’t know if I do, understand all the “world building,” as Sarah described it, that was happening. Leckie was establishing the different species and the nuances of the religion that would populate the story later. Again, I was able to push through, but this time because I didn’t understand what was going on but wanted to because the idea of an AI in several different bodies trying to tell the story was, and is, intriguing to me.
Maybe, no, I know, it’s because I don’t do a good job of focusing, which is why one of my words for this year is focus (with the other being equilibrium). Does this mean that I’m going to start focusing on more technical writing, especially nonfiction? Um…no, but when I do read more technical writing than I’m used to, I’m going to attempt to focus more than I have in the past and see if that helps. It may or may not.
So how about for you? Does technical writing, or complex or complicated language, in either fiction or nonfiction sometimes prevent you from reading a certain book or author? Or do you enjoy that kind of writing? Or do you just “soldier through”? And as always, what are you reading, watching, listening to this week?