One of Microsoft’s new CEO’s strengths? He doesn’t finish business books…

When Microsoft’s new CEO was announced last week, there was a great deal of commentary about his  – doubtless very carefully crafted – introductory email to the company. Part of Satya Nadella’s description of himself made me immediately empathetic: Many who know me say I am also defined by my curiosity and thirst for learning.…… Continue reading One of Microsoft’s new CEO’s strengths? He doesn’t finish business books…

New technology boosts the old

As cheerleaders for incumbent media often point out, the old is rarely replaced by the new. Newspapers weren’t killed by radio, radio wasn’t killed by TV, TV wasn’t killed by online video – etc., etc. Sometimes new technology boosts the old. Dipping in again to the excellent Writing on the Wall: Social Media, the First…… Continue reading New technology boosts the old

We don’t just read novels, we live them

A neuroscience research project suggests that when we read novels we create a connection with the protagonist, a change that is visible in fMRI brain scans and that persists for five days. “The neural changes that we found associated with physical sensation and movement systems suggest that reading a novel can transport you into the…… Continue reading We don’t just read novels, we live them

Tools and distraction

Despite having at least four other devices with Kindle apps on them at any given moment at home or work, my reading weapon of choice is the Kindle Paperwhite. I rip through books on it, lose myself in them fast and deeply. Two reasons: first, there is less pull from the web and apps; second,…… Continue reading Tools and distraction

Maria Popova and life as “a reader who writes”

When I look at Maria Popova and her work on Brainpickings, I feel admiration, inspiration and a little jealousy. She takes something that is important to me – blogging, writing and the collecting of fascinating things – to a logical extreme, making a profession of it. She’s made a life and living out of sharing…… Continue reading Maria Popova and life as “a reader who writes”

Hi-fidelity reading

The paperback book I am reading right now is The Big Sleep and Other Novels, by Raymond Chandler.  It’s a lovely Penguin Classics imprint, thick and light and good to hold. I bought it a month ago in paper version because I want to read it slowly, closely (as Francine Prose recommends). I first read Chandler when I was…… Continue reading Hi-fidelity reading

Holiday reading

In case you are looking for some ideas about what to read in the remainder of the summer, here are the books that have tickled my fancy over the summer months. How I Escaped My Certain Fate, by Stewart Lee Autobiographical story – interspersed with transcripts of some his shows – by my favourite stand-up…… Continue reading Holiday reading