Saturday, September 4, 2010

Books for August 2010

My reading is picking back up, and I managed to get a couple of books finished (or "finished for now") last month...

  • Free Culture by Lawrence Lessig. This book, a fascinating look at copyright and intellectual property law and where it needs to go, is great. Lessig is one of the authorities on the subject, and also one of the big promoters behind Creative Commons, a licensing approach that solves many of the problems faced in today's intellectual property climate. Two incidental comments about this book: first, it's available for free in an eBook (PDF) format from Lessig's website; second, it marks the first book for me read entirely in eBook format, which I read on the iBooks app of my iPad. (9)
  • Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition. I didn't read the whole thing, but just the new parts (I've owned the 14th and 15th editions as well). There is some great new content about electronic formatting and publication, which is invaluable to me at this point. This book is a must-have reference if you do any serious writing or editing. (9)
  • Shopgirl by Steve Martin. I've talked about my appreciation for the talented Martin before, and generally he doesn't disappoint in this novella. There are some scenes that are charged with enough adult-themed content to make some people uncomfortable, and some language that is a bit coarse. What I appreciate about Martin, though, is how honest his writing is: he's able to capture in words emotions, circumstances, and descriptions that are so difficult to articulate; and he portrays life in these scenes in a truthful manner. If you liked the movie Good Will Hunting you would probably like Shopgirl. I read it in one evening. (8+)

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