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October 17, 2012

Recent Reading — Elmore Leonard and Three Others

by Brendan

As you might know (don’t remember if I’ve posted about this), I’m now reading a combination of books on paper, books on my MacBook Air Kindle app, and books on an actual Kindle.   I downloaded the Kindle app around last Christmas, when Head Butler Jesse Kornbluth posted a link — he’d done a revision of Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” (shortened it about 45% to make it go down easier when reading it to little kids, starting with his daughter).

Jesse’s “A Christmas Carol,” with some new illustrations for this edition, was available on Amazon, and their Kindle app download was also there.  I was amazed — a few bucks for the book, nothing for the Kindle app, and within 90 seconds I was reading it, loving it (and you should get it — “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens, edited by Jesse Kornbluth, illustrations by Paige Peterson).

Quickly I got into the rhythm of downloading books to my Kindle app and reading on the computer (combined, still, with reading books on paper).   And then in April Pam gave me a Kindle for my birthday.  Surprised, I asked why I’d need a Kindle when I had a Kindle app on the Macbook.  The answer was two-fold: first, you can read the Kindle outdoors, on the beach, because the screen is sort of gray — in fact, as almost everyone knows, you need some kind of light to read on a Kindle at all.  And second, if I drop my $1400 Macbook Air in the water, it’s a tragedy, while drowning the $80 Kindle isn’t such a big deal.

Last Thursday (October 11th) was Elmore Leonard’s birthday (he’s 87), so in his honor I downloaded two of his books.  Leonard famously has said, “If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it,” and “I try to leave out the parts that people usually skip.”  He gets right to the point, no b.s., and since I spent about a month struggling to get through George Martin’s A Game of Thrones, reading Leonard is quite a relief.

Elmore Leonard, Sage

I’m reading Road Dogs on the Kindle — if you’ve seen the movie Out of Sight with George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez, Clooney’s character, Jack Foley, is also the lead character in Road Dogs.

Out Of Sight Book Cover

Foley is just out of prison in the one I’m reading, and all sorts of plans and scams are afoot.  On the Kindle app, and not yet started, is Leonard’s Valdez Is Coming.  Haven’t yet started it ’cause I’m not quite done with The Long Embrace, by Judith Freeman, a biography of Raymond Chandler.

Oh, yeah, books on paper.  I’m reading Second Wind by Cami Ostman.  It’s autobiographical — Ostman takes up running in her 30’s and sets the goal of running a marathon on each of the world’s seven continents.  It’s just as much a book about personal change and growth as it is about running, and I’m enjoying both parts.

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