Friday, January 20, 2006

What I'm Reading

Cicero: On Obligations
Cicero (106 BC – 43 BC) was a political philosopher and Patriarch in Rome during the fall of the Republic to Julius Caesar in 49 BC. He was an experienced Roman politician and patriot of Roman ideals. He supported the Senate during the revolution, risking his life to defend principles of self-government. But most importantly, Cicero was a true political philosopher, an idealist—I would even say that he was a passionate moralist. He had much more in common, then, with our early American revolutionaries than with any modern American politician. In fact, we know for certain that many of America's forefathers were fond of this particular work by Cicero. John Adams, for example, exhorted his son John Quincy Adams to read and carefully study this work, and the two of them even discussed it in private letters.

Self-Editing for Fiction Writers: How to Edit Yourself into Print, by Renni Browne & Dave King
I have mixed feelings so far on this one. I recommend it only for advanced writers. You have to already appreciate the finer points of word smithing and certain principles of editing before you will gain much from this book.

In the Presence of the Enemy, by Elizabeth George
I'm going on a vacation next month, so I got this book to take on the long flight. (12 hours on one flight leg alone!) I don't really like mystery stories, but I liked Miss George's guide to writing so much that I had to follow up with one of her novels. Besides, I've heard that reading a mystery is a good way to pick up plot tricks. (See a great quote from Miss George in this previous post.)