David King

full stack developer

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A journey into literature

19 Sep 2011

With the recent passing of the inspirational and "unreasonable" Michael S. Hart, founder of Project Gutenberg I thought that it would be good to share my sapling journey into literature.

I've had a recurring conversation with my programming peers that once you've finished your day of coding (aka, reading and writing) the idea of staring at a book for a few hours sounds too much like work. In the new year I made myself a promise; to start my journey reading "important" books; sure, knowing the latest trends in HTML5 is handy but being able to chat away with my friends and strangers about more popular books and topics is just epic.

On the recommendations of Roz and her family I started reading Jasper Fforde; he may be the perfect writer with which to start a journey into literature; he's funny, intelligent, silly and the focus of his books is literature itself - I promptly read the entire "Thursday Next" series:

Epic. After that I promised to give Jane Eyre and Pride and Prejudice a read, I now understand why Jasper Fforde writes them central to his novels - because they're excellent! The stories are well known so I'll skip those and just note that the writing styles of both are just beautiful, I really like the idea that a writer can skip over "obvious" or "banal" segments and just focus on the important bits - took that one onboard :-)

Next up was a bit of a read of necessity, those that know me personally will understand why I felt it was important to read about The Eden Project in Cornwall (lets just say that I visited recently with a "side project" in my pocket). This book was really insightful; I was hoping for a romantic story of flora and fauna but while that served as the preface and backdrop the majority of the book was about the unlikely people that made the project a reality - it's quite astounding that The Eden Project exists. My hats off to them all.

My most recent read is Slaughterhouse-Five, a short and fragmented anti-war book written about (in a roundabout way) the Dresden Bombing in WWII. The one thing that I will take away from this book is the idea that all the moments in our lives will always exist, it's simply our experience of time that makes us think otherwise.

So that brings us up to the now, I have quite a list of books I want to read but next up is one I read as a teenager on the recommendation of one of my favourite teachers, Mr Hunter (Physics). It's about how we perceive dimensions and reality; I think it will be the right bedmate to Slaughterhouse-Five with it's warped sense of time.

FlatLand - a romance of many dimensions

Remember folks, if you're ever in Cody, Wyoming, ask for Wild Bob.


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