Sunday, January 27, 2013

What are you reading?

I have a confession to make. I no longer read fiction. (Gasps issue from the peanut gallery.) You may think this an odd statement for a fiction writer to make, and I suppose it is. I'd still love to read great fiction but I'm not willing to wade through a hundred or so books to find it. As you get older, you realize your time is valuable.

(I also find that without intending to, I absorb each fiction writer's techniques through osmosis -- and the next time I sit down to write, this influences me. I don't want to be influenced by anyone at this point in my writing life. It has to come from my head and nowhere else. Those are the rules.)

These days, I read only science or philosophy books. I've always been wildly interested in a double-headed question: what is reality; and what, if anything, does it mean? Science and philosophy try to answer these questions.

This is why I'm thrilled with the book I'm currently reading. It's "God and the Folly of Faith: The Incompatibility of Science and Religion" by Victor Stenger. (Link leads to Kindle version; much cheaper.) This is a winner for me since it combines both of my interests: science and philosophy. I've read Stenger before. He's a physicist and an outspoken atheist. And while he may not be the best writer in the world, Stenger is clear and always on point. And he gets out a zinger or two, now and then. I find him a joy to read.

So. What are you reading?