Thursday, May 20, 2010

Insatiable Curiosity

Don’t know what it is about The New Yorker.  I’ve never been able to get into the magazine but it has nurtured two of my all time favorite non-fiction authors, John McPhee and Malcolm Gladwell author of the anthology I’m just finished entitled, What The Dog Saw .mcpheephotocrop

I first read McPhee’s Coming Into The Country as I headed north to Anchorage, Alaska in 1978 as CEO of the Destination Marketing Organization there.  I was there nearly a decade and not a day went by that my reading of that book wasn’t useful in understanding the people, places and events of that very unique and diverse state.

Over more than 30 years, I’ve read nearly all of McPhee’s 28 books and he paved the way for Gladwell who broke out in the past decade with The Tipping Point.

They have in common an insatiable appetite for bringing understanding, not by covering powerful or famous people but telling the stories behind the stories of what Gladwell describes as “the minor geniuses…the people in the middle who do the actual work in the world.”  biopic

Both authors have an uncanny way of distilling information and research about topics into great stories as riveting as any fiction thriller.  I can hardly wait now to dig into McPhee’s, The Silk Parachute, a new series of essays.

One of the pleasures of retirement?….Time to read again.  I mean really read and feed an insatiable curiosity that hasn’t waned a bit with age.

In the past two decades in particular a combination of the Internet and the pace of destination marketing had turned me into a skimmer, always looking for specific information.  It is good to get back to reading, really reading, just for the joy of reading and learning in general.

1 comment:

B. said...

Reyn, I owe you for the reminder that I need to read John McPhee! People have been recommending his work for years and I've finally put some of his books on hold at the library.

Betsy O'D.