Monday, October 24, 2022

Envy *and* Jealousy

Following up on this post about Ed Yong: 

His books, I Contain Multitudes and An Immense World, are simply magnificent works of journalism and writing. But I do have to admit that at times while reading them, I feel filled with despair.

I think Losing My Religions is about as good as I can do. And while it is, in my arrogant opinion, better than a lot else that is out there, it doesn't really hold a candle to Yong's books, nor to anything by Michael Lewis. (I agree with John Williams in the New York Times Book Review about Lewis: "I would read an 800-page history of the stapler if he wrote it.") Also, Bill Bryson - he's not quite as fabulous a writer, but he is much funnier than just about anyone. 

Another writer who inspires both envy and jealousy in me is Robert Wright. (Although his website could use some updating!) I don't find myself swooning when reading him, but he has a great, dry sense of humor; he's somewhere between Bryson and Lewis.

The main thing about Wright is that he's written two of the most important, useful books: The Moral Animal and Why Buddhism Is True. I think that for many people, reading those two books would improve their lives more than any other two books, with Buddhism being the one I'd choose if I had to choose just one.

This isn't to say you shouldn't read Losing!  😉

Song: the incredibly beautiful "Now That I Found You" by Alison Krauss.

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