I’ve now read quite a few John Grisham books and enjoy his detail and plausible, finely crafted delivery of the plot. That said, he does have a habit of keeping something so far up his sleeve that you just have to persevere blindly and trust that it’ll all come together in a satisfying conclusion.
The Racketeer tells the story of a lawyer serving 10 years in jail after the feds pinned a racketeering charge on him by virtue of association with a client. With a burning sense of injustice, he keeps his nose clean and ends up in a lenient, open compound style of jail where he concocts a mechanism of leverage to secure his release and give the feds a bloody nose in the process.
I thought I’d challenge myself to read 20 books in 2020 because I felt I’d gotten out of the habit of reading and 20 was a reasonably high bar to set, considering even in a good year I’ve only read about a dozen.
First up was the classic science fiction novel, Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keys. It’s the tale of a retarded adult, Charlie Gordon, who undergoes an experimental operation designed to make him smarter. The operation has been performed on a mouse in a lab, named Algernon, with seemingly positive results. However, the childlike naivety of Charlie means he’s ill-equipped to deal with the emotions and changes in perception that lie ahead.
For a long while I’d harboured the idea of acquiring an e-reader. I reasoned that I would be much more likely to read if I could take books with me in a format that would be more portable and also searchable. However, I could never quite bring myself to pull the trigger because, for many years now, I just haven’t had the compulsion to read books.
The last book I read was On The Road by Frank Skinner, over five years ago. Since then, my mother has bought me Michael J. Fox’s second autobiography (Always Looking Up) and, with grand intentions, I bought myself Richard Dawkins’ Greatest Show on Earth when it was released. I haven’t made it beyond a skim of the first chapter of either, despite the fact I do want to glean what lies between the hardback covers of each. I just haven’t been compelled enough to physically carry them with me on my daily commute when I would have the dead time to read them.
This perceived barrier to entry had also caused me to miss out on a number of technical books that I might otherwise have read and I had become acutely aware that, over the last few years, new techniques were passing me by. I used to jump at the chance of reading about some emerging practices in the Web development scene. If I look back ten to fifteen years on my Amazon order list it’s loaded with technical tomes.
But, somehow, I just got out of the habit of reading and I wasn’t sure that even if I took the plunge and bought an e-reader, I’d be able to sustain the urge to do so. After attending The Future of Web Design back in April I learned of several development books that I wanted to read and decided that I should at least give the e-reader route a try.