Friday, July 30, 2004

How to Lose Friends and Alienate People by Toby Young
This memoir is great for thought experiments. I think: Would I act differently than Toby Young if I met Jim Carrey or Kenneth Branaugh? If I got a coveted job at Vanity Fair (or somewhere equally prestigious) would I hire a stippergram for my colleague's birthday? Despite eventually losing his job at Vanity Fair and becoming a raging alcohoic, Young's story has a happy--but not sappy--ending.

The Midnight Disease: The Drive to Write, Writer's Block, and the Creative Brain by Alice W. Flaherty
I like reading books about disorders because I can see myself in them and it's fun to self-diagnose, even when I know I'm sort of being a hypochondriac. Take Geschwind syndrome, marked by hypergraphia, a deepened emotional life sometimes described as hyperphilosophical or hyperreligious, a low sex drive, and extreme talkativeness cause by an excessive attention to detail. Sounds familiar!


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