I’m still in a state of never reading just one book. In fact, I’m pretty sure except for when I’m traveling, I never will be. Right now I’m 1/3 of the way through two books, and done with the third. Paradox of Choice and We the Media have something in common: the first third is endless repetitive examples of their “big” point. In We the Media’s case, it’s all about how new technology is disrupting old media, in Paradox of Choice it’s all about how too much stuff sucks. Of course if you hadn’t heard of SMS or blogs or wikis, We the Media could be facinating. And if you are already a “kill old media” fanatic, it would be satisfying. But if you are a tech savvy individual with a middle of the road attitude about new media and old (as Dan Gilmore, is apparently) you might think, hey, let’s get on with it? What is the solution? What’s next?
With Paradox of Choice, I’m nerveous there is no answer. Noise just gets louder, as we buy Real Simple magazine and retreat to Pottery Barn for mock rustic reminders of simpler decades.
I’m hoping the authors get from shoring up their problem statement with examples and get to the payoff soon. Admittedly, because of their approach, both books are great resources for examples, so if you need to make either of those points with your boss, you should get these books.
I’ll report back when I’m farther along, perhaps when I’ve hit a solution…
Finally, Astonishing Stories rocks. I remember one summer I was at my grandparent’s cottage, and I was laying in bed, next to my sister, bored, too hot to sleep, and I turned on the radio (an ancient-yet-perfectly-preserved 1950’s thing, like everything in their cottage). Out of the radio came a radio play, The Masque of the Red Death read– I remember– by Vincent Price or his voice double. I shivered in the heavy heat as the story terrified me, even at one point reaching out to hold sweaty hands across the distance between the twin beds with my sister (unheard of, since we mostly fought in those days). Everytime we went back, I’d fiddle with that radio, trying to recreate that delicious moment.
Astonishing Stories made me feel like that again. A couple stories got me shivering with fear. For some reason, the sequel is much more oriented to horror than its excellent predecessor, Thrilling Tales. But it’s good. It’s hide under the bed covers with flashlight good. It’s read in your tree house, and chase lightning bugs after good. It’s well written enough for a grownup, but speaks directly to the kid in you. And that’s worth 12 bucks.