I used to be a long weekender. But time has marched on, being a Dad x 2 now and having a job that engages every part of my brain, pushed me to take a break this past summer. But I realized… I kind of forgot how! Now it’s no secret I’m a business book addict ( if you haven’t seen my blog on the topic here it is ) and many of my peers know me as the “social business” guy. But with endless events/evenings like this even I know, it was time to disconnect. So I took the digital vacation but it was really hard to have this time and not use it to read. Now, I was a staple at the nightclubs in University, but libation + gyration no longer provides me with euphoria or peace. It was then a mentor gave me permission to read fiction again. A random tweet had reminded me that my favourite artist Douglas Coupland had put out a book ( about the disappearance of bees and our over-connected culture ) and had published an awesome lecture-story he told about the end of the world on radio across the country. Recently great article hit the pages of Canada’s national magazine Maclean’s asking “Do Books Have the Power to Heal?” Darn right they do. My brain had been circling the drain for weeks, frustrations, negative thoughts, challenges were gumming it up. I gleefully read several thousand pages in 4 days ( if you haven’t read Steve Jobs’ biography, it’s worth it! ). One night, I sat outside, under a veranda in a thunderstorm engrossed in a book…I looked up and realized. Wow. I’m clear. I came out the other end of my vacation mentally refreshed, happy, rejuvenated and excited at the brain-reset and the creativity it jumpstarted! This is your brain on fiction indeed. As Lisa below tells the TED folks, books have power in life. It’s a nice reminder that the office and cubicle crowd have much to gain from it too. So – tell me dear reader. Who is your favourite fiction author? CanLit celebrity Margaret Atwood just put out the final book in her latest trilogy – Thanksgiving approaches… Thanks for reading, please, share in the comments below! Paul
One Reply to “Last night an author saved my life….”
Although I am a die-hard historical non-fiction fan (Kurlansky's Salt: A World History and Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything top my list) I have a special place in my heart for two fiction authors:
Terry Pratchett, whose Discworld satirical fantasy books accompanied through my most awkward teenage years and served as a deep and distant escape well in to my 20s (so… now)…
Ray Bradbury, whose Something Wicked This Way Comes I read every October and means something different to me each time I read it, and whose Illustrated Man, a collection of short stories, leaves me breathless. And yet I have not read his Fahrenheit 451. Go figure.