Friday, January 15, 2016

Paul Newman's Favorite Author

Ross MacDonald was (and is) a writer's writer, and one of my favs. Paul Newman's too. I once read a book about these books that explained the symbolism behind his deftly original prose, which is MORE than merely eloquent or descriptive. It is poetic and profound. The audiobook versions are narrated by one of the best and most prolific of readers. Grover Gardner turns them into audio movies. Download to iPhone or other device, and hear for yourself. (They’re on sale too!)  Ross Macdonald (1915–1983) was the pen name of Kenneth Millar. Born near San Francisco but raised in British Columbia, he returned to the United States as a young man and published his first novel in 1944. For over twenty years he lived in Santa Barbara and wrote #mystery novels about the fascinating and changing society in SoCal. He is widely credited with elevating the detective novel to the level of literature with his compactly written tales of murder and despair. His works have received awards from the Mystery Writers of America and of Great Britain, and his book “The Moving Target” was made into the movie "Harper" in 1966. As was "The Drowning Pool" (which included Joanne Woodward.) In 1982 he was awarded the Eye Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Private Eye Writers of America. Great reading, better listening!

Exciting news: Ridley Scott is talking about remaking the classic BBC TV series The Prisoner. It's an allegorical suspense about a spy being tested to determine if he resigned because he's a double agent. The twist: he doesn't know which side is testing him on a remote island village. The psychological thriller is relevant to today because it's about surveillance, and people being treated as numbers instead of individuals. Patrick is given the "name" #6. He is handled by #2, and his goal is to learn the identity of #1. Recent audiobook: DATA AND GOLIATH. Data is everywhere: we create it every time we go online, turn our iphone on or off, and pay with a credit card. The data is stored, studied, and bought and sold by corporations and governments for surveillance and for control. Bestselling author Bruce Schneier shows how this data has led to a double-edged Internet—a web that gives power to the people but is abused by the institutions on which those people depend. In Data and Goliath, read by Dan John Miller, Schneier reveals the full extent of surveillance, censorship, and propaganda in society today, examining the risks of cybercrime, cyberterrorism, and cyberwar. He shares technological, legal, and social solutions that can help shape a more equal, private, and secure world. This is a book everyone with an Internet connection—or bank account or smart device or car, for that matter—needs to hear.

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