July 30, 2007

Staff Picks: If They Give You Lined Paper...

By: Dylan Schleicher @ 8:57 PM – Filed under: Personal Development & Human Behavior

I like books about writing and language. Could be the technical writer in me. Or the linguist. Either way, I'm always intrigued by the writing books that come across my desk. Once in a while they trick me, though. Last week I received a copy of If They Give You Lined Paper - Write Sideways by Daniel Quinn, the author of Ishmael and Tales of Adam, among other books. A good portion of the book is the transcript of a conversation between Quinn and an inquisitive fan. The two tackle all sorts of world issues, from poverty to religion to cultural mythology to questions of good and evil, and Quinn takes on the role of challenger--challenging his fan to tease out her ideas and reasoning. The narrative reveals Quinn's thought process and inspires readers to take more creative approaches to life. The appendix contains two never-before-published essays, "The New Renaissance" and "Our Religions." If They Give You Lined Paper - Write Sideways will definitely intrigue readers who enjoy stimulating, intellectual conversations about solving problems. Even though it wasn't what I expected from the title, this book offered an interesting approach to getting a point across. Which is, I guess, what has made Daniel Quinn such a successful author and visionary.

About Dylan Schleicher

Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.