I finished reading City of Thieves. Really moving book.
(Check out some of my thoughts from when I started it.)
I picked it up after seeing it mentioned in Tribe Of Mentors, recommended by Brian Koppelman:
And, lastly, City of Thieves by Benioff. This book is just a joy. Fiction has a real utility, and it’s one I think high achievers sometimes forget, and that is: fictions stirs you up inside, unsettles you, forces you to engage with that which isn’t easily solved. This book does all that and delights along the way. I’ve given it to 100 people.
It was funnier than I expected.
Here’s a passage I enjoyed from City of Thieves:
In certain ways I am deeply stupid. I don’t say this out of modesty. I believe that I’m more intelligent than the average human being, though perhaps intelligence should not be looked at as a single gauge, like a speedometer, but as a full array of tachometers, odometers, altimeters, and the rest.
My dad once asked my brother and me, “For being so smart, how can you be so dumb?”
I don’t remember the exact situation, but I remember how it made me feel. (It made me feel smart and dumb.)
I’m reading through Adventures in the Screen Trade by William Goldman and came across something similar about how a lot of movie stars don’t have education beyond high school:
Now, this doesn’t mean they’re not bright. I’ve never met a star who wasn’t clever and shrewd and loaded with more street smarts than I’ll collect in a lifetime.
No doubt you’ve come across people who are book smart and that’s just about it. I had a friend growing up who probably should have been held back a grade or two. He couldn’t focus on schoolwork at all. It always blew my mind that he could give complete attention to any RPG he was playing.
I don’t know what I’m getting at with this. Maybe it’s that people write off reading fiction as a waste of time. As Koppelman says, you really can learn a lot reading fiction.
A lot of the world’s great thinkers are great writers. You won’t find all their knowledge in the self-development shelf.