Joined: May 2006
Shakespeare and Wodehouse -- fascinating pair of likes there. I'm not too familiar with Wodehouse's work - but his writing has a reputation for sparkling and creative word use which is certainly justified based on what little of it I am familiar with.
Steve, you might want to look up the works of Will Cuppy. I think you'd appreciate his sensibility.
Shakespeare is something else..... I love Shakespeare, particularly Midsummer, and the sonnets (it's my pride in life that my daughter was quoting Shakespeare before she knew any commercial jingles), but addressing why he's a good writer is difficult, because he was such a seminal writer.
We're left with the quandary -- has our modern use of English been so deeply influence by Shakespeare because Shakespeare's writing was that good, or do we consider Shakespeare's writing to be that good because it has so deeply influenced our use of English, and by extension our culture?
I've just finished 'The Seven Daughter's of Eve', by Bryan Sykes, and am starting Sylvia Nasar's biography of John Nash, 'A Beautiful Mind'.
I very much enjoyed 'The Seven Daughters of Eve' -- it was lucidly written, and I found it easy (as a layperson) to follow the science being discussed. There were several excellent examples of how scientific knowledge is tested and retested broadly, and either rejected or accepted on its merits, regardless of personal opinion. I do think it could have done without the fictional biographies of mitochondrial clan mothers, however.
Conversation should be pleasant without scurrility, witty without affectation, free without indecency, learned without conceitedness, novel without falsehood. - Shakespeare (reputedly)