Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Nicholas Griffin

Nicholas Griffin's books include the historical novels The Requiem Shark and House of Sight and Shadow and the nonfiction work, Caucasus. His latest novel is Dizzy City.

A few days ago I asked him what he was reading. His reply:
I'm heading toward the end of nine months of research for my next book. That means I've read around 120 books, all non-fiction, as well as several hundred articles. The problem with research is not only that so much of it is dry, most of it is happens to be irrelevant to your own end-result, but even the author doesn't know exactly where he or she is heading at this stage. Among the dross, I read many first rate books, two of which, Nelson Mandela's Long Road to Freedom and Walter Russell Mead's God and Gold stand out.

Writers need patience, but patience itself is put in perspective through Mandela's accomplishments, always pushing outwards, reaching outwards, observing, even when all he had was a quarry on Robben Island and years of confinement ahead of him. God and Gold by Walter Russell Mead is one of those 'big' books, filled with history and bright ideas but refreshingly unapologetic to the place the US and UK carved out into the world. It stops short of the current financial crisis, but the thesis is still key ... whoever understands the working and movement of money and trade gets to control the world. With the pound taking a nose-dive last year and the dollar presumably not far behind, it makes you long for the days where innovation was tempered by experience and fear.

In my back-pack for my holiday is the new book by Steig Larsson and David Grann's The Lost City of Z. Can't wait.
Read an excerpt from Dizzy City and learn more about the book and author at Nicholas Griffin's website.

The Page 99 Test: Dizzy City.

--Marshal Zeringue