Saturday, March 26, 2005

Read these folks...

My high school writing teacher (yes, that's you, Marie...may I call you Marie?) once told me that writers are only as good as the writers they read. It was one of the few literary lessons from my high school years that I held onto as I went out into the big bad world of higher education and, later, on-the-street journalism.

To this day, I read a wide range of writers. Some inspire me to write like them. Others simply get me thinking. But you never come away indifferent, which come to think of it is what I try to do with my own scribblings. Here's a quick rundown of a few. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do:
  • Steve Tilley: Edmonton Sun columnist and Sun Media games reviewer. He does funny better than anyone in the country. Do not read him over breakfast, especially if you value the integrity of your laptop's keyboard. Don't ask how I know this. His latest piece, Plane truth, flying sucks, is classic Tilley.
  • Rob Pegoraro: Washington Post Fast Forward technology columnist. Says it like it is; a rarity in today's tech press. He also hosts regular online discussions (next one is here) about his recent work. Definitely an example of an old media institution understanding how to adapt to the new media reality.
  • Gene Weingarten: Washington Post columnist (Below the Beltway), and the oft-referenced heir apparent to Dave Barry's crown. I think that's an injustice to Gene: he's a great writer in his own right.
  • Jeff Jacoby: Boston Globe Op-Ed columnist. His take on some of the most contentious issues of the day never fails to get me thinking. For anyone wondering what opinion writing is all about, his column is a self-encapsulated lesson in the genre.
Your turn: If you have any pet writers of your own, feel free to share 'em here.

3 comments:

Zinnia Cyclamen said...

Will I be able to comment this time? Hope so... (I haven't been able to publish comments on your blog for a while now, apparently because I'm not a team member (no change there then!); I emailed you a comment a few days ago for a previous post, not sure whether it reached you.) Anyway, favourite writers: Doris Lessing. A wonderful writer who never wastes a word, is fluent in many genres and is massively under-rated.

Rhodent said...

For humor I have had to change from Dave Barry to "L" since Barry's column
is no longer. I know I am prejudiced regarding "L", but she has really done some funny stuff. As for serious op-ed writers, I am inclined to zoom in on anything that Thomas Friedman has written re the Middle East.

Carrie said...

I have several favourite writers. Probably too many to list. Columnist Margaret Wente is my fav in newspapers. David Sedaris is my fav for life and comedy. Somewhere I have a list of authors which I carry with me. It keeps them handy when visiting bookstores and the library :-)