Writing like a lawyer

After having to write a Cease and Desist letter recently, and dealing with the response from the not-so-happy recipient, I recalled the letter at this link. It’s a great piece of writing, and something that lawyers could get away with in the 1970’s. I’m not sure it would fly these days. Someone might take offense and sue you for emotional harm. But it’s worth remembering the power of a short, to-the-point letter.

A year of reading

Every year, the local business magazine in my town comes out with a Book of Lists: the law firm with the most local attorneys, the commercial real estate firms with the most deals last year, etc., etc. So, in the spirit of the new year, I made a list that currently contains 63 books that I’m endeavoring to read in 2017. It’s ambitious, I get it. And the worst part is that of the four books I’ve read this year so far, none of them were on the list when I wrote it. I’ve been introduced to many good things and have decided to stray from my own list before the ink was dry.

And it continues. Today I bought two books I’m eager to dig into when then arrive in approximately 5-8 business days. Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss is something I’ve written about before. I got it from the library, but there is no way this is a read-it-in-three-weeks-and-return kind of book. I can’t plow through it–that is not the purpose of the book.

The second book is Joan Didion’s Slouching Toward Bethlehem. I’ve never read Didion, so it’s a gamble, but I’m told on very good authority that she’s an expert writer. And I’ve decided that I’m not going to read bad prose anymore. I’ve been reading it since 5th grade and life is too short. There are many good writers out there. I am focusing on the choicest wines in the cellar.

That being said, if you have any book recommendations, send them along. Even if they only make it on next year’s list, I’ll look forward to reading them.

Backlog of books

There are a lot of books I’ve received to review recently, including three today. I’m going to get to all of them, I promise. And to give you some idea of what is to come, here are the books that I’ll be reviewing in the coming weeks and months:

Ossa Latinitatis Sola (Fr. Reginald Foster and Daniel McCarthy)

A Catechism for Business (Joseph Capizzi)

The Incarnate Lord: a Thomistic Study in Christology (Fr. Thomas Joseph White, OP)

He Leadeth Me (Fr. Walter Ciszek, SJ)

Evangelical Catholicism (George Weigel)

The Philanthropic Revolution (Jeremy Beer)

Anything You Want (Derek Sivers)

Behold the Man (Harold Burke-Sivers)

Navigating the Tiber (Devin Rose)

Padre Pio (Fr. Francesco Napolitano)

Candles in the Dark (Joseph Pearce)

The Barefoot Lawyer (Chen Guangcheng)

Passion for Truth (Fr. Juan Velez)

Blood of a Stone (Jeanne Gassman)

Hard Sayings (Trent Horn)

Grace in the Wilderness (Br. Francis de Sales Wagner, OSB)

The Coup at Catholic University (Peter M. Mitchell)

As you can tell, I have my work cut out for me–in addition to the other books and things that come my way. So, off to work.