Thursday, September 17, 2015

I Am Now Less Dumb--I Hope

Confession time: I don't often read books for adults. I'm usually competing with my kids for the books they are reading, which means I'm reading picture books up to middle grade (some YA when I get a recommendation). But I heard about David McRaney's book, You Are Now Less Dumb, and popped it in my Kindle thinking I'd get to it eventually. 

I did and am 78% done, according to the little indicator in the corner. I've got over 200 bookmarks in the ruddy thing and even more highlights. Fascinating read. The author takes neuropsychology and makes it relatable, interesting and incredibly funny. I admire anyone who can take what could be a very clinical subject and make it read as easily as a novel, even more so when an author's writing can inspire me with story ideas of my own.

I keep a list of ideas for books. Some I get from my kids, but others I get from watching documentaries or other history-related reads or newscasts. I read a book about the Tudor era and got a kick out of the sumptuary laws. I wondered how you could take that idea and turn it into a kid's book. I can't say I've narrowed down the right story yet, but I love learning about all the crazy in history and other subjects. Truth is stranger than fiction and makes for good fiction.

A friend recently turned me on to a site with obscure and interesting historical tidbits: Stuff You Missed in History. One of my favorite podcasts is about the Dahomey Amazon Warriors. I'd heard of these warrior women of Benin, but enjoyed learning more details about their lives and origin. 

I discovered another story akin to the Dahomey warriors from a visit to the Jamestown Museum in Virginia. Queen Nzinga (spellings of her name vary) was a warrior queen who fought against the Portuguese during the slave trade. Her life isn't without controversy, but she's a fascinating person nonetheless. 

If you're stuck for your next great idea, hopefully something I've listed will spark your imagination. If not, you can still enjoy the video or podcasts, even better if you have some chocolate to enjoy along with them. 

Have a great week.


  1. It does sound like a fascinating read, Johnell. And I loved the things you missed in history ... good stuff. Thanks for the tip.

  2. Thanks. It is. I finished it over the weekend.

  3. Truth definitely is stranger than fiction. There's no doubt about that.