Short post this week as I’m noodling on a couple of more substantive pieces that are not yet ready for public sharing. Here are some snapshot reviews of a few things I’ve read recently. Heart Berries by Terese Marie Mailhot – This slim memoir lays bare a woman’s issues with love, motherhood, and mental health, … Continue reading Odds and Ends
I've read several books this year that were fine. Serviceable. Some even contained elements to admire. I wasn't mad at them. They were fine. But I don't read to read books that are fine. I read to be moved, to be entertained, to be inspired, to be impressed, to be wound around unexpected corners of … Continue reading When Books are Just Fine
I have a brilliant friend whose bailiwicks include mid-twentieth century fiction and depictions of madness. Shirley Jackson, unsurprisingly, is a favorite. The only things I'd read of hers before were "The Lottery," (#iconic) and The Haunting of Hill House (1959), which I read as a teenager and barely remembered. But inspired by my friend, I … Continue reading Mid-Century Macabre: Shirley Jackson and Josephine Tey
Season one of Fleabag knocked me over, picked me up, and then broke me into a thousand pieces. It seemed semi-criminal that something so awkward and cruel and heart-breaking should also be so funny. It deals with grief and regret and being the family scapegoat and making terrible decisions and punishing yourself because you've done … Continue reading Going off Book: Fleabag
We're a strange group of people—us readers, we bookish types. And writers know which side their bread is buttered on. Without readers, writers would have little reason to exist, which is why I've often felt that there's something a bit obvious or pander-y about books-about-books. Reading a book about the delights of reading, being a … Continue reading Do Books Matter?
This weekend I finished Susan Orlean's The Library Book and ... wow. I will have more to say about this book but for now I want to give a slow-clap standing ovation to the writing. This was my first Orlean and she is remarkable. Take this early description of the Los Angeles CentralLibrary: ...the neighborhood … Continue reading The Library Book
Listening to: A Spotify playlist where I'm dumping one-off songs I want to keep listening to. Drinking: A Firestone Walker IPA. Traditionally—since childhood—I've been a one-book-at-a-time kind of reader. The first cracks in that tendency probably came in graduate school, a time when it's relatively impossible to be reading only one thing at a time. … Continue reading On Toggling Between Books, or the Strange Fixed Marriage of Julia Child and Carlo Rovelli