• Uncategorized

    On Open Doors

    I’ve had trouble reading for the last few months. That funemployment put a pause on my reading was an unpleasant surprise, and I’ll dig into that some other post. COVID, however, has really done a number on me. I’ve wanted escape more than usual, but letting myself fall into new worlds has felt impossible. How wonderful, then, to find a book where a protagonist finds new worlds at every turn. I picked up The Ten Thousand Doors of January because I heard it was heartwarming. I’m stuck inside, in one of the epicenters of the current Coronavirus pandemic. I’m sharing a 700-square-foot apartment with someone I love, but whom I…

  • Uncategorized

    On Loose Threads

    I wasn’t initially going to pick up Less. The first sentence of the blurb was, truth be told, an immediate turn-off, in spite of (or perhaps because of) its prizewinning status: “You are a failed novelist about to turn fifty.” I’ve read, or seen, enough of those stories. I didn’t think I needed another one. Fate intervened. A colleague saw my copy of Red, White, and Royal Blue on my desk, and mentioned it was recommended to him because he enjoyed Less. I’d loved RW&RB, so I figured I’d give Less a shot. Less does actually have a delightful premise. Arthur Less is a failed novelist about to turn fifty.…

  • Fiction,  Reading

    Failure & Self-Realization & Ravenous Hunger

    Since leaving my job — more on that later — I haven’t been reading as much as I expected. I think it’s partly exhaustion, and partly just feeling lost. There’s no need to jump from deliverable to deliverable, always on a time crunch, anymore. I have time to truly think for a change, instead of just executing. That’s a luxury, and it’s scary, too. What should I tether myself to, now that I can do anything? I keep extensive to-do lists with what I want to accomplish: writing, coding, volunteering for JordanCon, et cetera. I set tasks, not time slots, so that I don’t keep 12-hour days if I don’t…

  • Fiction,  Reading

    Becoming in Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca

    I started reading Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier while waiting in line for a salad. I had gone down to get Sweetgreen, accepted that my craving for a kale caesar was more potent than my horror at the 20-minute line, and opened the book on my phone. It was an impulsive choice, driven mainly by my desire to finally get it off my TBR. I’ve been reading the book in snatches, a page or two at a time, in line for coffee at my office or on the seven-block commute home. In spite of this disjointedness, I’ve felt a profound sense of growing anxiety. Our narrator — I have just…