Starting With a Basic Pandemic Update:
- I’ve been sheltering-in-place for 48 days.
- Indiana did not renew the shelter-in-place order.
- I’ll be returning to work May 11th — and wearing a mask (properly, FFS).
- When I go into stores, I pretend like I’m Grace Jones so I feel brave.
- The spouse will continue to work from home and entertain Kitty.
- Reading has become loads easier because I’m trying to forget real life.
- I no longer do as many jigsaw puzzles or drag my stick around the yard.
- Perhaps I need some new bad habit to focus on.
A Month of Flannery O’Connor: read-along
On May 1st, as scheduled, I started my book of Flannery O’Connor short stories. So far I’ve read “The Geranium” and “The Barber,” and I’ll read “Wildcat” tonight. After I finish the story, I journal my thoughts on it so I’m taking a moment to reflect and engage. If you hurry through O’Connor, sometimes the surface view seems wonky. Thank you to everyone who let me know they’re following along, and to Bill for this lovely post.
This Week’s Blog Posts
I wanted so hard for the interactive romance novel by Kitty Curran and Larissa Zageris, My Lady’s Choosing, to be a winner, but I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to write my own damn book that involves the reader. One night it randomly sprang into my head that the story I was struggling to write because I didn’t know what direction to take it could go in all the directions.
On Thursday I tuned in for a live stream of Samantha Irby chatting with Jia Tolentino, who were scheduled to discuss Wow, No Thank You, which I reviewed the same day. Although I loved the book, I felt like the direction Tolentino took the conversation was rarely book-related, and she swore a lot in a way that wasn’t so much impactful as it was trashy. Around 1,400 people tuned in to watch, and Tolentino spent an hour not answering the questions we posted in the chat (there were only about a dozen Q’s!). Still, check out the memoir!
Next Week’s Blog Posts
Published in 2016, around the same time as Kevin Kwan’s smash trilogy, Jade Chang’s book The Wangs vs. The World might have gotten lucky. Ever notice how many “Girl” novels there were after Gone Girl was so successful? Girl on the Train, The Girl With a Dragon Tattoo, The Woman in Cabin 13, The Woman in the Window, etc. My review of Chang’s novel about Chinese-Americans and their immigrant father’s cosmetics empire crashing to the ground will post Tuesday.
Because the pandemic can make us lonely, I’m working harder to read books recommended to me almost immediately — a little connection, right? Thus, my audio book review of How to Be Fine: What We Learned by Living by the Rules of 50 Self-Help Books by Jolenta Greenberg and Kristen Meinzer, which was recommended to me by Hannah @ Books and Bakes, will be published Thursday.
Book I’m Reading Aloud to My Spouse:
Jenny Lawson’s humor can be uneven in places in Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, which is emphasized to me when I’m reading aloud. She’ll have a great joke and then repeat the funny line no fewer than four times, all within a page or two. Maybe this patter worked better for me when I was reading to myself, but verbally my brain is thinking, “Editor, please edit!”
However, the chapter on Lawson’s time working in Human Resources was a hoot, being mainly compilations of all the times she’s had to ask employees, “Is this your penis?” because a photo got caught in the content filter put in place by the employer. Or, some dude would print a photo of his penis and forget it on the printer. And this is HR for a non-profit religious organization. Thou shall not share thine penis unrequested must be a commandment, right? I do remember this being one of my favorite chapters, and the spouse loved it, too.