5 August 2019
I recently returned to writing more about the books I read in my weekly email newsletter, but, since it’s never a comprehensive list, I’m going to keep up posting full lists and thoughts here. After a time of distraction and little reading, I have three months worth of books to recap.
2 August 2019
Not too long ago, an ill-informed op-ed made the internet rounds claiming that people without kids shouldn’t go to Disney World. I can’t expound any further on that theory, because I didn’t bother to read the piece, because the premise is dumb. Not only should everyone who wants to go to Disney World go to Disney World regardless of whether or not they have offspring in tow, Disney World has one quality that is of interest to adults in particular: it’s full of good stuff to eat and drink.
26 July 2019
Today I am thirty-eight years old, which means that I have accumulated thirty-eight years’ worth of facts, trivia and mythology about what my birthday means. My birthstone is a ruby (represents positive energy, passion and prosperity). My astrological sign is Leo (represents confidence, ambition and self-centeredness). I share my birthday with Helen Mirren (heck yeah), Stanley Kubrick (checks out) and Kevin Spacey (unfortunate). I was born under a significant star, destined for greatness in the company of an elite—just like everyone else, in one way or another.
4 July 2019
One of my favorite things ever written about America is by Sarah Vowell in her book Layfayette in the Somewhat United States. The book as a whole is a modern trip through the history of the Marquis de Layfayette and his odd role in the making of revolutionary mythology, but, about three quarters of the way through the book, there is brief detour to another location of historical significance. Vowell writes:
3 May 2019
Reading! I am doing it! Picking up the pace a bit, although my Goodreads yearly challenge “on schedule” number is still smarting.
13 April 2019
The first time I heard about the House on the Rock, I thought it wasn’t a real place. In Neil Gaiman’s novel American Gods, it fits right in along the other fantastical locations described there, like the land of the dead, the otherworldly dimension called “Backstage,” and Chicago. I read about this ultimate roadside attraction, sprawled around a remote portion of Wisconsin and filled with musical automatons, collections of curiosities and the largest carousel in the world that no one is allowed to ride—the place where the gods, old and new, congregate because it represents the uniquely American fascination with oddities that sprung from the vacuum of a more profound mythology and is therefore a strange kind of sacred—and I just assumed, reasonably, that someone made it all up.
5 April 2019
Reading has been slow again this past month. I blame winter. But I’ve been reading a few screenplays, which I count as books, for counting purposes. Here’s what I read in March.
14 March 2019
Like many people my age, I grew up with pieces of The Twilight Zone embedded in my imagination like sharp, shiny stones. Regularly occurring television show reruns and marathons deposited layer upon layer of dreams and nightmares and lessons that years later would be almost indistinguishable from the dreams and nightmares and lessons that reality supplied. It all matters the same, no matter where it came from. Stories are as real as anything and they last for a reason.
1 March 2019
February was not only a short month but a light reading month for me. My Goodreads yearly challenge “on schedule” number is very disappointed in me. I’ll pick up in the coming month. But here are the things I read in February.