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.
23 February 2019
It took far too long to occur to me that the image and text previews for links that showed up on Twitter were not in fact some bit of inscrutable and fickle Twitter magic but technical factors which I, a humble web developer, could control. But when it did finally occur to me, I managed to figure out fairly quickly how to control them.
30 January 2019
Every week in my newsletter I include a list of books I’m reading. I used to include longform recommendations, but that got tedious, plus often I read books I don’t particularly want to recommend. I cast a wide net, and sometimes what I read is mostly worthwhile as part of a large, diverse whole rather than outstanding individual items. However, I missed having a place to say things about single books. So here we are.