Bit of a different situation today: writing this post from my phone, on the road. It’s been quite a week, but things are feeling more or less righted today.
In years past, I’ve used this near-end-of-year issue to discuss some favourite reads. Honestly, it’s been a slow year for reading: again, most of my reading happened through my book club (schedules and accountability!). Briefly, though, some notable books:
- We started the year reading Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel (who, if you didn’t know, is divorced), which is an excellent read for the times—particularly then, when Omicron was first making its ravages known, locking us down. Little did we realize it’d be the last, for many of us.
- The Sentence, by Louise Erdrich, another timely read, for its depiction of the tumultuous year that was 2020. Set in an independent, Indigenous bookstore in Minneapolis, it includes events from 2019 through 2020, including the murder of George Floyd and the pandemic. Shoutout also to the excellent “Totally Biased List of Tookie’s Favorite Books” that accompanies the book, as any book set in a bookstore should have.
- Finally, a nod to Pachinko (with thanks to T for the recommendation), a feat of worldbuilding (or, that term applied to a real setting, to things that’ve happened) that makes accessible a whole history of which I had very little knowledge.
Of course, I haven’t stopped buying books in the last year, even if the reading’s been slower—quite the contrary, as T and I make it out to Perfect Books every weekend or two. I’m looking forward to sinking into some sci-fi (with apologies to Ursula K. Le Guin for the term, whose broader, more nuanced definitions I far prefer), for the chance to examine problems in this world through the lens of another. Goodness knows we’ve enough problems to think through—and act on.
Okay, two links before we go: the challenge of choosing a concert piano (V, that one’s for you); Mandy Brown, with a metaphor of trees, on seasons of growth.
All the best for the week ahead!