Friday, January 18, 2019

Weekend Reading: The Inching Back Towards Normal Edition

I'm feeling a bit more caught up this week, although I did have an almost-cold that had me working from home one day and going to bed early all week. So I'm not totally caught up - but I feel more like I'm on top of things.

One trivial thing I did: Unwrapped the seashells I brought back from New Zealand.

Some of these are in my shell jar, where I put the shells I pick up on the beach walks I take to celebrate a success (I decided that making it through my first year back at a full time job while also running Annorlunda Books counted as a success). The flat shiny ones are going to be turned into necklaces - I have so many because I expect to need to make mistakes! And the biggest one is going to go to my work office to remind me of a great vacation.

Anyway, to the links:

I wrote about why I love old short stories and posted it over on my Annorlunda Books page. I also wrote the "awards show" post about our vacation and posted it at Adjusted Latitudes.

(Yes, "write more" is one of my goals for 2019 - I'll write about that when I do my goals post, which is next up now that I've posted our Family Fun List for the year!)

Here's an interesting thing I noticed: Francesca Forrest (author of The Inconvenient God) sent me this review of the book, and I'm so glad she did, because if she hadn't I would be completely mystified by the big bump in sales I saw this week. I would dearly love to find more blogs where a review can move lots of books! If there is a blog you read where a positive review would make you buy a book, please send me the link. I would love to pitch one of my books at them, if it looks like a fit for content. I always follow pitch guidelines and only pitch once. But finding these sites is hard!

In other people's writing:

Despite the week's news, I have a completely non-political "if you read only one" pick this week: Kelly Clancy's story about a young woman who discovers she has a rare and inevitably deadly prion disease, and how she and her husband remake their lives to address the news.

I found this story about Speaker Pelosi and her political style very useful.

If you haven't read Yoni Appelbaum's big article about why the House should impeach Trump, I highly recommend it, particularly in light of the BuzzFeed news from last night. Appelbaum is a historian, and I found his section about the Andrew Johnson impeachment particularly illuminating.

I also found Josh Marshall's take on the BuzzFeed story useful. (That one's for TPM Prime members only... sorry. This Slate article is similar and free.... But honestly, TPM Prime is worth the money!)

My mayor (who is term-limited, so not going to face re-election again) has gone all in on YIMBYism. I think this is going to be a hell of a fight in San Diego over the next year or two, but one we need to have. I predict we'll end up with more housing than we would have otherwise, but that the changes won't be as drastic as the mayor wants. But we'll see. This will be a fight that is happening all over California, and indeed most of the West Coast, over the next few years and the outcome will have a lot of far-reaching effects.

I have been watching this story of a group of terrible tourists play out in New Zealand media and it has been just the diversion I needed to ease me back into having to pay attention to our horror show news cycle. 

This is a useful article about recycling and how to make sure that the things you put in your recycling bin actually get recycled.

I, somehow, was not familiar with the poet Mary Oliver. She died this week, and this remembrance of Oliver and her poetry by Maggie Smith (whose poem Good Bones has been such a solace to me when there is bad news in the world) is marvelous. I think I should read more poetry. Do you have a poet you love? Leave me recommendations in the comments!

Even better if you know of a website or a Twitter feed that posts a daily poem or something like that. (Yes, I will go search for one, too, but I have smart readers who might already know of a great poem feed!)

In recommended listening: Ezra Klein's interview with Glitch CEO Anil Dash is really good and worth your time if you want to try to think about how we got to the place we are with the tech industry, and how it could get better.

Also, I thoroughly enjoyed Krista Tippet's conversation with Maira Kalman. As I thought about it, I realized I am also really jealous of Kalman's life. It took me awhile to figure it out what, precisely, I envy. Eventually I got it, though: I envy the space and time she has to notice things, and how that is an integral part of her work. I don't think I can remake my career to give me that, exactly. But I can try to make more space and time in my life to notice things. I've decided I am going to do that, and I'm going to use my cell phone to help me. I am going to take more random pictures of things, and each week, I'm going to pick my favorite to post on my new Instagram account. (I posted what that was a while back - if you need my account handle, send me an email.) My plan is to post on Sunday evenings.

We'll see how that goes. I'll try to remember to report back in!




1 comment:

  1. I've got two recommendations for you. For a book website that has a big following and lots of star power, you should check out The Modern Mrs. Darcy (at Also, Jane Yolen has an email poem-a-day that she sends out. They are her poems in various stages of completion. She just asks that you either buy or check out one of her books every month. You can sign up for it at


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