Saturday, March 06, 2021

Weekend Reading: Running on Fumes Edition

I had a tough work week, which ended with a couple of particularly tough days. I mean what can you say about the work week when one of the better days is the day in which you had twelve meetings? So I think this will be a short post this week, both because I didn't have a chance to read many things so I don't have much content and because I am a bit wiped out by the week - but still have a long list of things to do this weekend, made longer by the fact that I didn't get much beyond work done during the week.

One good thing did happen this week, though! Lagoonfire, by Francesca Forrest came out. It is the second book in the Tales of the Polity series, but although it is obviously set in the same world as the first book, The Inconvenient God, and it shares the same protagonist, it really does stand on its own. In the world of the Polity, gods can retire and in fact there is a government bureaucracy to help them retire. Decommissioner Thirty-Seven works in that bureaucracy and takes her work seriously. But she also befriends some of the gods she has helped retire and so when one of them is suspected of causing trouble at a new development in his old haunts, she gets involved... and quickly finds herself facing a past she'd rather forget and possibly some trouble of her own. 

I love the world Forrest has built, and I love the character of Decommissioner Thirty-Seven. The manuscript for this was the first book I was able to really read after the stay at home order came just about a year ago. It pulled me in and let me forget about the problems of this world for a little while. I hope it will do the same for you!

Oh, and hey - there is a launch event TODAY for this book. Check it out!

In other good things, I posted a Something Splendid over at Adjusted Latitudes. It is a picture from the trip to Mexico we took roughly one year ago.

Now, let's see what links I have for you:

Derek Lowe has a good write-up of where we're at with vaccines. I would happily take any of the three vaccines approved here in the US. However, I won't have that option for awhile unless I decide to start hanging out at pharmacies at closing time, hoping to luck into a dose that would otherwise go to waste.

I think the Senate should get rid of the filibuster (listen to Adam Jentleson's interview on Chris Hayes' podcast for the history of the filibuster and also Jentleson's argument about how getting rid of it would actually encourage more bipartisanship than keeping it and that will give you my reasons for getting rid of it) but if Democrats in the Senate don't have the votes to eliminate it, maybe they can at least reform it.

As an aside - that podcast link is to YouTube which I had never seen before! But you can also find Chris Hayes' podcast at the usual podcast places.

I didn't read much, but I did listen to a few podcasts. I like it best when I can take a walk after work and listen, but some days there isn't time for that and so I listen while I make dinner. Anyway, one of the ones I listened to this week was Krista Tippet's interview with poet Naomi Shihab Nye. It was a wonderful conversation. One thing that has stuck with me was a story Nye told about teaching a class in Japan, and one of the students telling her about the Japanese word yutori:

She said, “Well, here in Japan, we have a concept called ‘yutori,’ and it is spaciousness. It’s a kind of living with spaciousness. For example, it’s leaving early enough to get somewhere so that you know you’re going to arrive early, so when you get there, you have time to look around.” Or — and then she gave all these different definitions of what yutori was, to her. But one of them was: “And after you read a poem, just knowing you can hold it. You can be in that space of the poem, and it can hold you in its space, and you don’t have to explain it. You don’t have to paraphrase it. You just hold it, and it allows you to see differently.”

I also listened to a really interesting episode of Vox Conversations about psychedelics in early Christianity and the ancient world in general.

Somethings that made me smile:

These pictures of starlings in Ireland.

These boots! I looked at them and thought "I wish I were the type of person who wore funky shoes like that" and then I thought, why can't I be? So maybe I'll buy some boots when I have a chance to catch my breath.

This art:

Here's your bunny for the week:

Have a good weekend, everyone! 

1 comment:

  1. Alexicographer3:54 PM

    I'm sorry to hear about your rough work week and days -- it doesn't sound like you are expecting those things to ease up/improve, but I hope something about them may, in days ahead.

    Thank you for writing these weekend posts. I always come read and enjoy them (and look forward to them!) even though I rarely comment. Just wanted to let you know they are appreciated.


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