It looks a lot like work, except without the work. All of the things I hoped to accomplish (reading and writing, mostly) have fallen by the wayside as the hundred other tasks and chores which I have put off for the past six months have reared their ugly, dirty, dusty heads.
I have added several new books to the library over the past week.
First up is volume 7 of The Long List Anthology, which collects the finalists for the Hugo Award for short fiction.
I also picked up Listening to the Fire: The Poetry of Fountain Street Church, which was published in 1998. I would have overlooked this one were it not edited by my old friend and co-worker from the bookstore days, Linda Rosenthal. I don’t remember when Linda left the bookstore but I was still there when this collection was published, and I am a little embarrassed that I had not heard of it until now.
In reading news, I finished Andrés Neuman’s brilliant How to Travel Without Seeing, which I first picked up back in 2016, and immediately stuck on a shelf and spent the next five years eyeballing uncomfortably, as if I had committed a small sin by not reading it immediately.
But I have read it now, and my life is much the richer for it. How to Travel Without Seeing is a travelogue of sorts, notes taken by the author on a book tour through nineteen (!) Latin American countries. Neuman is a brilliant writer and I will likely return to this book more than once over the coming years.
I am still working my way through back issues of The Paris Review, and have reached calendar year 2017, so I am only five years and change behind the present. This is another case where I regret not reading these journals as they came out, because much of the prose and poetry herein is simply remarkable. I have already added some books to my lists for later perusal, and will likely continue to do so throughout the rest of this exercise.
In writing news, I haven’t accomplished much, thanks to the specific mental/emotional hangover of having a break from work for the first time in six months.