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Pandemic reading: the first few weeks

I found myself diving into books when the shut-down began. You see, one of the major downsides of travel for me is that I cannot read while on the road. I get serious motion-sickness in cars, trains, and even airplanes. This has created a real tug-of-war in my life but the upside is that when I am home, I become a voracious reader. It is one of the reasons that I love those days in between tours. And when those "days" stretch into "weeks and months", as they have done, well, you can imagine that I have been swimming in reading! You might notice that there is but one book of fiction in this pile....I generally read only non-fiction but when I have lots of time– and I find this interesting– I slowly but surely come back around to fiction. It is as if my mind needs several weeks (and sometimes months) to slow down and let it wander into the fictional world. But I clearly like reality too. I love knowing more about the world and in particular, I like a kind of in-between book, one that is about the world around us but told through the eyes of an author. Robert MacFarlane writes like this. His books are both historical, informational, and auto-biographical. He manages to take you somewhere on the planet and show you that place, its history, its words, its people, and allow you to come along for the journey, usually on foot or by boat, as if you were walking with him.

The Paris Review is one of the most excellent pieces of journalism I know. It features poetry, short story and other writings but the section I love most is the interview. These interviews reveal an in-depth profile of a particular writer, maybe someone you have never heard of. I have gotten to know a lot of poets this way. The interview questions are penetrating, interesting, unusual, and always open doors into fascinating discussions with the writer about their process, their life and and work.

More about the other authors in this pile later....


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