hello friday! (150417)


truth?  there is something so soothing about sitting and staring out at the ocean.  whenever i'm having a really hard time or going through a bout of really bad depression, i hie myself out to the ocean and just sit and sit until i start feeling like i can breathe a little easier.  i couldn't live anywhere that doesn't have easy access to an ocean.  

but books!  in bullet points this time just because.

  • finished rebecca solnit's the faraway nearby (penguin, 2014, paperback) then immediately picked up a field guide to getting lost (penguin, 2006, paperback).  conclusion:  solnit is wonderful.  i'm going to pick up wanderlust:  a history of walking (penguin, 2001) next.
  • started writing a post about the faraway nearby and losing my grandmother to alzheimer's, but then the post became an essay that also wove in my travels in japan (i went to japan a few weeks after my grandmother passed away) and the books i read there and about solitude and place and dislocation and memory.  as of now, i'm unsure what it'll be, but i think that's one of the cool things about writing (or about creating in general), that you have no clue where you'll end up.  you could have a destination point or an end goal in mind, but that doesn't mean you'll actually get there, but it's all right because you end up somewhere better, if only because the journey there is revealing and eye-opening.
  • the 2015 pulitzers are announced on april 20, and i'm all ready to side-eye the hell out of it again.  (i've been side-eyeing the pulitzer since 2011.)  
    • who do i want to win the pulitzer?  marilynne robinson's lila (FSG, 2014)!
  • speaking of whom -- i started reading housekeeping (FSG, 1980) on the subway (in an empty car, no less) today, and i'm enthralled with her descriptions.  like this passage:
    • "it is true that one is always aware of the lake in fingerbone, or the deeps of the lake, the lightless, airless waters below.  when the ground is plowed in the spring, cut and laid open, what exhales from the furrows but that same, sharp, watery smell."  (9)
    • there's something so rich and visceral in that -- you can just imagine the earth exhaling, the smell it gives off.
    • i don't know if other readers are like this, but i find myself reading debut novels (in this case, of long-established authors) with a slightly different eye.  i'm not sure how to describe how my reading eye is different, but maybe it's a little more probing, a little more examining, not in a critical way but in a way that seeks to see the places authors came from, where they originated, how their work has progressed through their body of work.  i love seeing growth, how authors have matured, and i think it's fun because it's usually a very organic progression because change is natural -- we're constantly growing, reshaping, metamorphosing as people, so, of course, that ought to be reflected in the writing.
    • and, of course, this is relevant here because i've read robinson's later novels and housekeeping was her debut.

have a good weekend, all!  happy reading!