Reading The Grapes of Wrath and finding eerie echoes in it, of the present cultural and political moment. Can’t tell if it’s comforting or horrifying or just sad, but certain passages create this sense in me that we have been through all of this before, and are going through it still, and will go through … Continue reading Steinbeck, Grapes of Wrath, Right Now
This blog has been / is still-kind-of, on a six-month (nay, year-long) hiatus while I adjust to the demands of having a real actual full-time job for the first time in about 100 years. But I just finished The Liar’s Club, Mary Karr’s memoir about her terrible Texas childhood, and wanted to make note of … Continue reading Mary Karr: When Poets Write Prose
I’m working on a piece that takes place in the inner-city, and going back over Random Family, which I read almost a year ago. The book is chock-full of incredible reporting, and clean simple prose that make the breaking heart of the story burst clear-through. Too many scenes and snippets (and even profoundly good exposition) to recount, but I wanted to … Continue reading Random Family: On showing, telling, and showing up…
This from early in chapter 42. Where Andres the guerrilla is trying desperately to get a message from Robert Jordan to Golz about calling off the attack. Mostly because of the language. But also as a technical matter, to note how he stitches global and individual perspective into same scene. Now they went fast, swooping … Continue reading More FWTBT
I watched 88 episodes of Gilmore Girls in just the past two months, and read less than twelve books in all of 2015. I am confessing here because I think the shame of putting these two facts, side-by-side, out into the world might actually finally jolt me into amending for them. Eighty-eight episodes of Gilmore Girls, less than … Continue reading Big Books of Science Narrative: my reading list for 2016
I’m reading For Whom the Bell Tolls, finally, and finding it a bit slow and frustrating. Except, I just got to chapter ten, where Pilar tells Robert Jordan and the others about the day the revolution started in her town. The entire chapter is gorgeous and horrific, but I wanted to make note of this graph … Continue reading A quick note on Hemingway and reading vs. reporting….
I was in Nevada City, California earlier this summer – in the Sierra Nevada foothills, not far from Lake Tahoe – reporting a piece for Pacific Standard. And on a day-off, I happened into this quaint little bookstore run by this adorable elderly couple. Nevada City is an old mining town, with the architecture and kitschy tourist … Continue reading Oh Steinbeck…