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June 29, 2021


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Cal Gough

I'm glad you got to travel during the lockdown, and I'm glad you wrote this blogpost - you may have convinced me to re-read ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF SOLITUDE myself, or to (finally) read THE PLAGUE. In any case, your musings on solitude were interesting. Aside from assorted frustrating aspects of the pandemic/lockdown, I've discovered, to my surprise, that my temperament is apparently more OK with more (nonvoluntary) solitude than I'd imagined. Hard to really tell, as my partner Randy and I continued our routine of spending half the week at his place, half each week at mine: not everyone out there had such a constant, familiar buffer to their solitude these past many months. Still, we were apart a lot during the day, so I did spend/do spend a lot of time at home. I thought I'd read more books during lockdown, but that didn't happen, alas. However, now that the public library has resumed Interlibrary Loans, I'm getting more stuff I really, really, really want to read, so I expect my reading time will spike again, as in pre-COVID times. Lord knows I'm reading (simultaneously) more titles than ever lately. (And that's, as Martha Stewart would say, A Good Thing.)

Murray Browne

Thanks for the comment, Cal. I am glad the posting resonated with you. I had to make a concerted effort to keep my reading up hours-wise after retirement. While I was working I had 45 minutes of reading time each day on MARTA. These days, I try to block out specific times of the day for reading these days, but that is not always possible. Camus and Garcia Marquez are similar because both writers are political and involved with the politics of their region. Camus with Algeria and Garcia Marquez with Columbia (though he's known more for being friends with Castro in Cuba). However the story and great writing comes first.

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Books Read in 2021

  • Judith Schalansky: An Inventory of Losses (2018)
  • Marc Bloch: The Historian's Craft (1942?)
  • Larry McMurtry: Walter Benjamin at the Dairy Queen: Reflections at Sixty and Beyond (1999)
  • Kim Stanley Robinson: The Ministry for the Future (2020)
  • S.C. Gwynne: Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Park and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches (2011)
  • Jonathan Franzen: The End of the End of the Earth (2018)
  • Moyra Davey: Index Cards (2020)
  • Xan Fielding: The Stronghold: Four Seasons in the White Mountains of Crete (1953)
  • Cam Perron with Nick Chiles: Comeback Season: My Unlikely Story of Friendship with the Greatest Living Negro League Baseball Players (2021)
  • Primo Levi: The Periodic Table (1975)
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez: One Hundred Years of Solitude (1970)
  • Barbara W. Tuchman: Stilwell and the American Experience in China, 1911-1945 (1970)
  • Deborah Warren: Connoisseurs of Worms (2021)
  • Barbara W. Tuchman: Practicing History: Selected Essays (1982)
  • Amy Stewart: The Earth Moved: On the Remarkable Achievements of Earthworms (2004)
  • William Zinsser: American Places (2007)
  • Jorge Carrion: Against Amazon and Other Essays (2019-20)
  • David Shields: The Thing About Life Is That One Day You'll Be Dead (2008)
  • Mike Shropshire: Seasons in Hell: With Billy Martin, Whitey Herzog and "The Worst Baseball Team in History" (1996)
  • Michael Gorra: The Saddest Words: William Faulkner's Civil War (2020)
  • William Faulkner: Absalom, Absalom! (1936)
  • George S. Schuyler : Black No More (1931)
  • Drew Gilpin Faust: This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War (2008)
  • Rick Atkinson: The British Are Coming: The War for America, 1775-1777 (2018)
The book that started it all.
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