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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 2022

  • Ward Just: American Romantic (2014)
  • Jody Rosen: Two Wheels Good: The History and Mystery of the Bicycle (2022)
  • Dan Chapman: A Road Running Southward: Following John Muir’s Journey Through an Endangered Land (2022)
  • Iris Murdoch: Under the Net (1954)
  • Percival Everett: I Am Not Sidney Poitier (2009)
  • John Dos Passos: The Big Money (1936)
  • Aldo Leopold: A Sand County Almanac (1949)
  • John Dos Passos: 1919 (1933)
  • Hilary Mantel: Learning to Talk: Stories (2022)
  • John Dos Passos: The 42nd Parallel (1930)
  • Merlin Sheldrake: Entangled Life: How Fungi Shape World, etc. etc. (2020)
  • Mario Vargas Llosa: Death in the Andes (1993)
  • Ron Chernow: Grant (2017)
  • Francis Spufford: Light Perpetual (2021)
  • Craig LeHoullier: Epic Tomatoes (2015)
  • Saul Griffith: Electrify: An Optimist's Playbook for Our Clean Energy Future (2021)
  • Laurence Sterne: The Life of Tristam Shandy Gentleman (1759)
  • Laurie Blauner: I Was One of My Memories (2021)
  • Lee Smith: Blue Motel, a Novella (2020)
  • Josef Skvorecky : The Bass Saxaphone: Two Novellas (1977)
  • Michael Pereira: Mountains and A Shore: A Journey Through Southern Turkey (1966,2015)
  • Norman Lock: The Boy in His WInter: An American Novel (2014)
  • Tatiana Schlossberg: Inconspicuous Consumption: The Environmental Impact You Don't Know You Have (2019)
  • Pankaj Mishra: Age of Anger: A History of the Present (2017)
  • Donald Honig: Baseball When the Grass Was Real (1975)
  • Ayana Elizabeth Johnson & Katherine K. Wilkinson (ed.): All We Can Save: Truth, Courage and Solutions for the Climate Crisis (2021)
The book that started it all.
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