In February, I listened to two audiobooks that ended up being very timely and appropriate: Wanderers by Chuck Wendig, which is a sprawling epic about a pandemic, and The Shining by Stephen King, which is about going crazy while locked inside for months. I loved them both, even if I was oftentimes unsettled by the news out of China while I listened to Wanderers…
I’ve had a version of this post sitting in my drafts for months as I write this intro in August. Originally I was just being lazy, but come March, we all know what happened. After the LA stay-at-home order on March 13th, my reading slowed to a crawl for a number of reasons. I couldn’t focus on books, I wasn’t listening to audiobooks during my commute, and I was spending way too much time doom-scrolling on Twitter.
In the first week of December, we went to Hawaii for a week.
I was so tired on the plane that I mostly watched movies and TV shows, but I had plenty of downtime during the week to sit outside on a balcony and read.
I also finished a Laini Taylor novella collection while visiting my family for Christmas.
I didn’t read anything too heavy this month, and it was a nice way to wrap up the year.
I’ve never read any of the classic Nancy comics, but her look is iconic. I feel like I could identify a Nancy comic from across the room by the shape of Nancy’s head alone. The fact that those comics were ubiquitous enough to become iconic but passé enough that I’d never read any of them is a fascinating contradiction.
For whatever reason, I had a bit of a slow month in June. I was still working on the His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman, and although I loved every minute of it, it still took me a while to read. I also listened to two fairly long audiobooks this month. The Nix clocked in at almost 22 hours, and Foundryside was nearly 20 hours. Both were excellent in different ways, however.
Golems from Jewish folklore have always fascinated me, with their heads full of instructions written on a life-giving scroll. A golem is both the creation myth in miniature and a way to codify magic, a sort of early computer programming where the processors are clay giants. It’s strangely comforting to imagine that human beings could control the world in such a fashion, while also terrifying to imagine the many ways it could go wrong.