The More I Read, The More They Pull Me In

imagesThere are just way too many books out there that are flashing big bright “Read Me!” signs. I have dedicated myself to going back for those classics and well-received contemporary books that have escaped my reading lists (or disappeared under a covering of dust and forgetfulness). But then I hear about a new and exciting title and my urgency juices start to flow causing Henry James and Émile Zola to slide back behind Clarissa and The Good Soldier Svejk.

Is there a computer algorithm available which calculates the value of literature against the estimated time remaining and generates the optimal prioritized reading list?

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imagesI mentioned that Sunday I was going to make my first trip out of the house with my daughter’s family heading down to a local wildlife sanctuary. What I didn’t realize was that the sanctuary had been the model or Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy. Yes, I spent the afternoon in Area X, right next to the Lighthouse.

If you enjoy contemporary speculative fiction that doesn’t rely on abnormal sex or extra gaseous appendages, VanderMeer’s trilogy is recommended. However, if the New Weird is your direction, much of VanderMeer’s earlier work is probably more to your liking (Veniss Underground comes to mind). Like many authors through the years and around the world, VanderMeer moved from the early vigor of literary rebelliousness to a more mainstream narrative form, albeit about a mysterious and dangerous part of a future United States.

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It’s Almost June

downloadToday my daughter is taking me and the family out of the house for a drive to a local wildlife sanctuary (no, not Lake of the Ozarks). I’ve put on my big-boy pants but I still contemplating the choice of sneakers or sandals, not to mention the need for socks. Seems like the biggest problem for our outing will be bathroom facilities: the word out is Hold It! I suspect a public restroom or a Port-a-Potty might not meet the guidelines for avoiding the virus. I wonder if there are large bushes where we’re going (although I already have been warned about the alligators so a bush might not be advisable).

I’ve been mulling over and adjusting this month’s reading list for several weeks now and still keep making last-minute changes. I think I’ve overloaded the reading for June but based on the last few month’s results, it might be a good thing.

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