Virus and the City: Reading

I haven’t done a ton of reading, but I’m ramping up it seems. After reading a bunch of material that was book proposal related, I stopped because I wasn’t concentrating. Then I switched gears. The first book post-gears-switched was just for fun: The Woman in the Window. And it was fun. Perfect escapist reading. Now I’m just finishing up The Glass Hotel, which is just marvelous. It’s the new novel from Emily St. John Mandel, who wrote the post apocalyptic Station Eleven, which is one of the best I’ve read.

The Glass Hotel was supposed to be just for the sheer pleasure of reading, but it’s a fictionalization of Bernie Madoff’s crimes (which might make it sound not so interesting, but it’s glorious). The book proposal I’m working on is also about financial crimes, but like her book it’s about more than financial crimes and her book is inspiring me.

I’m going to finish her book before my next one arrives, a novel by one of my favorite authors who usually writes non-fiction, Lawrence Wright. It’s about a pandemic! I would have ordered it regardless, but now I can’t wait for it to get here. It’s called The End of October: A novel.

While I wait for Wright’s book to arrive, I’m going to re-read one of my top ten favorite books of all time: One Hundred Years of Solitude. So many people are using the title of one of his other books, Love in the Time of Cholera, for signs. I wonder how many of them have actually read his book? (Not one of my favorites, alas.)

What are you reading?

Stacy Horn

I've written six non-fiction books, the most recent is Damnation Island: Poor, Sick, Mad, and Criminal in 19th-Century New York.

View all posts by Stacy Horn →

6 thoughts on “Virus and the City: Reading

  1. I loved Wright’s book: “God Save Texas”! I could relate to the politics and the times he described, having lived in Texas all my life. I have his novel on hold at the branch library, which is closed because of Covid. Fiction tho? Not sure.

    I’m having trouble concentrating on fiction more and more. I am reading Alexander McCall Smith’s (No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency) series, off and on for relaxation. He has a stand alone novel coming out that I am anxious to read. I also read Charles Todd’s (mother and son authors Ian Rutledge series set in England during the aftermath of WWI.

    So I’m currently reading “Digital Minimalism – Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World” by Cal Newport, which is surprisingly good! A book I am going to reread: “The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating” by Elisabeth Tova Bailey. I enjoyed it so much years ago. So thanks for asking!! 🙂

  2. Yeah, I find it hard to get sucked into a book these days, but if I hang in there I manage. I just read that there’s going to be a bunch of protests in Texas today about opening up again. Now I have to look and see how hard Texas has been hit that people think it’s time to open up (also, I thought your governor is staging opening up anway).

  3. I get my news here: based in Austin. The answer is “no”, Texas is not ready to open up state parks and retail stores. Employees of these places are forced to work close to one another, just as grocery clerks, medical staff and service workers. How can that be okay when testing is so low and wait times for results are high… when PPE is scarce and when covid cases are still rising?

    I guess it’s possible that we have the spread under control now, but human nature will most likely feel an ease and safety that just isn’t there. Then, a lax in hand washing, face covering and going back to normal could take hold. Abbott says it will be a slow process of lessening the restrictions, so lets hope he pays attention to the data and that the data actually measures what is relevant to the process.

  4. Everyone seems to be running our of patience and anxious to open up. I feel like it will be a long time until I feel safe. I’ll be wearing a mask for a while (and social distancing, etc.), I think.

  5. Yeah, good idea! I am afraid I’ll get careless. I heard that a local park was filled with people today unfortunately. It’s been very windy here too, which may carry any air born virus further. I have had no problem walking in my neighborhood though, everyone keeps their distance. I have another nest of baby rabbits in my backyard under the rosemary and their mom is eating my flowers! A mockingbird has been chirping like crazy all the time I’m working in the yard which I love. So I’m content.

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