Tag Archives: Memoir

STRAYED — Wild02

In anticipation of straying

I started reading Wild yesterday in anticipation of future directionlessness: I will need to find myself, too, in one way or another. Or, at the very least: Form more firmly—in the coming weeks—a path toward what I am to become, whatever that may be. See, I have always just fallen into things; I wave off Big Decisions with a wildly thumping heart yet an airy, “I’ll figure it out.” And I usually do, because I have a staggering amount of self-preservation [to offset my denial of foresight]. And I picked up Wild to very laterally approach the very thought of having to think about the future. I’m not going to figure it out now, no. But I need a semblance of direction; I need to know where to start. And although none of these decisions will be spurred the same depth and breadth of sorrow that Strayed’s were, I can only approximate her fear for the future. Fear and, yes, occasional denial of. It’s what I do, you see: I pick up books. [Continue reading.]

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In Books, January 2013

I seem to be behaving, thus far, this 2013, when it comes to amassing books. Fine, that’s still quite a number up there—and I have obviously rediscovered my fanaticism for good ol’ Steve—but they all came from the trusty, national secondhand bookstore that is Booksale. That is: The consolation is, my wallet didn’t burn as brightly. Because, you know, we really need less wallet-burning around these here parts. Yeah. Anyway, here’s a quick rundown of what I bought, and the respective feeble rationalizations for each purchase. [Continue reading.]

JACOBS - The Know-It-All

Light reading

I started this draft right after I read the book—which was amazing and fun and full of useless information, exactly the sort of thing I like spending my time with, and also full of deeply human things, like the life one can lead when one is surrounded by ridiculously intelligent and go-getter people and also when one very badly wants babies to impart all that useless information to, and wee! And I’ve kept trying to go back to the draft above, but then Real Life has always had this pesky tendency to kick all your well-meaning plans to up your self-worth right in the balls. Okay. That’s the explanation I’m going with. Toodles. [Continue reading.]

01092013

01092013: Bye, Franzen; and Proust, still

Franzen, I’ve found, shies away from an indulgent narrative about families—about his family, here in particular. Snidely, I think: His essays need to have reach—they shouldn’t only be about the Franzens. And so: Family dynamics should naturally draw on Snoopy and its creator. An awkward adolescence—too enlightening, really: who knew Franzen was such a big dorkus?—dignified by an examination of the youth group he belonged to. Selling the house his mother had spent nearly a lifetime to build—a house full, no doubt, of his mother’s disappoints—should lead to a dissection of real estate in America. And, goddammit, troubles with his wife should veer into bird-watching in them good ol’ United States. [Continue reading.]

01062013

01062013: With Proust and Franzen

Currently reading: The Discomfort Zone by Jonathan Franzen; and Swann’s Way by Marcel Proust, translated from the French by Lydia Davis. • I’ve had a rather triumphant week: I’ve been (*holds breath*) blogging regularly—mostly driven by chants of “It’s the principle of the thing, Sasha!”—plus the very thought of the rest of 2013 continues to inspire in me a hope that it’ll get better, reading-wise. (Life insists that it will look up as well, but I’ve heard that before.) [Continue reading.]

Aimless reading, anyone?

Number 07 of my not-quite-resolutions at the start of 2011 reads, “And, if all else fails, read less.” I’ve long ago begun to think that, hell, I could have put in more effort to fulfill that item. This blog would probably less dead that way—see, a lot of books read plus an inability to not […]

Dispatches from the diving bell

165 of 2011 ∎ The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, the memoir of Jean-Dominique Bauby; translated from the French by Jeremy Leggatt. “I have known gentler awakenings,” Bauby shares—telling of the day he awoke from a coma, an ophthalmologist stitching shut his right eye. And him inside a diving bell: a massive stroke resulted in […]

On Undercurrents, and assorted rushed fragments

1 From Undercurrents: A Life Under the Surface, by Martha Manning: Depression is such a cruel punishment. There are no fevers, no rashes, no blood tests to send people scurrying in concern. Just the slow erosion of the self, as insidious as any cancer. And, like cancer, it is essentially a solitary experience. A room […]

“A man who believes in his own inviolability…”

Traditional autobiography is composed after the experience has passed. It reaches into memory and the past, but it is a constant rush into the darkness of the undiscovered. There was never an end in sight, until I landed in it. I was living a hectic life, and I presumed I would simply have a heart […]

Stuff I’ve Been Reading While I Disappeared from the Glittery World of the Intarwebz

It’s definitely an improvement: I’m guilty about abandoning this blog for fewer hours in a day. The usual excuses: Work’s been crazier than ever, I like sleeping, I like reading, I am lazy, blah and blah. Still, though, I owe it to my O.C. tendencies to kick-start this blog with a moratorium of the books […]