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Friday, April 19, 2024

Yes, It’s Okay To Throw Away A Book, by Michelle Cyca, The Walrus

Everyone knows that our consumption habits are problematic and environmentally destructive: Canadians send more than a billion pounds of clothing, shoes, toys, and household items to the dump each year. But we have a hard time seeing books as mass-produced consumer items that ought to be consumed more thoughtfully, even though that’s what they are. A book is different from a pair of shoes or a scented candle—but is it that different? The kinds of excess we permit—even exalt—for books is unheard of for other categories of possessions. Even speaking of books as a consumer good feels vulgar, but I wonder if this sanctimonious attitude deprives them of their true value.

Julia Alvarez On Falling In Love With Writing Again, by Julia Alvarez, Literary Hub

Every day I sat down to write was a gift I hadn’t expected. Every character was endlessly fascinating, every image I could captivate, every sentence I could manage was a petite miracle. I couldn’t drive myself like before, working six, seven hours, and then putting in a few more hours on book biz. Now, if I only got an hour—the eye strain told me when I’d had enough—I was grateful and longing to reenter the work again. I was back where I had started as a young writer, in the play and delight of the writing itself. Not without its accompanying frustrations and self-doubts (I was still me, after all) but it was a rebirth. “And now in age, I bud again. / After so many deaths, I live and write,” writes the poet George Herbert. Resets are necessary throughout a writing life, but especially after a lifetime spent in a craft when one can become jaded and wearied and stale.

An Acrobatic Story, Bewitchingly Told About Love During A “Witchmania” Outbreak, by Brett Josef Grubisic, Toronto Star

Naysayers might associate puzzles — literary and otherwise — with boredom, frustration or tedious intellectualism. As though anticipating blowback, Fleming gets playful. As complex and interwoven as her acrobatic narratives are, they’re bewitchingly told. Intellectually stimulating and an offbeat dip into history, “Curiosities” appeals as a dense puzzle that’s intriguing fun.

A Bitingly Funny, Extremely Online Novel About Sisterhood, by Ariella Garmaise, Washington Post

But while “Worry” documents the ways we’ve slid toward a culture of loneliness, Tanner has crafted, in Poppy and Jules, a relationship fleshy enough to endure the online vortex. “I can’t build my whole life around my sister,” Jules yells at Poppy after an argument. “Why not?” Poppy asks, but Jules can’t come up with an answer.