Under the Weather:  The Lighter Side of Survival

Like many of you, I have felt under the weather  In my case, it is stress.  On a recent afternoon, my closest friend staggered into the kitchen, muttering “Don’t be upset, but I’ve had a slight accident.” 

I would not call it slight.  His face and neck were bloody, one of his eyes was crusted shut with blood, his clothes were torn, and he had several  broken bones. This was from an accident on the bike trail.  Anyhow, we made several  stressful visits to hospitals and doctor’s offices, where visitors are not allowed. I sat outdoors or in hospital atria.

Well, at least we’re all alive and (more or less ) in one piece.

I try to cheer up by doing light reading, inlcuding articles and essays about culture and life-style.  Here are a few links to articles I’ve enjoyed. 

 1. Dennis Drabelle at the Washington Post is recommending light books these days.

Some of us who have time on our hands these days are dutifully catching up with literary masterpieces we’ve neglected until now — books that I think of collectively as ‘War and Mobymarch.’  That’s admirable. But if, like me, you have an itch for vicarious adventure delivered by fiction that is both realistic (no swords, sorcery or time travel) and a cut above the tried and trashy, I say go ahead and scratch it.

2.  Novelist Jennifer Weiner’s wrote an excellent essay in The New York Times, “The Seductive Appeal of Pandemic Shaming.”  Much to my astonishment, people now post pictures online of people who do not practice social distancing.

She writes,  “…posting pictures of non-compliers on social media, or calling them out to their faces, is unlikely to help. It might even make things worse. And it comes with risks to groups who are already suffering more than most from the virus and its effects.”

This kind of posting might well be called,  ” Big Brother Meets ‘The Invasion of the Body Snatchers.'”

3.  Here is some good news!  The Women’s Prize for Fiction 2020 shortlist has been announced.

Dominicana by Angie Cru (John Murray/Hachette)

Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo (Hamish Hamilton/Penguin)

A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes (Picador/Pan Macmillan

The Mirror and the Light by Hilary Mantel (4th Estate/HarperCollins)

Hamnet by Maggie O’ Farrell (Tinder Press/Hachette)

Weather by Jenny Offill (Granta)

4.  And if you need to repair a book, read this article at Book Riot, BOOK REPAIR 101: HOW TO REPAIR A BROKEN BOOK.