• Pandemic Reading: What Are You Reaching For?

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in CoronaVirus     Comments 37 comments
    Mar
    21

    Discussion question: What are you reading during this pandemic?

     

    During this weird time I wanted to run a bunch of discussion posts where we can all keep in touch and talk about specific things like what we’re writing and what we’re reading, and general things like… how we’re making it through this. Find links to the other posts at the bottom of this one.

     

    For this post, let’s share with each other what books and mags and newspapers are on our nightstands, or the table next to our reading chairs, or on the toilet tank.

    Are you reaching for home-hitting nonfiction like The Hot Zone and fiction like The Stand and The Andromeda Strain?

    Are you hoping to use this time to catch up on some classics you’ve never dipped into?

    Or just tackle your TBR pile? (Including, perhaps, that giant stack of unread New Yorker mags?)

    What are you reading on the internet? Where do you keep up with current events? How much of your reading these days is coming from Twitter and Facebook, et al?

    Let’s talk about it in the comments. Share your plans, share your recommendations, share the ways in which this situation is affecting your reading time and approach.

     

    Here are links to our other three discussion posts:

    What we’re writing during this pandemic

    How we’re writing, during this pandemic, and how it’s helping keep us sane

    A general discussion post where you can talk (or vent) about whatever you want: what’s the vibe in your house, your town or city, your state, your country? What movies and TV shows are you watching? How much toilet paper do you have left? How weird is this?

    Stay safe, friends. Stay healthy. Stay home, as much as you can.

     

    WriteByNight co-founder David Duhr is fiction editor at the Texas Observer and co-host of the Yak Babies podcast, and has written about books for the Dallas Morning News, Electric Literature, Publishing Perspectives, and others.

    WriteByNight is a writers’ service dedicated to helping you achieve your creative potential and literary goals. We work with writers of all experience levels working in all genres, nationwide and worldwide. If you have a 2020 writing project you’d like a little help with, take a look at our book coachingprivate instruction and writer’s block counseling services. If you have a manuscript that’s ready for some editorial care, check out our various critiquing, editorial, and proofing servicesJoin our mailing list and get a FREE writer’s diagnostic, “Common problems and SOLUTIONS for the struggling writer.”

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    Joe Giordano
    Guest

    Love in the Time of Coronavirus by Gabriel García Márquez. Just kidding.

    Hans De Leo
    Guest
    Hans De Leo

    Well, you might have noticed (maybe not) that I haven’t posted in a while. I’ve been working lots of hours and was focused on using what little time I had for what I needed to do. Yesterday was my 45th wedding anniversary, and we’re taking a weekend getaway along the north short of Lake Superior. As I write this I can look out the window at the lake, see the water, some patchy light fog, and the south shore in the distance. A 12-foot skiff putted by carrying 3 people with fishing poles. the past few weeks have been trying… Read more »

    Fred Grewe
    Guest

    currently reading Echoing Silence (Merton on writing), The Heart Sutra by Red Pine, and The Art of Memoir by Karr … fortunately still have my day job three days a week

    Susan
    Guest
    Susan

    Thomas Merton, I’m assuming… I read Seven Story Mountain and love him. Did not know about Echoing Silence. I might have to add it to the growing list of TBRs.

    Elissa Malcohn
    Guest
    Elissa Malcohn

    Currently I’m reading the latest loan from Brooklyn Public Library (where I hold a nonresident card), Dark Towers by David Enrich. After that, I will return to finish reading William Still’s The Underground Railroad, a free download from Project Gutenberg. (There are many “shelter in place” stories in the Still, for a vastly different reason.) I’ve also been reading these aloud to my partner, who is currently devouring the latest issue of Science News and reading sections aloud to me. In other words, our pandemic reading generally matches our non-pandemic reading. Back in January I read Daniel Defoe’s A Journal… Read more »

    Jennifer Pommer
    Guest
    Jennifer Pommer

    Right now I’m living solo so the stay-at-home policy could seem very lonely, but I do have a lot to do, though unfortunately, the walls don’t talk to me or talk back to me or sing with me.  The books I’ve chosen to read for this time are by Anne Perry, a British crime writer who has a series of 17+ books on Victorian England. I started one about half way through her series (I started the series a few years ago). For now, they are perfect because they transport me to another historical period and other people’s lives, attitudes, and… Read more »

    Raymundo
    Guest

    I follow several alt-news sites and Twitter for news on the COVID. My non-news reading at the moment is “After December” by Kasie Whitener. Reading for me is slowed, though, as I push on writing my novel.

    KevinW
    Guest
    KevinW

    I pulled “Palm Sunday” by Kurt Vonnegut off the shelf over the weekend. It’s a sort of “odds and sods” collection of ramblings, musings, interview segments, etc…for some reason, this seems to be a forgotten book. Maybe the title is the reason? Something about his tone is very reassuring to me…sensible, yet existentially resigned…”And so it goes”…all we can do is keep on keeping on…he made an interesting observation regarding WW2 literature, that it almost seems that everyone who lived through it had to publish their war story afterwards. So now I’m thinking about how we will be inundated with… Read more »

    Elissa Malcohn
    Guest
    Elissa Malcohn

    You had me at Studs Terkel. Love his work.

    KevinW
    Guest
    KevinW

    I’m not aware of anyone who is doing the sort of books he did, though I’m sure there must be many. “Race” and “Hard Times” made the biggest impression on me. Cornelius Ryan sort of did something similar in that he wrote about big events from multiple viewpoints. “The Last Battle” starts with the memories of a Berlin milkman who made deliveries every morning for 40 years, until one 4:00am in the spring of 1945 when business-as-usual was interrupted by the Russian artillery barrage. Meanwhile, in General Chuikov’s headquarters…

    Susan
    Guest
    Susan

    I am right now in the middle of a Washington Post article about Sinead O’Conor, what she’s doing now, where she’s been. I think she has one of the most beautiful voices ever and is one of the most interesting people. One of the pictures in the article is of a tattoo on her neck that says This Too Must Pass. I’ve always heard that saying as This Too Shall Pass. She would change ‘shall’ to ‘must’, that seems very like her. Maybe she can sing this virus away.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2020/entertainment/sinead-oconnor-still-in-one-piece/?utm_source=pocket-newtab

    Brigitte
    Guest
    Brigitte

    Hi and good afternoon David and Justine, I am in middle of reading a book written by Leo Buscaglia, titled; Loving Each Other. I bought this book at the library right before it closed. I found it on the USED book shelf to keep me busy during this time. The chapter on Forgiveness is VERY healing. I am taking this time to focus on helping My Inner Self and tapping into some of my creative potential. The quiet time has helped me to take time out and just chill and be with myself and my family. Leo Buscaglia’s book has… Read more »

    RJ
    Guest
    RJ

    I’m reading “Freedom from fear ” by Dave M. Kennedy.

    Barbara Mealer
    Guest

    The Islands at the End of the World and the Girl at the Center of the World by Austin Aslan who is a local Flagstaff writer. I meet him at a library sponsored workshop on writing and marketing. They are alternative history. I avoid news programs as all they do is create mass hysteria. All they needed to do was to give social distancing, stay home if you are sick or have immune problems, respiratory issues, aged or less than 5 y/o, good hand washing and keeping you hands away from your face. Other than more people needing hospitalized, this… Read more »




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