I survived last week’s cold with a combination of naps, New Yorkers, and soup, and I’ve bookmarked your excellent suggestions for the next time around (with a toddler who’s in group care, I’m sure it won’t be long).
As it happened, Jenny Offill’s excellent Dept. of Speculation arrived just as I was starting to turn a corner. I first read about it — where else? — in The New Yorker, and it was the perfect thing to get the spring back into my step intellectually. Experimental without being cloying, funny without being forced, it tells the story of creative ambition stalled in short, paragraph-long bursts.
A boy who is pure of heart comes over for dinner. One of the women who is dabbling with being young again brings him. He holds himself stiffly and permits himself only the smallest of smiles at our jokes. He is ten years younger than we are, alert to any sign of compromise or dead-ending among us. “You are not allowed to compare your imagined accomplishments to our actual ones,” someone says after the boy who is pure of heart leaves.
So back to the crowd: what are you reading now? Where should I go next now that I’ve got my f-a-c-u-l-t-i-e-s intact again?