Things I’m loving this week:

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena. This was my book club’s latest selection and I hated it until about halfway through when the characters and story started to come together. It’s not an easy read and there’s a lot of confusing Russian/Chechan history (and good luck to you figuring that out if you Google it like I did). Also, (*spoiler*) nearly everyone dies painfully. But it was a very thought-provoking book on a few levels for me (from a humanitarian standpoint and a writer’s standpoint). Though the subject matter is serious, the author has buried quite a bit of humor in there for you, too:

“Ramzan nodded, yes, of course he was required to wear a seatbelt, just as he was required to give directions to a torture camp, because stupidity was the single abiding law of the universe.”

I forget most books that I read pretty quickly, but I know this is one that will stay with me. If you read it, get the print version so you can more easily flip back & forth to recall timelines/details. BTW — I couldn’t help but see this as a glimpse at our future if a certain small-handedminded man is somehow actually elected to the highest office in our country.

Longform podcasts. I have long loved www.longform.org, which is a treasuring of new and classic non-fiction articles curated from across the web, but I recently discovered the Longform podcast and am addicted to the hour-long author interviews. This may be because I’m a writer and I love hearing from others who share my gift and passions, but they are usually discussing a topic (something the author wrote about) that is of general interest.

Driveway chalk art. I will definitely miss this one day:

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Things I’m not loving this week:

 

 

Time magazine. They’ve gone of the journalistic deep-end and are now posting sensational raw video from the Brussles bombing and xrays of victims with shrapnel in their chest. You may think…well, how can the world know the true horror if we censor the worst and shield them from harsh image, but there’s a line between responsible reporting and sensational click bait, and Time magazine, much to my surprise and disappointment, has crossed it. There are studies that show people who are considering mass-murder revel in this sort of content and are actually ENCOURAGED by it, so you’re just feeding the terrorists and desensitizing the rest of the world to these acts of terror.

Popovich’s Pets. We went to see this “comedy pet theatre” at the Warner on Tuesday and it was just….so bad it was laughable. If the neighborhood kids decided to get together and put together a circus show, it would’ve been better than this. If this show comes to town and you want to support it because he uses shelter pets, just donate your $30 (per ticket) to your local shelter and take your dog for a walk.

Facebook/social media. I definitely need a break from all of it.