The catalog of things that must get done in the next week and a half is busting my brain! However it is all good, I am very happy to be back in my teaching life and with all sorts of other appealing obligations of a more or less optional kind; only I had better activate my superpowers, I think...
(Among other things I am reading lots of novels as a member of the judging committee for a fiction prize and tantalizingly can't really say anything about them, good or otherwise, until the awards have been given and the prize is over and done with, at which point I don't see why I can't say some good things about the ones I have particularly enjoyed...)
I did read a good book last night that it will not contravene the embargo to mention: Jessie Sholl's Dirty Secret: A Daughter Comes Clean About Her Mother's Compulsive Hoarding. The content is excellent, and I am sure it will find a very wide audience; I did feel that it could have been an essay-length piece of absolute long-lived brilliance, and that something was sacrificed in the writing in order to make it a book-length piece, but it is still a very good book. Two paragraphs I particularly liked:
In June, I'm walking along the Hudson River as I sometimes do, when I notice that my iPod is sounding utterly fantastic. Because of the times I helped my dad test out his new audio gear, I can easily tell the difference between a crap stereo and a good one. And suddenly my iPod sounds as good as one of my dad's best systems.Bonus link to my favorite PJ Harvey song:
I take out my earbuds. Did I buy new ones and not remember? They look the same. Besides, I would remember. And my iPod certainly hasn't changed. I put the earbuds back in and switch from the Lemonheads to Outkast. Again, the music sounds excellent. I try Radiohead, the Rolling Stones, PJ Harvey. I'm hearing individual parts to the songs that I haven't noticed, or at least appreciated, before. And these parts are coming together to create a vastly wider spectrum of sound. I continue walking, blown away by what I'm hearing, still baffled as to why. And then I realize: It's the Wellbutrin. I'd become so depressed that everything had gone flat, including music. Now it's round again.