How To Do Nothing

Book Notes

When a book comes at you from multiple directions, Susan recommends it, XOXO recommends it, BookRiot recommends it, you need to add it to your reading pile. In my case, I added it to the Libby queue and up it popped, so, here we are.

And HERE we are. We are a society of always go go go, praying on the altar of productivity, never quite stopping to take a breath, look around, be. We know this won't really work out, though, in the long run, but we keep going, because hey, don't stop can't stop.

Right. So, here's the history: we used to be overworked for the capitalist overlords. We fought back, managed a 40 hour workweek, and then slowly drifted back to the always on. How to undo this?

1. Doing nothing is not a waste of time. You need that downtime, that shower time, that boredom, for creativity.
2. Stop and smell the roses. No, really. Pause to look around, notice the beauty in the small things, in the nature around you. Even if it just a squirrel in the backyard.
3. Doing nothing is not the same as idleness, it is a call to be intentional about one's attention.

While I enjoyed this book, and am incorporating its message, I wasn't overwhelmed by the message that others who recommended it to me. This book is definitely worth reading. Maybe I already recognized I needed to step off the treadmill? Maybe I already stepped off? I don't know. I agree, though, with the message, worth reading.

When people long for some kind of escape, it’s worth asking: What would “back to the land” mean if we understood the land to be where we are right now?
Location: 86

Bloody Genius

Book Notes

This is book 12 in the Virgil Flowers series.

Similar to the previous book, Flowers follows along a number of ideas before figuring out the murder in the end. The ending isn't as expected, but was still interesting. Quick read. If you're a fan, read it. If you aren't, this one is less amusing than the earlier books, so maybe start there instead.

The woman crunched herself up, made herself smaller, opened her mouth wide to silence her breathing, a trick she’d learned in another life while taking singing lessons.
Location: 97

She never saw the person with the phone but kept her arms over her face and her head down: faces shine in the dark, and eyes are attracted to eyes.
Location: 101

“You know it’ll piss off the Minneapolis cops,” Virgil said. “Does that bother you?” Virgil said, “Well, yeah, it does, as a matter of fact.” “Huh. Too bad. Doesn’t bother me at all, since I won’t be there,” Duncan said.
Location: 219

Virgil liked all the aspects of living on a farm, except for the farmwork.
Location: 284

... she made Virgil tote the wet bedsheets and blankets out to the line in the summer because, she said, they smelled like sunshine when they were dry. Virgil had to admit she was right about that.
Location: 292

One Hundred Years of Solitude

Book Notes

Okay, despite having read Love in the Time of Cholera, the book I actually wanted to read by Gabriel Garcia Marquez was this one, One Hundred Years of Solitude. Thing is, I don't know why I wanted to read this book, why I bought this book, why it sang to me unopened from the stack of books.

I pondered this out loud, and Eric immediately said, "Oh, that's easy. 'Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendia was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice.' That line! That drew you did, and wouldn't let you go!"

An excellent story. Not accurate, but true.

This book, along with All Quiet on the Western Front have broken me of any and all habits of and interests in reading book introductions. BOTH of these books have introductions that say, HEY, HERE IS A VERY IMPORTANT PLOT POINT THAT YOU'LL READ, BUT I AM AN FOREMOST EXPERT ON THIS BOOK SO I WILL TELL YOU NOW.

Yeah, don't read the introductions any more. Shit, I feel like Pride and Prejudice did this, too. No more reading introductions!

I enjoyed the book, the tale of one family and the cycle of the world. I suspect having to read this book for school would be a chore. Reading the book because it sang to you from the bookshelf, however, is a delight. Plot summaries are elsewhere, I recommend this book over Love in the Time of Cholera.

Pride and Prejudice

Book Notes

I hadn't read this book before. I don't know that I would have found has insightful or as hysterical as I do now, had I read it when I was younger.

This was my first Jane Austen book, which is probably not something I should admit. The parts where, well, simple human misunderstanding causes all sorts of mayhem, had me laughing at the absurdity. Aren't we all like this, though?

Yes, at some time or another.

And yes, reading this book means I've given up on reading only non-fiction this year. 38 books in, I had a good run.

Elizabeth's courage did not fail her. She had heard nothing of Lady Catherine that spoke her awful from any extraordinary talents or miraculous virtue, and the mere stateliness of money or rank she thought she could witness without trepidation.
Page 184

It was not in her nature, however, to increase her vexations by dwelling on them. She was confident of having performed her duty, and to fret over unavoidable evils, or augment them by anxiety, was no part of her disposition.
Page 265

This is not the sort of happiness which a man would in general wish to owe to his wife; but where other powers of entertainment are wanting, the true philosopher will derive benefit from such as are given.
Page 270

Upon the whole, therefore, she found, what has been sometimes found before, that an event to which she had been looking with impatient desire did not, in taking place, bring all the satisfaction she had promised herself.
Page 271