The Vast Empty Void

How's that for a clickbait title? Who doesn't want to read about that?

I am in the adolescent phase of both blog-hood and my kids' reading and probably everything else in my life might was well be tossed in there too. And more or less every day I open the compose window in the ol' Typepad CMS, and try to think of what is nagging at me, gnawing at me, in terms of reading and books and children's (and other) literature, and then I write a few lines, and then I freak out and shut it all down.


This is, sadly, more of a meta-post, in which I nibble around the edges of what we are reading and thinking, and hope that opens the way through this blockage. 


Diana is reading, or at least brought to school with her, The Magician's Land (she's gone through the first two). To make room for it, she tossed out After, an anthology of post-apocalyptic stories of which she says, "They're actually good! It's not just 'Oh, it's the apocalypse and there's a boy and a girl and they fall in love.'" She is…more hesitant about The Magicians, but that is probably because I told her I thought she would like them, which is more or less saying, "Try this! It's made out of maggots!"

Chestnut is reading: Everything, more or less. She's a major book stealer, so you can't appear to enjoy any book when you're around her, because she will filch it. Mostly I keep finding The Smartest Kids in the World, which is about education systems in different parts of the world, and which has resulted in her telling me A LOT about Finland. Like, a whole lot about Finland. Finland, Finland, Finland.


And I? What am I reading? Perhaps there is the problem. I am reading A Brief History of Seven Killings, which is really good and also profoundly violent and fucked up. And so then I stopped reading it. And I read Ice! Which…well, it's not that it didn't hold up exactly. It's more complicated and distressing than that, so I have decided I will look away from it! That's what we do about problems, right! And I am reading good, old Travis McGee, Darker Than Amber. There's a whole lot about a "Eurasian beauty" that's tough to swallow, but there is also, beneath it, a profound emotional generosity. As there is in A Brief History of Seven Killings. Which means…what? I do not know, I only know that I am confused about reading, and what I'm reading, and what I should be reading, and also about writing, and…you know what? I will tell you what is giving me the greatest and most uncomplicated pleasure of all right now: The Great British Baking Show.

I hope to return soon, with meaning and coherence. Or at least, you know, a book recommendation.

3 thoughts on “The Vast Empty Void

  1. Sometimes I think I adore you. Honestly.
    That Finland video? It was everything. Right now, I am rather obsessed with Iceland and would like to go there. Evidently, tickets are available for $199 from the west coast, so it’s actually a possibility. Will you meet me there? We can read Sigrid Undset’s books to prepare (she’s not Icelandic, but close enough).
    I’m currently reading “The Door” by Magda Szabo, and I think you’d like it.


  2. I know more about this latest (and previous) seasons of the Great British Baking Show than ones I actually watch. My daughter is a big fan so I hear about it as it is shown in the UK, along with the after show hosted by some comedian I think. I actually have watched it a couple of times and watched the last few eps of last summer’s series.


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