In 2014, I was living in Ireland with my husband and two children, approaching 40, and at a career crossroads. At some point, I was reading Through the Window by the British author Julian Barnes, and well, it inspired me to start a blog as a creative outlet and clear-my-head project. Here is the original intro:
Julian Barnes wrote, “…writing is a matter of examining the world, reflecting upon it, deducing what you want to say, putting that meaning or message into words whose transparency allows the reader, now gazing through the same window-pane from the same position, to see the world exactly as you have seen it.”
I’ll take that one step further. Here are my thoughts on books that I read. They’re not reviews; rather, they’re ruminations on themes that have struck me about a particular work. Read along as I take Barnes’ ideals for writers and transfer them to a reader’s perspective.
I started this blog as an American living in Dublin, home to a rich literary history. Ineligible for a work permit (‘trailing spouse’ in the house!), I latched on to this project as a creative outlet as well as a way to force myself to read and write in a more disciplined fashion. At the same time, I stumbled into some “kinda paid” work: I served as an editor for The Curator and contributed to publications including the Dublin Review of Books and Books Ireland as well as book lists for Children’s Books Ireland and IBBY Ireland. I also had the pleasure of working with the Dublin Book Festival. My years in Dublin turned out to be some of my most “bookish,” which I suppose isn’t too surprising when you live in Sandycove, the initial setting in James Joyce’s Ulysses. (In addition to all of this book stuff, I’ve been: one of Fast Company‘s first employees [#27!], an after-school director, a media literacy educator, a communications director at a small nonprofit, and a mom to two fantastic kids — that job’s ongoing.)
I’m now back in the US — outside of Boston — and work as a communications consultant for nonprofits, helping small organizations tell and sell their stories. You can reach me here. (I also have been having a lot of fun taking A Lifely Read to Instagram. Join me! @alifelyread)
[P.S. A lot of my posts touch upon books that explore the themes of migration/home and motherhood. Two of my favorites are here and here.]
9 thoughts on “What’s The ALR Blog?”
Welcome to blogland! Love your debut posts and the look and feel of the blog. I look forward to hearing from you regularly and hope you keep up the weekly rhythm. You write beautifully by the way.
Thanks, Clare! We’ll see how the weekly rhythm goes. I think something the length of The Goldfinch will be a once-in-a-blue-moon read (at least for these purposes)!
Your template’s gorgeous, and your idea of ruminating rather than reviewing is intriguing. I’m looking forward to reading what you have to say. Just as a note, I’m on a mostly-weekly schedule myself, though it may be six days or ten, depending. People told me I had to post far more often to develop a readership, but I thought that was silly. My hunch was that quality would beat quantity every time, and it’s worked out rather well. I think it will for you, too.
Thank you so much for reading and for your kind words. I’m not sure I could post every day if I tried (nor could I possibly read that fast!), so it’s great to hear about your experience. Looking forward to reading more of your work.
You’re right – we do have similar reading tastes! I also love how you weaved your expatriate experience into your book review of The Temporary Gentleman.
Thanks for reading!