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Pillow Platitudes: On The Overstory by Richard Powers & Instagram Influencers

The Overstory, by Richard Powers

The New York Times recently published an interesting Opinion piece called “The Empty Religions of Instagram: How did influencers become our moral authorities?” Well, I focused straight away because the type of influencers that this piece discusses – namely, Glennon Doyle – is my kryptonite. I, a middle-aged white mom, fall squarely in Glennon’s target demographic, yet my fascination with her and her ilk is more of the sideshow variety. This category mostly doesn’t appeal to me – and the questioning cycle of “why does this not appeal to me?” of course makes me feel completely out of sync with my peers – but it’s interesting watching her peddle self-help-with-an-edge while everyone seems to fall into lockstep. If I get too far down this rabbit hole, I (and my heart), get stuck in a cycle of cynicism. Continue reading “Pillow Platitudes: On The Overstory by Richard Powers & Instagram Influencers”

To Be or Not To Be (Yourself): On The Vanishing Half, The Glass Hotel, and Shakespeare

The Vanishing Half, by Brit Bennett and The Glass Hotel, by Emily St. John Mandel

In a moment of delusion in late 2018, I decided to commit to reading one Shakespeare play per month in 2019. And I mostly kept the goal. (The only one I didn’t finish was Much Ado About Nothing in December.) I had already read many of these in college, and even though I was wholly tired of the Bard by the time 2020 rolled around, the plays still felt fresh. I thought King Lear raw and relevant, Hamlet heartbreaking. Twelfth Night made me sad in a “Mean Girls” kind of way. (Please don’t make fun of your steward, Malvolio.) And my college notes from 1997-ish were helpful! Here’s what I read:

Continue reading “To Be or Not To Be (Yourself): On The Vanishing Half, The Glass Hotel, and Shakespeare”

Reading + Pandemic = Travel? On Amy and Isabelle, Beyond Babylon, and Being Well-Read & Well-Traveled

Amy and Isabelle, by Elizabeth Strout and Beyond Babylon, by Igiaba Scego

I’ve never really bought the “reading is like traveling” argument. Reading is reading, and travel is travel, and never the twain shall meet. (Reading an Elin Hilderbrand book is just as good as actually being on Nantucket? Girl, please.) On Instagram, I occasionally tussle with the idea of why we read – and inevitably, someone brings up “travel.” I’m not saying that is not their experience, but it has never been mine.

Until now! Because I can’t travel anywhere! We can time travel, though, so let me take you back a bit. Continue reading “Reading + Pandemic = Travel? On Amy and Isabelle, Beyond Babylon, and Being Well-Read & Well-Traveled”