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”

Just for Women! (?) On Olive, Again; Unless & “Domestic Fiction”

Copy of stone diaries body papers
Olive, Again by Elizabeth Strout and Unless, by Carol Shields

A couple of weeks ago, I was sitting in a Starbucks trying to get some work done when I overheard a man and woman talking about Little Women…presumably about the new film adaptation and its Oscar buzz. The woman was trying to explain “what” Little Women is – as in what it’s about – and was struggling a bit. “Well, it’s about four sisters…” To be fair, even if using the most straightforward way to describe the plot, it sounds a little homespun and maybe even boring: “Little Women follows four sisters as they grow up during the Civil War in the Transcendentalist hotbed Concord, Massachusetts.” And? So after the woman trailed off with the “four sisters” bit, the man replied, “But is it for men?”

No, sir, I’m sorry. Men not allowed. (Sheesh.) Continue reading “Just for Women! (?) On Olive, Again; Unless & “Domestic Fiction””