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August has served up a delicious swirl of leisurely time lakeside and riveting writing work. I try to keep my laptop far away from water for both technology and mental health reasons, but I’ve still made a point to take advantage of the good weather when not in vacation mode. In particular, I’ve enjoyed reporting for duty from my three-season porch — a generous way to describe the screened-in situation on the front of my house, which is definitely comfortable less than three quarters of the time. These last days of summer have included a string of temperate days here in Minnesota, making Porch Station Bravo a productive and pleasant locale to dig in to my current projects covering parenting and psychology. I hope to have a new link or two to share with you next time.
New Writing From Me
When I’m not writing or momming or cooking or walking, you’ll probably find me reading for book club. Ten years ago, I started one in the Twin Cities for Macalester College alumni. I still run it and people still come and it’s an absolute delight. I worked with Macalester College staff and MacReaders to put together a service piece about How To Host Your Own Bookclub for anyone who wants to start their own with a little leg up from our decade of experience.
Books I Think You’ll Like
Jenny Offill is a master of atmospheric, character-driven novels, and Dept. of Speculation is no exception. I love these kinds of book when I’m winding down for sleep: Gorgeous prose and engaging writing, but not so engaging that I blow through bedtime. It was a yummy treat to dip into before bed this month.
Sea of Tranquility: A Novel by Emily St. John Mandel has the feel of a genre-defining work. It captures the spirit and wisdom earned from living during Covid-19 without being about Covid-19. This one is a pandemic novel you’ll want to read. Mandel follows compelling characters in a slow burn of a story, bringing them together in a beautiful, satisfying conclusion. This one lingered in my head long after I set the book down.
I loved Body Work: The Radical Power of Personal Narrative by Melissa Febos. This craft book, comprised of a series of essays about Febos’s approach to and ethos of creative non-fiction (specifically, personal essays), hit the sweet spot of validating what I’m already doing as a writer (community FTW!) and inviting me to do things differently (mentorship FTW!).
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