Or, Out and About
I’m writing this on a day when The Disc Horse is consumed by questions of how long books should be. Should they be 70K words long or do 40K books deserve rights?
As with a lot of these things, the nature of Northern publishing dominance, following certain accounts and being a reader means I, too, read a few things before the app blocker on my phone said “STOP”.
More app blockers because the way I’d have been caught up…
Last week also saw news of an open letter signed by a number of famous academics (by which I mean famous outside their academic circles) and some of them were disappointing for me and my homegirls. I wish I could say this was always my stance but being on the internet so long has made me appreciate resisting the urge to put anybody on a pedestal. Have no faves so your faves will never disappoint you. Easier said than done, of course, because writers create worlds in which we imagine ourselves, encounter ideas and escape our lives. It can be heartbreaking to see that their feet of clay are the type to excuse the inexcusable.
On Sunday, I went to watch a play for the first time in over 3 years and it was something to be seated in a theatre laughing and sometimes cringing at what was on stage. The experience made me realise I live - at least digitally - in a space where appropriate noises are made about the equality of people, labour rights, gender and so on. I had moments when I was too stumped to laugh but folks seemed to be having a great time. Maybe they are right - whoever ‘they’ are - nobody likes a killjoy. Not even the killjoy, it seems.
Other than the Tekayo reading (which was a great success; many thanks to all the wonderful people who shared the experience of reading and jamming with me), I barely read after my return to the city. I did, however, buy some books - picture books for my niblings and The House of Rust for a dear friend so that should count for something. This week, I started my buddy read of Tash Aw’s We, The Survivors with the awesome MJ and it’s proving to be an interesting choice.
Lastly, some Mike in the Bookish World News. On Thursday I’ll take part in a Twitter Space (my first as a guest!) with the inimitable Gathoni (check her page for details). Libraries may be mentioned haha. I’m filled with joyful trepidation.
Some more: I am judging books in Group E of the BookTube Prize this year. As a person who has enjoyed BookTube Prize content in the past, it’s going to be a lot of fun. Some of them are chunkers and one I’ve read before (Burnt Sugar by Avni Doshi) so I have some reading ahead of me. As you can imagine, I can’t talk about the books before final scores are announced but I promise (hold me to it!) to make some content around it (I’m thinking of tweets and blog posts at the moment, but one may yet make a video).
I hope you have a great week and a lovely time reading. Talk to you soon!