I fell off the wagon of doing these monthly, but here, have a randomly timed reading update!
- one book in French (0/1)
- five books about horses (3/5)
- five books about Vermont (4/5)
five books from the “to be read” pile (5/5)
- one book of poetry (0/1)
- one play (0/1)
five books by authors of color (12/5)
- three books about museums (2/3)
five award nominees (Hugo, Nebula, Dragon, Pulitzer, etc.) (7/5) two books about science (2/2)
- three classics (0/3)
three books about organizing/politics (4/3)
- three memoirs or biographies (2/3)
As a note, any category that’s crossed out no longer has accurate numbers. All of those categories have increased since I stopped counting.
I am working on three books right now that will cross out two of these categories. They’re just meaty and slow, but really good.
I had a couple of five star books in this last time period, but there’s one in particular I want to call out.
Can’t Even: How Millennials Became the Burnout Generation by Anne Helen Peterson was a revelation. I knew I liked her writing – I follow her Substack newsletter, and liked the original article on burnout when it appeared – but wow.
I admit, I went into this thinking it would be a bit cathartic, a bit “oh, yeah, obviously” and I’d get a couple of good thoughts from it, much like some of the political organizing/memoir books I’ve been reading this year.
I was wrong! I wanted to stop and re-read whole sections. I wanted to highlight and take notes in the margins, which I never do. I sometimes stopped and closed my eyes and just sat with a sentence.
I say all that from the fairly profoundly privileged position of someone who has a full-time job, owns a house, does not have kids, engages in an expensive hobby, and pursues many passion projects. So I don’t even have the financial and societal pressures that are experienced by many of the people in this book. It still spoke to me, very deeply.
I also did not expect it to read so much like a manifesto. It’s not just a litany of complaints; it’s a continued, firm argument that things do not have to be this way, that you cannot fix them personally by taking a weekend off now and again, and that we need to work together for profound societal and political change.
I finished reading this a few weeks ago, and typing this, I want to read it all over again.