What I’m Reading, July 5 – July 11

While I haven’t been updating this feature weekly, I certainly have been keeping up my reading! I won’t lie, it’s been a real positive aspect to the COVID-19 era for me. Combined with going through the New Yorker weekly, the Atlantic monthly, and the newspaper daily, reading the written word on real paper has meant the world to me. Then I can use devices for moments like this to share what I’m up to.

I’ve winnowed down to three books this week, though I wouldn’t be too surprised if another book or two slips in.

Category 1: Non-Fiction. I just finished American Canopy by Eric Rutkow and I’m really glad I read it, despite it being both more general and more dry than some of the other non-fiction works I’ve read lately. His decision to go through U.S.history by epochs but weave in ecology, deforestation, economy, and conservation is necessary. It does, however, make me want to read more about certain aspects of it. I’ve long wanted to find the right book on John Muir and his writings, for one. I’ve also wanted to delve more into the Civilian Conservation Corps under FDR too.

What I am reading, however, is Bart Ehrman’s latest work, Heaven and Hell: A History of the Afterlife. This sends me back to my college roots and my religious history fascination. With Bart Ehrman it literally sends me back to my freshman year at Holy Cross, in which his text books infused and eroded my faith in the perfection of the Bible and the evangelical take on scripture and Jesus. It’s great to return to this.

Category 2: Fiction:  Finished: Cory and Amy Rose‘s Sword in the Stars was so damn good. Just go read it – and Once & Future. They’re the same book. If I were the publisher I’d probably want to release them as one masterful volume. I came for the eye and life opening take on LGBTQ+ heroes and stayed for the jaw-dropping story and twists. They did the Arthurian legend and time loop quantum physics a great service.

My abundance of fiction riches is growing too. Finally and belatedly started N. K. Jemisin’s The Fifth Season. I waited too long start reading Jemisin and now can’t wait to read every word she has written and has yet to write. For no specific reason, I started with a completed trilogy of great acclaim and will work from there. The opening world build was as compelling and striking as anything I’ve ever read before. That’s saying a lot with my sci-fi/fantasy background.

Category 3: Reading with Cheryl. We’re still tenderly making our way through Sharon Salzberg’s Lovingkindess, though we need to have our “book club” chats for the last couple profound chapters we read together. This is a treat to read and discuss with Cheryl.

[If somehow you’ve stumbled here. Go buy real books. From Old Town Books.]

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