The Book Catapult

A Year of Reading, Week 23

Books read (all or part of) this week:
About Grace by Anthony Doerr
Eyrie by Tim Winton
The Sea Inside by Philip Hoare
Karate Chop: Stories by Dorthe Nors
The End of Absence by Michael Harris
A Feast For Crows by George R.R. Martin
The Wes Letters by Feliz Lucia Molina, Ben Segal and Brett Zehner

Fits and starts, half-read short stories, pieces of novels, essays, & old books already read. I was all over the place last week – and not just in my reading life. Sometimes the reality of my waking world mirrors my indecision towards which book I settle down with. I’m at a bit of a career crossroads right now, I think, and I’m having a tough time nailing down what it is exactly I want to do with myself. Do I soldier on in my current position, collecting government benefits and a steady paycheck while sacrificing the elements of bookselling that I’m passionate about? (The fact that there is virtually zero chance of anyone I work with reading this blog and realizing that I hate my job should tell you something about the culture there.) Or do I scrap it all and open my own bookstore (with a bar inside, of course) and hope that that niche I think needs filling in San Diego is actually out there? Or do I put everything I have in my tank toward making The Book Catapult San Diego’s go-to, outside-the-box literary event coordination machine? Some combination of all of those? Some of those? Good questions.

As for the books, I really was re-reading Anthony Doerr’s first novel, About Grace all week to prep myself for our in-conversation event at Warwick’s on July 30. (More info here and here.) 

“Am I following a path already laid out for me, or am I making it myself?” 

Mmm-hmm. More on that next week.

But I became distracted late in the week and jumped around from book to book. 5 more pages of Eyrie by Tim Winton before falling asleep one night. A chapter of the new Philip Hoare book while I ate breakfast one morning. Two stories in Dorthe Nors’ collection, Karate Chop. (Not going back, I don’t think.) 12 pages of The End of Absence by Michael Harris on my walk back to my car after work on Thursday. (Partly because I’m stuck on this idea that we now live in a world without absence or true silence – or just that feeling of unknowing, really. Smartphones with every conceivable answer to every single question reside in all our pockets. We are the last generation to remember life without the crutch of the internet….) 30 pages of The Wes Letters, in preparation for an in-store author event on Friday. (This is an epistolary novel written to filmmaker Wes Anderson, composed by 2 UCSD MFA writing students and a former faculty member.) And little snippets of A Feast For Crows, just because. 

And at the end of the day, I still don’t know what to read, just the same as I still don’t know what to do with my life. I’m knocking on 39 in a couple of weeks and I’m feeling like I need to just make something fucking happen…

I’m open to ideas, of course.

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