What I Happen to Be Reading At the Moment

"A thirteen-year-old is a kaleidoscope of different personalities, if not in most ways a mere figment of her own imagination. At that age, what and who you are depends largely on what book you happen to be reading at the moment.”


While not 13 anymore, the desire to read almost anything and everything in order to read for fun and for experience is still around. I'm currently working on my PhD in a physical science, but I love to read and books are one of my non-science hobbies.

The Trip to Echo Spring: On Writers and Drinking

The Trip to Echo Spring: On Writers and Drinking - Olivia Laing There are a lot of drunk authors, part of the whole legend of how to be a big time 20th century author. This plays into the larger insane/self-destructive artist trope, the usual kind of stuff you see dramatized in [b:Proof|150720|Proof|David Auburn|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1417605435s/150720.jpg|1632] or written about in every single Hemingway biography ever.

Olivia Lang, who herself came from a background of growing up around alcoholism, decides to do a part travel log, part comparative biography of several American 20th century greats (men in this case, because she was worried about being triggered herself if she dove too deep into the subject of female alcoholics, which is forgivable since this is not rigorous scholarship and does not pretend to be) to explore the issue of alcoholism with writers. She visits places they lived and takes long train rides in which she has time to think about the respective biographies of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Tennessee Williams, John Berryman, John Cheever, and Raymond Carver. The details of their lives mesh with the details of the places she visits, as well as information about the psychological underpinnings of alcoholism as they are currently understood.

Fun fact: Raymond Carver lived not too far from where I went on family vacations growing up.

Overall, a nice combination of genres and the kind of long form personal journalism that I really enjoy.

Currently reading

Native Son
Richard Wright
The Great Glass Sea
Josh Weil
The Elder Edda
Anonymous, Andrew Orchard