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Hey there!
Let’s talk about our days…
I’m one week away from my first Tidal Flats event, and to stay calm, I’m reading. When I started the 5:00 pm summer reading hour back in June, there were so many books staring at me that I would read 15 minutes in one and switch. I had a stack that included Disappearing Earth by Julia Phillips (finished), Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli (finished), a stack of New Yorkers (never finished), Iron Horse Literary Review (finished), Wild is the Wind by Carl Phillips (constant companion these days), and Gone So Long by Andre Dubus III (finished). I recently added Maggie Terry by Sarah Schulman (a detective novel!), As a River by Sion Dayson, and On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong. Sometimes, reading more than one book at a time makes me crazy, but at the moment it seems the only way.
 
A stack of books is a lovely thing, isn’t it? Similarities emerge both in covers and in story. Both Disappearing Earth and Lost Children Archive (LCA) involved missing children despite their opposing warm and cool covers. And I loved both. LCA quotes the first line of Carson McCullers’ The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, as does Tidal Flats. Here’s one of the many passages I underlined in LCA.
 
"I don’t keep a journal. My journals are the things I underline in books. I would never lend a book to anyone after having read it. I underline too much, sometimes entire pages, sometimes with double underline." (58)

Lots of new posts in the Acknowledgment Series. “It truly takes a village,” as one of you wrote. In yesterday’s post, I thanked—can you guess? Books!
Andre Dubus III wrote about one of his days in July. I’m sharing the end of his day here because he writes about talking about books and what he’s reading. Plus, he describes what he’s eating, which will be a treat for all you foodies!
 
"[B]ecause I rarely know how many people will need to eat, I tend to cook far more food than is necessary. The other night, though, it was just me and Fontaine (fresh from a rehearsal for a show she’s choreographing) and our oldest son, Austin. We shared pulled pork with a bourbon barbecue sauce, chicken sausages, corn on the cob, and a green salad that Austin had tossed after his own run. We ate and sipped wine and talked about books and movies and people we loved. A few hours later, lying in bed beside Fontaine, she studying Greek on her phone, me with Nabokov’s Lolita in my hands, I breathed in the nearly unspeakable abundance that is my present life. I take none of it for granted. I am grateful for all of it. I want to be more worthy of it. And I never want it to end."
 
Andre’s whole day until he arrived at this moment is up on the website. And my essay introducing him is here. These days, down in his cave, he’s working on a new novel and a collection of essays.
Here we are in the last days of summer, but the school buses are already out. Are you doing summery things or making plans for fall? When you think about the day ahead, do you create lists or moments? “Are you breathing?” my trainer asked me last week. “Are you?”
 
Just like everyone, I don’t make it to the sofa at 5:00 every day, but it’s such a lovely idea that I do make it a lot of days. I’m wondering when you read, especially those of you who read a book a week.
 
And that moment at the end of the day as you reach to turn out the light—what are you thinking then? Send me an email and let me know.
 
With this newsletter, I wish you lovely ideas.
Let me know how you’re spending your August days. And feel free to share this email with others. Thanks for reading.
 
Peace out,
--cynthia

 
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Issue #3 August 2019
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