Lory’s enjoyable post at Emerald City Book Review, “How do You Follow Other Blogs?”, made me realize that I don’t. I am “e”-Overwhelmed by notifications of online book group schedules, catalogue sales, Yahoo book group digests, alerts for newsletters, Goodreads author alerts, Twitter alerts (but I don’t have a Twitter account!), and links to dismaying articles at my favorite “liberal” publications knocking even the Democrats off the pedestal (please don’t!), and political organizations demanding money. (I gave to Bernie.)
Anyway, I’m too muddled to pay much attention to “follow” notifications, but I do read blogs. I have bookmarked at least a zillion.
Is anyone else in the e-Overwhelmed category?
2. How about readalongs? I am happy to say that I have read and written about two books for the All Virago/All August event, Elizabeth Hardwick’s Sleepless Nights (here) and Louisa May Alcott’s Eight Cousins (here). (Karen of Kaggysbookishramblings let me know about the Virago edition of Eight Cousins.) Naturally I have American editions, but I love the Viragos. Here are the Virago covers beside my NYRB and LOA editions!
3. Are you better than other people because you read literary fiction? Yes. I learned all about it in Alison Flood’s article, “Literary Fiction Readers Understand Others’ Emotions Better Study Finds,” at The Guardian. It seems that David Kidd and Emanuele Castano at the New School for Social Research in New York did a study of 1,000 participants and found that readers of literary fiction understand other people’s emotions better than others (and pop fiction does not improve our understanding). Although I love to read classics and literary fiction (and pop), I find that, though I may understand the emotions of Henry James’ characters , I do not understand human beings’ emotions at all! And my best friend shattered me when she said of Henry James, “There may have been people like that once, but there aren’t any more.” Oh my goodness, and I love Isabel Archer!
4. Is there enough “Cli-Fi” to read in this year of new record global temperatures? Science fiction writer Paul di Fillipo at The Barnes and Noble Review says yes.
Earlier this summer — in a year marked by new record global temperatures — I toured some of the more exotic, outré, and far-fetched works of “Anthropocene fiction” that envisioned how humanity might imprint its often lethal image onto our home planet — even distorting other planets and the whole cosmos at large. After such visions as entire worlds clad in steel, and a solar system whose components were juggled about and reprocessed, the simple notion of Greenhouse Earth — the scenario where an unintentional and relatively tiny incremental change in average world temperature brings vast environmental and geophysical disasters and sociopolitical and cultural disruption and mass mortality — is now hardly science-fictional at all. Climate change is indeed the stuff of daily headlines, to an extent than when we encounter a recent front-page feature in The New York Times reporting on “climate refugees” in the USA and South America, the pairing of those two terms requires little in the way of explanation.
He recommends several novels and new anthologies.
What have we done to our beautiful planet, turned into a hell of our own making?