the diamond and the frog
|Joanne McNeil||Jul 13|
I’d love to pretend I’m the sort of person that wild animals and especially amphibians gravitate toward, but the special friend pictured here was a rare occurrence. Rare like this rare book. He came and sat with me and starred at me for a while as I was reading on the grass. Wish I could carry him around in my totebag (I first mistakenly typed this as toadbag, which should tell you how much I wish this.)
The book, We are Made of Diamond Stuff by Isabel Waidner, was excellent. It’s a whirl of fascinating ideas and it can be read in a single sitting. If quarantine brain is impacting your ability to focus on fiction, try this one out!
I’m having the opposite problem where I can focus on books but I end up feeling ambivalent about their contents. I don’t think it’s the books that are bad but that I’m not in a place to read appreciatively (but i finish the books nevertheless.)
One other exception was Erasure by Percival Everett, which I finally read a few weeks ago. I don’t know what to say other than it is one of the best contemporary novels I’ve ever read in my life. Now I want to read all of Everett’s books, but he’s got hundreds!
I was looking for a quote about efficiency in life…something said by a…an…economist? Someone not know for sentimentality? Something about…old shoes? Finally I plugged in the right search words and found it. here it is:
“I believe that one ought to have only as much market efficiency as one needs, because everything that we value in human life is within the realm of inefficiency—love, family, attachment, community, culture, old habits, comfortable old shoes.” — Edward Luttwak
I'm not sure when or how I first came across it, but it appears in Corey Robin's The Reactionary Mind.
Other than that, I’m enjoying the resplendent I Will Destroy You. It plays very nonchalant and easy, and the power and complexity of the storytelling sneaks up on you. Michaela Coel is genuinely unique—a word that’s lost its power for misuse, but she’s a real deal rara avis. Her sense of timing and her humor feels otherworldly, which—for reasons I can hardly understand—is why it plays so real and relatable. Don’t think I could watch more than an episode at a time and I mean that as a good thing!
Thanks for reading.