Thursday, March 21, 2024

Some Annotated Reading March 21

Two weeks-worth of reading here.

I finished reading American Pop by Snowden Wright. As usual, I don't know what made me put this on my reading list. I suspect it was due to a blurb describing it as an "imagined history." (I paid attention to a blurb!) In places, particularly at the beginning, American Pop reads like creative nonfiction, as if the author is writing about a real family who ran a real soda empire and using fictional tools to do it. He refers to other works that are supposed to be about the family and their company. I found this incredibly intriguing. The book is not at all linear (or is it?) with sections about various family members moving back and forth in time and giving away characters' future well in advance of them reaching it, while, I just realized, not treating that future moment itself when it happens. I am an incredibly linear person, and I shouldn't have liked this. But I did. And the real ending of the book has a satisfying surprise.   

Allen Tate is the next of the poets I read in my quest to read all the American poet laureates, though he is from the day when they were called consultants in poetry. I couldn't grasp his work, I'm ashamed to say. He had a lovely voice, though, and you can hear him reciting his poem, Ode to the Confederate Dead

I am making an attempt to read a Guy de Maupassant short story, in French and English, in order to observe Francophonie month. It's not going well. I've started reading the English portion first, then the French, and I am recognizing the French better that way. Still can't tell you what the story is about. I also read a de Maupassant story in English, The Necklace. I think I read this in my youth but got it confused with The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry. The Necklace is grimmer than I remember The Gift of the Magi being, though.

Substack is Both Great and Terrible for Authors by Jane Friedman at Jane Friedman led me to seek out Substack vs. Medium: A Comparison of Two Popular Publishing Platforms by Si Willmore at Memberful. These articles may become part of a blog post at some point.

I read What Everyone Gets Wrong About Picky Eaters by Betsy Andrews at Saveur, because I write about eating from time to time, so I like to read something about food from time to time. We have a number of family members with the kinds of eating issues Andrews writes about, which is what drew me to her article.


Alternative Forms Of Meditation For Parents Of Young Children by Bev Potter at Frazzled.  

Quiz: James Joyce's Editor Or Me Commenting On My Child's Homework by Amy Greenlee at Frazzled.  As if I know anything about James Joyce.

Am I Grocery Shopping or Enrolling My Kid In College? by Kate Brennan at Frazzled.

Something I Read That You Can't Without A Subscription

The Hunt for John Wilkes Booth Goes On by Jill Lepore in The New Yorker. I started this because John Wilkes Booth! You know I have no interest in Lee Harvey Oswald but something about John Wilkes Booth. I kept reading this piece because it was so good. When I finished it, I realized it was written by Jill Lepore! My favorite historian! I'm reading her history of the U.S., These Truths. I've been reading it for a while, and I'll be reading it for a while, which is fine, because it's so good.

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