A Bag of Jones

I’m still alive readers. I know you’ve missed me. Or not.

You may have noticed I haven’t posted in almost a month, and the last post was a screed about freelance writing, not an essay about my 100-novels reading project. Regular readers, or irregular ones, will see my last post on that project was Oct. 12.

Just some reassurance: I haven’t given up on that project. I did, however, give up on a second attempt at reading William Gaddis’ The Recognitions. I can’t get past a hundred or so pages of this novel. Maybe my graduate school-brain has died, you know, the one that wanted to unravel 900-plus-page experimental novels, all for fun.

Anyhow, scratch Gaddis off the list for now. Maybe one day I’ll try again.

Also sidetracking me from reading novels has been a renewed interest in reading nonfiction, creative nonfiction in particular. Since starting the reading project almost two years ago, I’ve read very little nonfiction, and I’ve had a jones for it these past few weeks.

Recently, though it’s not technically creative nonfiction, I’ve read Send: The Essential Guide to Email for Office and Home by David Shipley and Will Schwalbe. This book is what its title says it is, a guide to using e-mail, professionally and personally, but also a brief exploration of how e-mail affects us psychologically.

Below is a video promoting the book.

Currently, I’m reading Diane Ackerman’s The Zookeeper’s Wife: A War Story, about the Warsaw zookeepers Jan and Antonina Zabinski’s effort to aid the Jewish community and serve in the Resistance during Nazi occupation. I picked up this book at the Texas Book Festival with the intention of going to see Ackerman speak the last day there. Never got around to it. But love Ackerman’s nonfiction, and this book is as engaging as my favorite of hers, A Natural History of Love.

And I plan to read more nonfiction, but once I finish The Zookeeper’s Wife, it’ll be back to reading and reporting on novels.