I noticed recently that I’m not consuming books in the way I once did. And that even when I do read, I don’t have the attention span I once did. It’s true I also don’t have the physical stamina or muscle strength or flexibility that I once did, either. I blame social media–the same way we once blamed MTV and before that television and before that the radio for our distractions and lack of productivity in life–for the first two. Age for the third.
But that doesn’t mean I’m not reading. I do. I read all the time. I even read more than just my friends’ Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram posts. Have you noticed the recent surge in personal essays online? They’re everywhere. And, then, of course, there are the blogs. Like this one.
So, last week, I started tracking the essays, short stories, and other non-book things I was reading. I certainly forgot to log a few. And a few others I purposefully didn’t make note of for one reason or another. Here’s what did make the list. Think of this list as my GoodReads for shorter works. I’ve included links where available, if you’re interested. Please read some/all of these and feel free to comment on them below. But keep reading books. Please, keep reading books.
Barry Lopez’ “Sliver of Sky” in The Atlantic.
Mary Lerner’s “Little Selves” in Best American Short Stories of the Century.
Melissa Shepherd’s “That Night: Fifty Years Later” in Creative Nonfiction.
Lane Johnson’s “The Math of Marriage” in Creative Nonfiction.
Dave Eggers’ “The Man at the River” in Granta.
Timothy Aubrey’s “A Matter of Life & Death” in The Point.
Rebecca Solnit’s “To Break the Story You Must Break the Status Quo” in Literary Hub.
Grayson Schaeffer’s “The Keyhole Seven” in Outside.
Nickolas Kristof’s “Sore Happy Feet on the Pacific Crest Trail” in the New York Times.
Melissa Groo’s “Keeping the Wild in Photographing Wildlife” in National Wildlife Federation.
14 Comments Add yours
Oooh, thanks! Good list! I have stalled out on my book reading–or rather, I’m reading about six books at once, making little headway. I’d better get cracking again. But in the meantime, I’ll try to fit some essays in as well. Thanks for these.
My pleasure. I’m trying to bribe my way back into books with mysteries;-)
Thanks Kim. I haven’t been reading as much either. Lately, I’ve been either texting, emailing or talking to Jon Gelman, head of the newly created Hawaii Marine Mammal Alliance. Wish them and me luck!!! Hugs from Maui. Playing this week. Soon I will be learning to vaccinate seals. Life is good. Big hugs! Di On May 30, 2016 12:35 PM, “Kim Steutermann Rogers” wrote:
> Kim posted: “I noticed recently that I’m not consuming books in the way I > once did. And that even when I do read, I don’t have the attention span I > once did. It’s true I also don’t have the physical stamina or muscle > strength or flexibility that I once did, either. I ” >
Let me know if you need any help over there!
Love that you posted short things with links! I just now read three of them — REALLY liked the piece by Dave Eggers — and will read a few more. Thanks!
I recommend Barry Lopez’ and Timothy Aubrey’s next. Whoa!
So so fabulous, thanks for this list Kim! I’ve been consuming novels as audiobooks lately
— way too much driving in my world — so I look forward to exploring your selections when things settle. (Do they ever, though? 🙂
Yes, audiobooks! Love them, too. And, no, things don’t ever settle down. They just don’t.
Something I have never done. I am currently reading three books. One is a beach book, another for the treadmill and stationary bike, and the other is of little interest but I started it so have to finish it. That’s just how i am. I could probably narrow all this down if I didn’t read so much online. Some of it good. Some of it not so. All of it time consuming.
I have that affliction, too. The one that goes, “I have to finish every book I start.” We need to get over that;-)
Interesting post, Kim. Mahalo! A link to good, short online reads is fabulous! Naturally, I may start with the authors I’ve read. But then again, who knows? Perhaps I’ll gravitate toward something/someone new?! 🙂
I do the same. Often it helps to have a recommendation to get me to try someone new. So, consider this mine;-)
Hey, Kim~ Love your recommendations. I might recommend the “Anna Pigeon” mysteries by
Nevada Barr, who presently lives in New Orleans, LA. Anna is a Forest Ranger and each mystery is located in one of the U.S. National Parks. I have learned more about the eco systems and parks of the U.S. than I ever did in school or in visiting. I never knew there were parks under water or parks under the lakes of Michigan or ….. I highly recommend them. They remind me of another young lady in a favorite park of mine in Alaska, our beloved Kate Shugak. Very good reading, although I have just finished Anna Pigeon#19 (2016) and am awaiting the next one. It will get you through the days until Kate gets out of that dang river.
Hi Victoria, great suggestions. Perfectly aligned with my interests in natural history. And I’ve only just recently been introduced to Kate and very glad to have met her;-)