As is often the case, I have two books on the go at once, and these particular books, more than any two I’ve read together in some time, are a dichotomy in subject, in writing style, and in thematic material.
The Faraway Nearby, by Rebecca Solnit, is the kind of book that invites slow reading, practically begging the reader to stop and re-read a paragraph or a line, swirl it around in your mind like an oenophile would do with a sip of fine Burgundy. It invites reflection, it sets the mind racing in a kaleidoscope of directions. There are only a handful of writers who can do this, can pull the reader up short so they must stop, go back, say to themselves “Let me try that part again.”
And then there is the other book (which will remain unnamed at the moment because it is a book for…
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