Tagged: Review

How to Disappear: Notes on Invisibility in a Time of Transparency

How to Disappear: Notes on Invisibility in a Time of TransparencyHow to Disappear: Notes on Invisibility in a Time of Transparency by Akiko Busch
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

On Goodreads this book seems to have elicited a somewhat ambivalent response in a number of readers, a common criticism being that it was boring or tedious.

I did not find it so. It was for me, a read that required a number of pauses for contemplation, but I found it thoroughly enjoyable. I especially enjoyed Chapter Six, At the Identity Spa. I took some time to investigate a number of the artistic works that Busch references and found that process enjoyable as well.

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Stories of Your Life and Others

Stories of Your Life and OthersStories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wonderful. Stories with ideas you don't just consider for a moment, but return to again and again.

What if you could remember your future? What if heaven, hell, angels and miracles are real, but reward for your faith is completely arbitrary?

If I knew this, I'd forgotten it, so I was happy to discover that the story "Story of Your Life," was the basis for the film "Arrival." Probably my favorite film of the last few years. Imagine a language that requires knowledge of the future in order to be properly contextualized.

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The Giver

Lois Lowery and book cover. (Author Lois Lowery.)

The Giver (The Giver, #1)The Giver by Lois Lowry
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Archiving the memories of a society that has decided real human experience is too dangerous is an interesting concept. I understand this is a book for younger folks but I would have liked to see the premise unpacked a bit more.

The idea that it's possible to ramp down or suppress human nature and still maintain the sophisticated interactions necessary for a society to survive is not a given. It's unlikely that depth of experience can be managed on a simple linear scale.

However our continuing singular reliance on rule of law does suggest that we haven't stopped trying.

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This is what happened…

James Tate (Poet James Tate)

Two Poems from Dome of the Hidden Pavilion by James Tate

I just finished ‘Dome of the Hidden Pavilion by the late James Tate.
Absolutely wonderful.
Tate recounts experiences on the edge of absurdity but not so absurd you can’t say “You know, that’s exactly what happened to me.”

Here’s a link to an excellent review by Charles Simic: Inexhaustible & Brilliant, and here are a couple of poems to introduce you if you aren’t familiar.

Possible Suspects

I saw my name in a list of possible suspects. It made me
furious. I drove down to the police station immediately. I walked
in and the first officer I saw stopped me. I said, “Why is my
name on this list?

 [...] 

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Walked A Mile In My Shoe

Filtered photo of hiker. (One foot in front of the other.)

Old and new uppers.
(Old and new uppers.)

Me vs. the Rockefeller trails.

Not big on plugging product, but I’ve had an amazing experience with a pair of walking shoes I thought I’d pass along.

I tried to figure out the original purchase date for these but I wasn’t able to track it down. I remember buying them at one of the sporting goods places at the Palisades mall. Here’s the Amazon page. Merrell Moab size huge.

They are over a year old, but not by too much I don’t think. I don’t remember what I paid for the first pair, but the second pair which arrived today were only $80.00.

I walked hundreds of miles in these shoes. Haven’t had a car the last 6 months and I have put in the miles. Lot’s of miles.

Here are some photos I took today of the original and the new. New one is on the left. (I haven’t put ’em on yet.)

They got pretty dirty but no part of the construction failed up until 3 days ago. Here’s evidence of the mileage.

The only actual structural failure was a crack in the toe band. Technically, not really structural, it finally cracked after another soaking.

I guess you could say I’m a bit sentimental about these shoes. (Why else on earth would anyone think this information noteworthy?) We’ve been through a lot together. The thought of wearing out the second pair is a little defeating so I’ll try not to dwell on that.

Go out and take a walk! You’ll be happier when you get home.

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