Things I'm Reading

I don't recommend all these things, necessarily. However, I thought they had interesting points to make.

The cover of Jose Saramago's
The History of the Siege of Lisbon,
held in front of our sunny deck and red pines

The History of the Siege of Lisbon, Goodreads link

Our book club read this. The main character is a proofreader who--from frustration, perhaps, or perhaps from just growing awareness of his own agency--inserts a "not" into a history book and sets in motion a larger change in his life. 

I liked the idea of the power of the lesser-celebrated members of a book's production team. I said more about it on Instagram, where I'm (surprisingly) @marionagnew. You're welcome to find me there.

How Growing Up in the Digital Age Impacts Young Minds 

Salient quote: "A third concern about viewing habits among the very young comes under the heading of the displacement hypothesis: time spent watching video potentially displaces other more age-appropriate activities such as face-to-face interactions, creative or open playtime, physical movement, outdoor play, and reading, all of which are known to foster brain health in kids."  

I know my mind isn't technically "young," but I have been displacing some of my usual activities with other, media-based activities, and it hasn't been an especially rewarding experience. 

Also, now is the best time of year for my brain to re-learn about things like the physics of falling trees, bodily energy storage and consumption, the body's Vitamin D response to the sun. Et cetera.

The Making of Moonstruck

Salient quote: "[Moonstruck director Norman] Jewison once believed that, after reaching some arbitrary threshold of success, he would be able to call his own shots. Yet here he was at sixty, still hustling, still facing rejection. Those rejections were “very destructive for me at times,” he confided in an unpublished archival interview. “When I become depressed and disillusioned and forsaken and nobody believes in you anymore . . . you take it personally.”"

Again, I'm not a film director but I have experienced rejection--part of the business--and it's disappointing, and I don't like pretending it's not. (You thought I was going to say I'm old, didn't you? Well, that too.) 

However, rejection is not the end of the story. Sometimes you persevere and make Moonstruck, and even though you don't win the Academy Award for Best Director, you've made a classic that apparently experienced a resurgence of sorts during the pandemic.

Not bad.

And now, between rains, I'll go move dirt around, or move myself around on asphalt, or go lie on a rock, or something (maybe nothing!) else. 

Tra la, it's May.