Stranger Days #3: Some Reading To Enjoy?

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

Welcome to stranger days--my blog series exploring daily life, challenges in times of the COVID-19 pandemic, and just sharing insights or thoughts about how to make it through these days.

A man with thick glasses reading a book with piles of books behind him.
Burgess Meredith in
Twilight Zone Episode "Time Enough At Last"
In general, our conversations often revolve around time and together. In the shift to being homebound, these conversations seem to be even more prominent. I hear bits from folks about how days are feeling much more like Ground Hog's Day or that time feels so strange for those shifting to work-from-home as it's hard to figure out when home and work times begin and end.  

I have been checking in on friends and they have been checking in on me; particularly making sure we all feel connected and not so alone.  It's easier in some ways for those folks who live with someone (be it a romantic or platonic relationship), but we are all likely to feel lonely throughout this given the absence of interaction we have with so many people.  

Unexpectedly, I've listened to three timely audiobooks in the last few days.  Unexpected in their overlapping and related themes; not unexpected that I listened to three audiobooks in the last week (right--we all know me and audiobooks are tighter than peanut butter and jelly for the non-peanut allergic folks).  

Those books include:

Walking to Aldebaran by Adrian Tchaikovsky
A story about an astronaut who gets seperated from his team in a worm-hole like space that becomes a ceaselss labyrinth. As he travels it in search of an exit or of other life, his body increasingly adapts so that he can physically survey, but with each change, his humanity seems increasingly distance.  

Permafrost by Alastair Reynolds
An older woman (70) is enlisted to participate in a project to travel back in time to acquire some essential seeds in order to grow food in the future.  However, has they go back in time, she must adjust and co-exist with a human host's body while also navigating how the time-stream is being changed not just by her actions but by people who are from her own future.  

This Is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone
Two characters (Red and Blue) write notes to one another as they attempt to thwart one another by jumping through time and changing events to suit their own idealized futures (or futures to which they exist in and are training to protect). The back and forth bridges the loneliness of the two as they come to know one another a bit more and become a bit more invested in their own sides.  

As you can see, they all deal with changing times (sometimes, literally), isolation and distance, and a singular event to which everything changes afterward. I didn't line them up like this but it is how they played on my audiobook list of fiction. I was looking for something to distract or get me lost in a story and yet they all were more or less reflecting back many things that many of us are thinking about now.  I know that's what fiction usually does but these felt a bit too on the nose or mayhaps I'm drawing out these themes because they're what's on my mind, right?

Still, I found it amusing and unintentional but also had me thinking about Bryan Alexander's recent blog post on "Reading for the plague: a syllabus", which also has lots of good reads.  All of this is to say--reading anything good these days?  Are you reaching for something to help process or distract or something else entirely?

Take care. Be careful. Be care-filled.  Welcome to stranger days.

Did you enjoy this read? Let me know your thoughts down below or feel free to browse around and check out some of my other posts!. You might also want to keep up to date with my blog by signing up for them via email.

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.