Catch my Breath and Fill My Brain

Book of Life by Deborah Harkness Cover Art
Image: Good Reads

The Web Development class finally had it coda in the form of my grade. I did well, better than expected, but willing to catch my breath for a little while. I had all this free time, but it came with an unexpected side effect. I didn’t want to look at a computer after getting home from work. I would happily stare at a television screen, but I want to feel a book in my hand. I picked  a copy of Book of Life by Deborah Harkness from the library, carrying the hardcover in my knapsack to read over lunch, before bed, and if I get a decent seat on the bus. Sometimes I would balance the book on my lap with all my other stuff as it jerked its way home or work. Bus rides passed faster as I read about Diana Bishop and Matthew Clairmont plus the witches, vampires, and daemons occupying their contemporary world.

The next book comes from my own to-be-read pile of purchased books: Feed by Mira Grant (aka Seanan McGuire). I miss The Walking Dead. I just saw humans chomped by dinosaurs in Jurassic World, and Hannibal isn’t doing it for me. I want my pulse-pounding survival mode, a gripping story, and hopefully something to set it a part from other books/TV dealing with the genre. I also found one of the best opening paragraphs in a long, long time:

Our story opens where countless stories have ended in the last twenty-six years: with an idiot — in this case, my brother, Shaun — deciding it would be a good idea to go out and poke a zombie with a stick to see what happens.

Image: Goodreads

Right now I am part-way through the book as I journey through a post-zombie United States held together a itty-bit better than the one in The Walking Dead. (In a zombie apocalypse the concept around ‘better’ goes out the window.) The novel kicks off the Newsflesh trilogy also introducing the post-zombie world with a more enhanced blogging role. (In this setting, traditional media failed to report fully on the zombie apocalypse while bloggers kept informing readers of the truth. Sounds vaguely family in this political climate.)

Did I mention it’s a mass-market paperback?

I miss the format and didn’t know it as I tucked the novel in my bag, and liked the feel of it in my hands. I looked around at a number of bus passengers with Kobos, Kindles, iPads, and smartphones,while the physical book still makes it presence known. I see mostly trad paperbacks, large enough for a quick scan of the current read. Alright, a quick scan and a little judgement. Saw a lot of Elon Musk on my bus route. Can someone tell me if he can survive a zombie apocalypse?

I made a conscious decision to read more fiction after completing Web Development. My brain felt cooked with words about convergence journalism, class divs in coding, and creative non-fiction; Add in also some Gifs and photo-shopped images online for further simmering. I wanted some words, some character, and a setting to carry me away. I wanted all that wrapped in a plot.

Mmmm…plot.

Reading fiction also served another important function: Writer’s block vaccination. I found myself sitting in front of my computer feeling creatively constipated. Rather than freak out, and beat myself up, I stepped away for a while to read. I noticed reading made blogging a little easier, and it will translate to something I wanted to revise from last year’s NaNoWriMo. So for now I will read, read, and read some more.

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