In the latest entry in By Heart, which I’ve written about before, Thirty Girls author Susan Minot explains why she prefers to read multiple books at once instead of reading through single books from start to finish. Her reasoning? Books are “worlds to dip in and out of, and my relationship to them is continually deepening and evolving.”
Are you reading this because you’re procrastinating? Do you happen to be a writer? We thought so. At The Atlantic, Megan McArdle explores why writers are the worst procrastinators. Hint: It’s because we have a bad case of imposter syndrome. This isn’t the only theory on why we procrastinate, though.
In the latest entry in By Heart, the Atlantic series we’ve written about a few times, Ben Marcus (who recently came out with a new book) reflects on the true meaning of the word “Kafkaesque.” Marcus interprets Kafka’s “A Message from the Emperor” as a parable about the difficulty of real human connection. (Related: there’s now a Kafka video game.)
It’s taken me a long time to learn this—that sometimes the best course of action is inaction, that even the best-intentioned projects can be misguided, and that a life well lived sometimes consists of mistakes you never gave yourself a chance to make.
Elmore Leonard was a very cinematic writer, yet why are most adaptations of his work so bad? Christopher Orr explores what he calls the “Elmore Leonard paradox” in The Atlantic. “Most of the early adaptations of Leonard’s crime work missed his light authorial touch, opting instead for somber noir.” Pair with: Our own Bill Morris’s essay on why Leonard was such a good writer.
In some parts of the US people call sunshowers “the Devil beating his wife.”
I haven’t been to war, so I can’t comment on what that experience is like, but people who go through rehab or a halfway house walk a tough road together and not all of them make it. We knew we faced a powerful adversary that demanded respect. Unlike combat, the adversary was inside of us.