Notes from Quarantine: Week 6

How are you?

This pandemic is affecting all of us differently, and I hope with all of my heart everyone is safe and healthy, no matter where you are. Be gentle with yourself during this time. It’s ok to be anxious or stressed.

It’s hard to believe that I’ve been in quarantine for 6 weeks now, going into week 7. The virus has hit NYC hard. My office started WFH a little earlier than most, which was reassuring and appreciated, but also means I’ve been stir crazy a little longer than most πŸ™‚ I’m not usually an anxious person, but these days I always find myself stressed about something, so I’ve been trying to take my advice and be generous and gentle with myself. Like giving myself a break from my constant need to be productive. Letting myself feel any anger or frustration or anxiety. Even binge-playing Animal Crossing for hours (does anyone else here play? Let’s be friends!).

While everyone seems to be baking bread or doing plenty of quarantine cooking otherwise, I’ve picked up yoga. I’d never particularly enjoyed it before, but now I’m finding my daily practice incredibly soothing and meditative. I’m hoping to continue it even after our lockdown lifts.

Some quarantine reading…

My reading has been a little distracted lately, but four books I’ve finished are:

  • Born a Crime, by Trevor Noah – Really enjoyed this! I wrote up a review here.
  • The Starless Sea, by Erin Morgenstern – So, so disappointing.
  • Maybe You Should Talk to Someone, by Lori Gottlieb – This was a great read. I like reading her columns in NYTimes and The Atlantic, and her book was hard to put down.
  • No Time to Spare, by Ursula Le Guin – Le Guin’s writing never fails to impress me. This was my first exposure to her nonfiction work and she’s a startlingly lucid, eloquent writer!

Have you read anything good recently? I’d love to hear any quarantine routines you’ve started as well.

(Photo by Richard Foulser)

Top 5 Reads of 2019

This was a weird reading year for me. For most of the year, books fell off my priority list as I got caught up in work, relationships, travel, and video games, and so from January through October I read a grand whopping total of 3 books. 3!!! I must’ve started at least a dozen others, but those 3 were the only ones I managed to finish in their entirety.

And then mid-November rolled around and I realized – damn, I haven’t read in a while and really miss it, and this is the least reading I’ve done in years! Suddenly the bug came rushing back and before you know it, here we are a month later and I’ve read 11 books in the past four weeks. Motivation is such an amazing force. I feel a little abashed calling myself a reader and book blogger when I’ve read just 14 books this year, but everyone has their down years so here’s one of mine.

I thought about it some more though and also realized that a big part of why I wasn’t reading anymore was that I was being really selective with what I did read, which was basically only literature and classics. And while I love the classics, I was getting really burned out on them, so this past month has been me loosening up with my book choices and learning that “fun”, easy reads aren’t any less valuable – in fact, it’s probably what I need the most after years of working my way through lists of the classics. I’m not sure when I became such a book snob but I’m definitely out to correct it, and I’m glad I became aware of it and can start enjoying more types of books out there.

Anyway, the best 5 books I read this year!

Continue reading “Top 5 Reads of 2019”