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Field Notes, vol 5

February 17, 2013

field notes

Last time we talked, I was marvelling at the end of January. Now I find myself wondering where the last fortnight has run off to! Of course, with my chronic illnesses, I was bound to have a flare-up some time or another; this one was particularly long, though. Ah well, I’m fortunate enough to be in a position that allows me to just curl up and weather through the bad times without worrying about outside responsibilities. The blog suffers, though.

The funny thing is, I have quite a selection of drafted posts. I’m not sure why I didn’t just schedule them to auto-post in my absence; it somehow felt strange to me to imagine my blog marching steadily on regardless of my condition. Which is silly of course, because if I don’t schedule them I’ll never manage to tell you about all the books I read! So I will be autoscheduling from here on out.

I was delighted to find this lamp for my bathroom while thrifting: it fits perfectly with my plans for the room's final style.

I was delighted to find this lamp for my bathroom while thrifting: it fits perfectly with my plans for the room’s final style.


My reading has been sporadic: a burst at the end of January (and several slimmer books) saw me finish the month with forty reads. In contrast, this month is over halfway through and I’ve gotten to nine books, three of them read within the last couple of days (and two of those were just one hundred pages each). It’s always frustrating that I can’t read more during flare-ups, not because I’m worried about the numbers, but because without books I feel at sea.

I’m easing my way back into this, so I think I’ll finish up for now with a request: who are you favourite ‘comfort’ POC (=people of colour) authors? By comfort, I mean books you pick up when you can’t handle thinking about the world’s problems or the evil of humanity and your brain can’t follow a complex plot or stream-of-consciousness writing or an abundance of ‘literariness.’ When I’m in a flare-up, I need fiction that’s mainly about the story and that leaves me more happy than sad (my serotonin levels drop, which means I’m already more prone to feeling down without depressing books), but it seems almost all of my go-to authors are white, which leaves me feeling frustrated. I’d love any suggestions you have to offer, because I need to diversify my list!

P.S.: I’ve finally been able to sort through my Mexico trip photos (the arthritis gloves are magic) so I’m able to revive my little travel blog. Today I wrote about one of the many reasons I loved Mexico!

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14 Comments leave one →
  1. February 17, 2013 4:28 pm

    Maeve binchey any of her novels works for me.my mom and I call them our comfort reads wonderful stories that cause no stress just takes you away.

  2. February 17, 2013 4:30 pm

    I read Diana Wynne Jones and cozy murder mysteries like Patricia Wentworth, oh and Terry Pratchett. Who, yes, are also all white.

  3. February 17, 2013 4:47 pm

    I don’t have any fantastic suggestions, I’m afraid! My comfort authors tend to be white also, so I will be delighted if people have suggestions for you on this.

  4. February 17, 2013 5:49 pm

    Sorry to hear you’ve been going through a flareup that bad Eva :( I hate that my friends like you and Debi have to suffer so bad with that damn disease :( Seems like y’all have both had especially bad flareups recently. But damn girl! 40 books last month??? That might be what I read this year! LOL. I LOVE that lamp!!! It’s funny you posted that because I was just telling Matt this morning about all the awesome stuff that you find when you go thrifting! Weird coincedence :) As for POC comfort reads, not so sure it’s what you’re looking for right now, but I’ve fallen in love with Natasha Trethewey’s poetry. It’s simply gorgeous and so moving and it’s really comforting to me to read. Also, Mare’s War by Tanita Davis is pretty amazing…have you read that one? Gathering of Waters by Bernice McFadden was really good too! Loved that one. Feel better Eva my dear!!!!

  5. February 17, 2013 6:14 pm

    Hey Eva hope you will soon be feeling better.All my go to authors are white also.I hope someone has some suggestions.Look forward to reading your thoughts again.

  6. February 17, 2013 9:41 pm

    You know, I was thinking today about authors who are people of color. I have a Little Sister through Big Brothers/Big Sisters who is African-American and I really have no authors to recommend to her. How awful is that! I think comfort reads would be a good starting point for her too, she loves mysteries and love stories (she’s 14). Anyway, the only non-Anglo author I could come up with for comfort reads is Murakami; I find his writing so gentle and entertaining, and smart but easy reading.

    • February 17, 2013 11:57 pm

      Check out this blog: http://blackteensread2.blogspot.com/!

      Also, Y.S. Lee springs to mind for POC authored mysteries (although she’s from Singapore, so not black). Look into Zetta Elliot, especially A Wish After Midnight. Sherri Smith is another YA African American author. Those are just off the top of my head, I’ll try to brainstorm some more (I don’t read a lot of YA lit or love stories)!

      Oh, can’t forget the Tay Bodal mystery series, which features a Kiowa amateur sleuth in nineteenth century Texas and is written by a Cherokee author.

      • February 18, 2013 1:40 pm

        Thank you, Eva! Those are some fabulous starting points. I look forward to diversifying my reading list.

  7. February 17, 2013 11:23 pm

    Sorry to hear about your flare-up Eva. I have just discovered a story collection by Z.Z. Packer, Drinking Coffee Elsewhere. I am loving it and think you would also love it.

  8. milandeep permalink
    February 18, 2013 12:35 am

    Great to have to back! Your posts are always delightful. Wow! 40 books in a month. I’ll try to match that in the whole of 2013.

    For comfort reading I turn to some of my favorite poetry. A few lines of a poem which I have always relished just lifts me up. If I have more time on hand, a good mystery never fails to deliver.

  9. February 18, 2013 12:49 pm

    Love, love, love your lamp! There’s something luxurious about a lamp in a bathroom. I had an adorable one that now has a short in it. Boo! It had to go.

    I hope you’re feeling much better, Miss Eva!

  10. February 18, 2013 7:07 pm

    Glad to hear that you are feeling better! I’m horrible at scheduling posts but I’m really trying so that I have more blog content (and catch up on some of the books that I’ve read but haven’t shared about yet). Have a great week Eva!!!

  11. boardinginmyforties permalink
    February 19, 2013 3:45 pm

    Glad you are feeling better and back to reading and blogging again.

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  1. Library Loot: February 16th to 22nd « A Striped Armchair

Thank you for commenting! For a long while, my health precluded me replying to everyone. Yet I missed the conversation, so I'm now making an effort to reply again. It might take a few days though, and there will be times when I simply can't. Regardless, I always read and value what you say.

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