Dear Bloggers

Photo from Insomniac City by Bill Hayes

I hope 2018 is treating you well so far. As it’s been a while since I last posted, I thought I’d write an update.

I’m currently busy with another writing project, which means I have less time to blog, but I’m slowly working on a piece on Japanese architecture, and I hope to expand on some sections from the post I wrote on habits at some point.

I also post on Instagram quite regularly – mostly extracts from and comments on books I’m reading. Please have a look at @oneblacktreeblog if you’re interested.

Following my New Year’s resolution to reduce the time I spend online, I’ve been able to do a lot more reading this past month.

[If you’re trying to cut down on the internet and social media, I’ve found the simplest solution has been to restrict myself to one hour a day across all platforms (I break it up into about three twenty-minute sessions – you can even use a timer). I’ve also taken Facebook off my phone and mostly send voice instead of text messages.]

Here are some of the books I’m reading now:

  • Twinkle, Twinkle by Kaori Ekuni: a quirky novel about a couple who marry to please their parents, although the husband is gay and in a relationship with his lover from school days;
  • The Last September by Elizabeth Bowen, my favorite writer: to read her books is to forget where you are and be immersed in another time and place, in this case 1920s Ireland. Her writing is rich, idiosyncratic, and I think needs to be read slowly to appreciate fully;
  • Insomniac City by Bill Hayes: a life-affirming memoir and ode to New York and Oliver Sacks, it also has beautiful black and white portraits and photos of the city;
  • The Myth of Sisyphus: Albert Camus’s essay on suicide which I’m reading alongside Ruth Ozeki’s A Tale for the Time Being and the Shobogenzo, trying to come an understanding of how attitudes towards suicide differ in the east and west;
  • Die Wise by Stephen Jenkinson: a fascinating look at how the western phobia of death has had profound and far-reaching consequences for society;
  • A Religion of One’s Own by Thomas Moore: It is such a pleasure to read someone who advocates living life in the questions and embraces all religions.
  • Sex and Rage by Eve Babitz: A coming-of-age story, semi-autobiographical, set in seventies LA. I’ve wanted to read Babitz for ages.

What are you reading? What are you writing or working on? What should I read? Please feel free to add links to your or others’ posts, or books in the comments. I love getting recommendations.