By Leslie Lindsay
A curated newsletter on the literary life, featuring ‘4 questions,’ a mini-author interview, reading & listening recommendations, where to submit, more
Leslie Lindsay|Always with a Book
~MUSINGS & MEANDERINGS~
It’s my favorite time of the year. Wait–no, that’s kind of a lie. My real favorite time of the year is fall, but reading-outside-season is also high on my list. It started years ago…summers growing up in St. Louis. Sure it was hot, but I logged lots of reading hours on the deck, at the pool, in the lawn chair. It got me thinking about places I love to read, now that we can…you know, be outside with a book.
Hammock on the back porch.
I mean, is there anything better than a gentle breeze, the hammock swaying slightly and a book? I think not. Maybe: a nap and ice cream. Don’t have a back porch? How about a hammock strung between two trees? I recently saw some folks doing this at a local park. You might even consider purchasing a hammock on a frame if you don’t have (mature-enough) trees.
A Screened-in Porch During a Summer Storm.
We were recently walking the neighborhood and noticed a lovely screened-in porch decorated with wicker furniture, comfy pillows, foot stools, and a dog. I mean, it was pretty ideal. We had to walk quickly, because in the distance: dark, rolling clouds. I thought: wouldn’t it be delightful to sit on that screened-in porch with a good book? Yes, it would.
You know the dog days of summer? Those crazy hot and humid times where you wish for three feet of snow? So maybe this outside thing isn’t working for you. It’s buggy and sticky. Libraries are a fabulous place to while away the hours. And? They’re usually air conditioned. Libraries nowadays have tons of programs for the littles, too, so there’s sure to keep everyone entertained. And it’s not just about books, either. Audiobooks, videos, music, and more.
Maybe you’ve got a trip planned. We do and I always look forward to the time where I have ‘nothing to do but sit.’ We’re already captive to the seat, so might as well enjoy a good book. There are no real distractions other than maybe the in-flight entertainment system, but really–you can watch movies and TV anytime. Even sitting in terminal with a book is a great place to put up your feet and read. If you don’t get too absorbed people-watching.
Cabin-the-Woods, Beach House, or Wherever You Feel Happy.
You don’t necessarily have to fly somewhere to get in some uninterrupted reading time. I read several books at a cabin in Door County. I polished several more on a beach one year, in the mountains on another trip. These were driving trips. You can get a ton of reading done in the car. As long as you don’t get motion-sick or aren’t the one behind-the-wheel! But–audiobooks count, too–although, they tend to make me drowsy when I’m in the car.
Near-empty Bar in the Afternoon.
I once wrote a short story in which a bar was a library or a library was a bar. They had green desk lamps, whiskey, and leather chairs, a fireplace. Sounds cozy, right? You might not be able to find a place just like this, but maybe you’re local watering hole is a bit quiet in the middle of the day? Maybe it’s empty because everyone has left town? Sit there and read while you sip a beer. Maybe they have delicious soft pretzels.
College Campus, Town Square.
We used to live in a small college town. When classes were out for summer, I loved to walk to the campus and sit in the giant Adirondacks, or throw a blanket on the grass and read. It’s also fun to take a book to the town square and grab a bite to eat, a coffee, and enjoy the morning this way.
Breakfast on the Patio.
I always have this idea that I will have my breakfast outside, even for a few moments, with a book. Somehow it doesn’t work out that way, but maybe if I plan to do it just once a week, it will.
You don’t have to go far–sometimes there’s a public garden or arboretum right in your own town. When I was in college, there was landscaped garden on the grounds of a local business. It was open to the public. Gazebos, walking paths, small ponds. It was tranquil.
There used to be a little old lady down the street from us who sat on her front porch, no matter the weather. She loved to watch passersby, would lift her hand in a wave, but she almost always had a book in her lap. I envy that. Not a time I walked by did I not think, “That’s gonna be me someday.” Well? Why not today?
~Leslie : )
There’s more to this newsletter…keep scrolling!
What I’m Distracted By:
- Not understanding the answers, but better understanding the questions. Why? Let’s talk about that.
- The senselessness in related to the Texas school shooting. I’m not sure there’s a lot one person can do. I could be wrong. One person can donate blood or time. One person can write their congressman and ask for changes on gun policy. One person can be a support to another. One voice becomes many and many brings change.
- Ferns and hydrangeas.
- Hybrid forms of writing. Hermit crab essay. Playing on the page.
Recently-published Stuff You Might Have Missed:
- The Midwessay: Fragmented Thoughts on Being a Missouri Girl in ‘the north,’ by Leslie Lindsay Essay Daily, May 9, 2022.
- “Making Space: Cicadas & My Mother,” by Leslie Lindsay, CNF in ANMLY
- “Breaking Ground,” by Leslie Lindsay, flash fiction in The Tiny Journal
- In Conversation with Marie Myung-Ok Lee, author of THE EVENING HERO (Simon & Schuster, May 2022), The Millions, May 19, 2022.
- In Conversation with Maud Newton, author of ANCESTOR TROUBLE: A Reckoning and Reconciliation (Random House, March 29, 2022), Hippocampus Magazine, May 2022.
- In Conversation with Kim Adrian, author of The Twenty-Seventh Letter of the Alphabet, The Florida Review, spring 2022.
You are reading Musings & Meanderings, a consistently inconsistent weekly newsletter about the literary life from Leslie Lindsay, and home of an archive of bestselling and debut author interviews. I’m also on twitter and instagram. I try to answer comments as best I can. Feel free to find my book suggestions on bookshop.org, and also check out the authors I’ve hosted in in-depth interviews HERE.
What I’m Reading:
I’ve got PILES! And it makes me so HAPPY!
Stay Awake is the next thriller (August 8, St. Martin’s Press) from Megan Goldin and I am reading an early edition. And then: Existential Physics by Sabine Hossenfelder (also August, Viking), and I just finished The Unwritten Book (April 2022) by Samantha Hunt (FSG).
In the meantime, catch me on:
Reviewing books and talking about them with others on-line and in-person is one small way to engage with & support the literary community.
Thank you for letting me guide you on your bookish journey.
Let’s walk this bookish path together.
Learn more HERE.