First off, I have to fess up to owning an (early-generation) Kindle, which you can see poking out of the bottom of the pile; I almost never use it, but I recently got back from a 7-week trip around the world and it was lighter than books. I’ve been simultaneously reading “1599: A Year In the Life of William Shakespeare” (James Shapiro), “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck” (Mark Mason) and finally, “Everything All At Once: How to Unleash Your Inner Nerd, Tap Into Radical Curiosity, and Solve Any Problem.” (Bill Nye). This last one is actually an audiobook read by the author, who sounds adorably nerdy. I’m about halfway through each of these.
1599 is research for my next novel. So, indirectly, is Ngaio Marsh’s “Light Thickens” (a very readable mystery set backstage during a performance of Macbeth), and “A Dead Man in Deptford” by Anthony Burgess, which I haven’t started yet. (Spoiler: the dead man is Christopher Marlowe, Shakespeare’s playwright-contemporary and a spy for Her Majesty Elizabeth I). I am reading “The Essential Rumi” for the second time: I usually start the morning or close the evening by reading a few stanzas out of it.
Finally, beneath Rumi (only in the physical sense) is Robert B. Marks’ “Origins of the Modern World,” a non-Eurocentric look at — surprise! — the origins of the modern world. It’s strangely reassuring to know that we are not the center of the universe.
Nicole Galland is a novelist whose latest book, written with Neal Stephenson, “The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O,” was a NY Times Bestseller. Nicole also pens the cheeky advice column MV Ps & Qs, which appears in the MVTimes. nicolegalland.com
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