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2022-01-12 - 11:36 a.m.

Did two weeks at an artist's colony just before the virus and made a writer friend. A year ago, she asked if I'd like to do a book club where we do difficult books. I said sure.

There are seven or eight of us. They're mostly Brooklyn types. All nice poeple, smart, witty. First we did Moby-Dick, and I did manage to read three-quarters of it. I mostly really liked it. For sure am glad I read it. Every third chapter you think: this is a fucking crazy chapter to be written and published in 1851.

Now we're finishing Middlemarch. Meeting seven of seven is tomorrow night. Holy Jesus is it a lot of words. I have to keep reminding myself that it's subtitled "A Study of Provincial Life." She gets in there, all right. It reminds me of those illustrations (especially the old-school ones, circa 1890 for say a new kind of water pump or something) that explode the device with all those arrows and "fig. 4.c." and all that. While there's consistently a just stunning insight into the human mind and condition every two pages (really like these), I'd be lying if I said I didn't find this book incredibly tedious. It's just a lot of words, man. A deluge.

So I checked out from the library an early-90s novel on Mars colonization. I never read books like this. It's super fun. There are two more and I'm hoping to read all 2,000 pages of it, like a real sci-fi nerd.

I'm finishing a seventh or eighth or maybe tenth draft of this novel about the high school kids who go on a long, dangerous walk. I just hope it's not garbage, or boring, or cliche.

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