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  • Glenn Sonnenberg

Musings from the Bunker 3/25/21



Good morning, SHORT STORIES, REDUX After a spate of okay but not great collections of short stories, I have one that has shown me some of the best of the form. Life Among the Terranauts is the book, by Caitlin Horrocks. It is a wonderful collection of interesting stories that pose interesting questions. Not just the title story of people willing to live in a biosphere, but the great “The Sleep,” about a dying midwestern town where people learn to hibernate through the winter, and “Sun City,” about a woman who meets her grandmother’s roommate when she returns to her grandmother’s home after the old woman’s death. Each of the stories is an interesting meditation on what it is to be human and longing. Not since Exhalation, which I also strongly recommend, have I been so moved and challenged by a book of short stories. Entertainment Weekly says it is “genre bending,” which is reason enough to pick this up. By the way, there is a T.C. Boyle novel, The Terranauts, similarly themed on the idea of living in a biosphere, which I hope to read soon. GOLDBELLY Just pointing out that this great app will get you bagels from your favorite places in New York—Russ & Daughters, Black Seed and Ess-a. They also will deliver local favorites from around the country directly to your door. I recommend checking it out: https://www.goldbelly.com/ Sure, you’ll spend nearly as much on shipping as for the food, but you can bring Texas barbecue, New Orleans Cajun cuisine, Boston Clam Chowder, and Baltimore crab cakes to your dinner table. And since we’re not traveling as much, something of the places we’re anxious to visit is the next best thing. BOOKS ABOUT POWER Consider these stories of power, its successes and its abuses:

  • All the King’s Men, by Robert Penn Warren

  • All the President’s Men

  • The Power Broker, by Robert Caro

  • The Browns of California, by Miriam Pawel

  • We Were Eight Years in Power, by Ta-Nehisi Coates

  • Rage: Trump in the White House, by Bob Woodward

BEFORE WE LEAVE WINTER BEHIND Regardless of your view of zoos, take a look at these lions frolicking in the snow at the Denver Zoo. It’s hard not to smile: https://www.facebook.com/34875345170/posts/10165317097895171/?vh=e&d=n WE ARE INTERDEPENDENT I’ve read various descriptions of what the pandemic has done to society to bring us close together. There is no question that public health is all about the health of the public—the entire public. The disease does not distinguish between neighborhoods or ethnic makeup. If we have learned anything about ourselves in this pandemic is that we are all interconnected. This holds true for other “big” issues—like our educational system and global climate change. Put another way: “There is no such thing as a hole in only one side of the rowboat.” Have a great day, Glenn

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