Friday, August 14, 2009

Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives

David Eagleman's Sum is the most surprising, delightful, and thought-provoking book I've read in a long, long time.

In its far-flung flights of imagination, it reminds me of Einstein's Dreams, by Alan Lightman (who is quoted on the back cover). Instead of concepts about time, though, the subject of Sum is the afterlife.

What I like most, I think, is that many of the forty possible afterlives Eagleman dreams up turn out to be lessons in unintended consequences. For us and for God.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Beach Cabin

This post is coming to you from my private ocean-side cabin.

The one in my head.

In reality, I'm in a shed in my backyard.

I call it a shed because it was built by an outfit called The Shed Shop, but it's much more than a shed. It has a real door and windows and electricity and wi-fi access.

I like to think of it as a rustic beach cabin, though. That's why I have a window-size picture of Haystack Rock on Cannon Beach, Oregon, hanging on the wall.

But I also have a bulletin board covered with postcards from New Mexico. I'm working on a novel set in Taos and the postcards are supposed to put me in a New Mexico frame of mind. Not sure how well that has worked but it hasn't hurt. The novel is coming along nicely.

The cabin ... I mean, shed ... was my wife's idea and has provided a very real retreat ever since it went up last year.

Thanks, Joanne. I never would have done it without you.