those apples people buy with their lunch
I spent my first maternity leave doomscrolling in front of boxsets while I breastfed. I spent my second using my phone to read on BorrowBox/Libby/Kindle and was much happier for it. I read about 120 books last year as a result
I deeply feel you talking about easy reading. Social media has broken me. I can't read anything anymore.
The Genevieve Cogman series "Invisible Library" was a bit of a life saver for me. It's not comedy, but I found it fills that Pratchett hole well. Just incredibly readable fantasy mulltiverse sillyness. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Invisible-Library-Book-ebook/dp/B00M44051E/
On social media sites. Imgur is pretty wholesome, but I find it better for consuming than joining in.
I’ve given up Twitter completely now. I deleted the App ages ago, but used to look at tweets of people whose writing I enjoyed, without being logged on. Elon has got rid of that means now, so it’s Substack and an occasional foray into mastodon- I don’t think that’s going to take off somehow.
Liked the bit on Taylor Swift. Of course, ‘you can’t appreciate Hamlet, until you’ve heard it in the original Klingon’.
Thank you for another really interesting Bluestocking email. I also enjoyed Kingdom of Characters with its accounts of completely mad attempts to create a typewriter for Chinese. I do wonder if those inventors were on the spectrum.
Good luck with learning Japanese on Duolingo. For what it’s worth, I have found Duolingo to be pretty good when it comes to learning a foreign language. It’s motivating & encourages learners to learn in short chunks of time.
On the negative side however it seems to emphasise whacky phrases that may stick in the mind but I honestly think it would be better to focus on the most frequently used words & phrases.
I’m a Scotsman married to a Chinese woman so I have used Duolingo to help me learn Mandarin (so I’d know what my wife was saying about me). But Duolingo isn’t enough on its own - I found I have had to supplement it with lots of listening & reading to make any kind of progress which, truth be told, has been glacial. The tones are a nightmare!
I’ve also found italki to be useful in arranging 121 online lessons (I’m not on a commission or anything). I have one tomorrow and am genuinely looking forward to it - although I have always found learning Chinese to be a relentlessly humbling experience.
Anyway, I hope your Japanese progresses quickly.
> I knew running was bad for you.
Technically, it's bad for other people :-)
This morning I am feeling less alone, thank you.
I love it. Every choice made was the wrong one. Impressive.
“It is objectively better to talk to your friends in private than to perform your friendship in public. It is better not to know the worst opinions of your favourite actor.”
Amen. This also applies to baseball players. Love watching what they do. Hate reading what they text.
Enjoyed your summary of the various SM platforms, and mostly agreed. My experience of Twitter is different, better: I’ve become pally with several of my favourite writers, which would never happen on any other platform, and I’ve also made friends with women whom I otherwise would never meet. And however contrarian that sounds, my Twitter experience has got better since EM takeover: at least „uppity” women are no longer being banned on some specious pretext.
For me LinkedIn feels a lot like everyone is quietly hoping to get the Head Boy or Girl role but the school staff haven’t revealed their votes yet. Of course this might be influenced by the fact that I see a lot of ex students on there who are all desperate to be liked in the corporate world in the same way as when I taught GCSE Religious studies to them.
Currently watching Bluesky milkshake-duck itself; it’s gone from being seen as a perfect “nazi”*-free utopia to being inherently rotten and racist at the core because of course it did. Quickly realised that I’m only on there to witness it all unfold like a psychology experiment.
Users now calling for visible ‘invite-trees’ so everyone knows who to pile on for inviting the nazis.
*Helen I think you might count as one of the appalling nazis to be chased off with pitchforks, which says it all really.
On detective stories - try Maigret. There are loads and loads of them, they’re all good, and they’re all translated and on Kindle (thanks, Penguin).
Helen: I can't remember if I've sent this to you before. I quit all social media - forever! - in 2014, and I haven't looked back:
Do you know the Campion books? The later ones are effectively English Noir and they also have the unique quality of delivering working class characters who aren't egregious stereotypes.
> Is Keegan-Michael Key the only American actor capable of delivering “eccentric”?
Well, maybe it's because he's British too? https://youtu.be/lgYfRGDiPDs?t=21
2 things, both indicate the lennysmith comfort zone. Wimsey, absolutely. A periodic joyful reread, especially if eating cherries in bed. Reread them a few years ago to ignore my evaporating mobility, and my crumbling PhD. I was a fop lover in my youth, and Wimsey is part of the pattern.
Aita Jorts. Reread the thread occasionally to snortlaugh. Never surpassed, and doing sterling work in US unions. As is Jean, who is pleasingly scary looking.