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Friday Open Thread (with Review)

Dear Friends,

I’ve missed so many Fridays! A colleague once said to me “November is a bear,” and didn’t need to elaborate, even though bears can be many things; in this case, Novembear is both hungry and sluggish, an enormous danger and misleadingly cozy, a looming dark shape full of teeth but also, mercifully, gone now into deep winter rest.

Mostly today I just want to touch base. How are you doing? What’s been going on with you? I’d love to know what thing, no matter how small, has been making things better for you.

I wanted to share something that I’d usually put into a more promotional Letter of News, but it made me so happy and so profoundly grateful that I want to unfold it here: Jake Casella Brookins wrote about This Is How You Lose the Time War for Ancillary Review of Books in a way that feels like a deep tissue massage. Reading this essay felt like watching a cormorant dive deep underwater and then surface and take flight, glittering drops of river in its wake.

Besides that, I baked a sourdough loaf for the first time, thanks to a gift of starter from my mama, and it came out beautifully — it’s absolutely the most delicious bread I’ve ever made.

Have a good weekend, friends!