Sunday, June 28, 2015

Jenny's 7.15: Command and Control


I know we have The Night Manager on deck for July, but I ended up feeling a little panicked about the back half of the year. As it turns out, I'm going to have to take 2 classes in the fall quarter, and I thought if I could maybe be ahead of the game, it would be better.

The first week of summer vacation, I read a bunch of books---along with The Shining Girls, I read at least 4 or 5 others. SO SATISFYING. One of the books I read was called Voices from Chernobyl, which is an oral history of those who survived the disaster. Um. Harrowing. But, it also reminded me that I have another nuclear book on this year's list, Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Incident, and the Illusion of Safety by Eric Schlosser. I was also reminded of this book when I read another nuclear-themed article in the New Yorker by the same author.

I had picked this up in March and read the first 30 pages, but then the rest of the school year happened and I just never got back to it.

I've read about 150 pages so far, it's very readable and fascinating. I hope to finish it this week before starting The Night Manager. 

Any ideas about our plan to tackle that one?


  1. Well, I've gotten bogged down by the Dahl. Volumes of short stories: I feel confident now that I am not into them and should never buy one again. Unfortunately, I have two more on my list this year -- the good news is that we are reading the DFW (drink!) together, so that will help me get through it. And the other might just become my boot book. I feel guilty because it was a gift, but maybe I'll read one or two and get rid of it.

    Anyhoo... my plan is to continue reading the Dahl while also reading The Night Manager. I have 17 stories to go. If I read one per day, taking days off for travel, I would finish by the end of July. On the other hand, maybe I should just give this book up? But it's not that I don't enjoy these stories! So I'm kind of conflicted. The stories are good. They're just getting repetitive. Maybe I should live-blog it. We'll see. (The one I am about to read is called The Great Automated Grammatisator -- I'm so curious!)

    As for The Night Manager, I have no idea -- the last two we did shook out pretty logically into 3 parts. This one doesn't seem to. There are 31 chapters, so we could arbitrarily decide to break it up that way.

    Orrr... let's see. After July 4th, there are 4 Fridays in July. We could divide in into 4 parts and plan to discuss it at the end of each week?

    Or... we could just read the whole book and plan to talk about it at the end of the month. But I must say... I *do* enjoy talking to you as the book unfolds. And since this is some sort of... spy book? Espionage or something? If we don't pace ourselves, we might give spoilers away if we don't plan to stay on track.

    One idea would be to have a "in person" discussion at the end of each week (via Google hangouts or Skype) and then take minutes of our thoughts here. I would suggest recording it, but I like being able to go back and read what we have discussed.

    So those are my initial (kind of disjointed) thoughts. You got anything?

  2. Just realized I actually have *three* more volumes of short stories/essays on my list this year. Hmph. But the last one is not long. Maybe I have a size limit.

  3. Oooh. I like the idea of a skype chat every Friday. But that would mean we would start this week, which I'm not sure will work for me.

    What if we did 11 chapters-10 chapters-10 chapters and have our first chat a week from Friday?

    I also really like to have mid-point discussions.

    1. Sorry -- didn't word that quite right but I did mean "let's skip this Friday" when I wrote "after July 4th, there are 4 Fridays...". We're on the same page there!

      But now knowing we have 4 Fridays after this one... would you rather divide it into quarters and meet 4 times? Or 3 times in thirds?

      Could you meet at lunchtime? That would be easier for me than after work.

      Also, on the week of Friday the 17th, I will probably have to move our chat to Sunday night, the 19th (traveling that weekend).