Coudal Partners runs a “Field-Tested Books” series that celebrates reading “a certain book in a certain place.”
I was probably supposed to write about something I discovered on a delightful island vacation. Instead I contributed recollections of reading Dostoevsky’s Notes from Underground while living with my parents after college. Here’s an excerpt:
I graduated from college in the summer of 1993. To escape the boy I was dating, and the hellish relationship we’d constructed, I moved back home to live with my mother, stepfather and sister in our rat-infested house in the Kendall area of Miami. I was not well. My hands shook; my hair fell out in clumps; my eyes bulged, giving the constant impression of rage or insanity, or both. When I lay down to sleep at night, my heart pumped like a broken water main. At last I went to the doctor and learned that my resting heart rate was 127 beats per minute. She diagnosed a thyroid condition and told me to quit my job. Facing full-time home confinement, I drove immediately to a used book store and bought every $.50 paperback in the place, including Notes from Underground.
You can read contributions from Wendy McClure, George Saunders, Terry Teachout, Laura Demanski, David Rees, Robert Birnbaum, Kevin Guilfoile, Rosecrans Baldwin, Leonard Pierce, Claire Zulkey, Ben Greenman and many others. New ones go up at noon every day this week.
Metrorail photo credit: Ramon Estevanell.