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Friday open thread: Doing something different

Ireland Struggles Under The Weight Of An Economic Crisis After EU Bailout Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

Happy Friday! Today I want to talk about doing something different. Not, like, radically different - I didn’t just decide to fully embrace a midlife crisis and skydive into a red convertible pointed towards Las Vegas screaming PUT IT ALL ON RED LET’S LIGHT THIS CANDLE while blasting Sammy Hagar in a desperately misguided attempt to look cool, or anything.

No, I’m talking more about doing something you normally do, but from another angle, if that makes sense. For instance, I generally only read non-fiction. I don’t do this out of any sort of snobbery or faux-intellectual superiority way of thinking; it’s mostly that I have very limited time in my life to read, and I don’t want to get 75 pages into a fiction book only to realize it’s garbage and then have to find something else.

So yeah, mostly I read non-fiction things about topics that interest me. But the lovely mrs. pdb is in this really cool subscription program from Powell’s Books called Indiespensable, which, once every couple months, sends a slipcovered, signed hardback edition of a book Powell’s selects, along with usually another paperback book as a throw-in, and often some other cool stuff too - she’s gotten chocolate, artisanal salt, and a bunch of other neat little things with her shipments.

Anyway, a couple months ago, the throw-in book in her shipment was The Heart’s Invisible Furies, by John Boyne. It’s a story of Irish history (sort of), American history (sort of), Amsterdam (sort of), and of the life of one boy as he grows up and lives in all these places and through some of the most recognizable events of his time in those places.

But that description doesn’t really do it justice - it’s a lovely, funny, heartbreaking and hopeful story about love, growth, loss, and finding one’s place in the world. It was a really, really good book, and I’m really glad that the Irish gene pool in me twitched so hard when I heard about it that I picked it up and started reading it. Plus I cried at the end of it, which was an added Good Book Bonus.

What have you done lately that is like that? Listened to any bands/musical styles you don’t normally listen to? Seen a film outside your normal genre that you loved? Tried a food you thought you hated only to find you liked it?

Plus, it’s Friday, so feel free to talk about whatever - that’s what Friday open threads are for:

REMINDER: Portland and Portland-adjacent people: are you coming to Beulahland tomorrow? Kickoff’s at 9.30, we’ll be there between 9 and 9.30. Hope to see you there!