12 January

Isolation Diary: More Time To Read Some Books

by Jon Katz

Isolation depends on how I see it, I think. I can view it as a curtailment of my life and time, which is how I saw it at first, or yet another opportunity for self-awareness and creativity.

I am writing as much as I was before, I have set aside one hour for more meaningful meditation, and I am carving aside more time for the reading I want to do.

Right now, I’m finishing an Ann Reeves “Vera” series mystery (just a few pages to go).

Next, I’ll be reading Marion Lane and the Midnight Murder by T.A. Willberg.

Set in 1958 London, Willberg’s debut series featuring Detective Marion Lane. The book is part mystery and part whimsical fantasy, set around the fictional Miss Brickett’s Investigations and Inquiries, which is headquartered in an underground location far beneath the streets of London.

That sounds like fun.

Then The Nature Of Fear by Daniel Blustein, a study of how animals deal with fear and what humans can learn from them.

After that, a Knock At Midnight, a story of the people, mostly African-Americans in America, who are buried and forgotten by our legal system, and a determined young lawyer who tries to help them.

I see isolation as many things, one is a respite from our chaotic and disconnected lives.


  1. You could read The Color of Water, a biography written by a man about his mother. She never talked about her background or family while the author & his siblings were growing up, but her son begins to question her as an adult & slowly pulls the story out of her. She is a Jewish woman who married a Black man in the 1940’s. Very good read.

  2. Jon…
    I admire your time management discipline. We became homebodies years ago, so post-COVID, little has changed. But a decrease in outside trips has yielded more time at home, and a greater need to use this time wisely.

    Reading is part of my time budget. My reading is mostly non-fiction emphasizing historical and biographical – and also books by Jon Katz. I enjoy reading, and get an extra bounce when the benefit is also educational.

    I’m getting my hands on everything that war correspondent Ernie Pyle wrote. I obtained his pre-war work called “Home Country”. In 1935, Pyle convinced his editor to let him crisscross America for five years, while writing a column for a daily newspaper. In 1947, these writings were bound as a single volume. I’m eager to read accounts of life in the later Depression years.

    The book I received was a collectible edition published in 1947. Strangely, I feel closer to a story when it and the book originate from the same period. Cannot explain.

    After your mention last year, I purchased “Call of the Wild.” It seems fascinating and an easy read. Another canine book we’ve started is “A Wolf Called Romeo”, a true story about a black wolf that spent years interacting with the people and dogs in Juneau, Alaska.

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