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setting myself up for failure

2 min

but if you know you're going to fail, it's kind of a success, right?

Since we’re officially at the point of “how is 2021 almost over?” I’ve been looking at all my reading for the year to decide how I’m going to be dissatisfied with it this year. I’m pretty happy that between professional and booktube-related projects, I’ve been reading both a lot more nonfiction than I have before, and a lot more nonfiction that I wouldn’t have thought to pick up before. There’s been more social sciences texts, more memoirs, more biographies—just a lot of different pockets of nonfiction that I don’t usually find myself in. Nonfiction is a lot like romance in that way—it’s got so many different corridors, and it’s easy to know one set of corridors very well, and then to have no idea that the other corridors exist at all.

My dissatisfaction this year though stems from the fact that between nonfiction and romance, my reading habits have started to feel very polarized. I’m either working my way through 300 pages of flower language about nature, or 300 pages of very decisive language about naked butts.

The thing that is very obviously missing is any kind of non-romance fiction, whether that be any other kind of genre fiction or literary fiction. And so my goal for the rest of the year is to actually try and fit some literary fiction into my TBR, except that I have no idea how I’m going to. I just wrapped up reading for the nonfiction Booktube Prize finals, then there’s nonfiction book club, then there’s the other stack of nonfiction on my shelves and romances on my Kindle. Which means that in a few months, I will be staring at a blank page, trying to find a new way to write about just how hard it is to do a thing that is actually not that hard at all.

What I’ve been working on

Last time I wrote this newsletter, I had almost nothing to report, but I also promised that I had a lot of stuff coming up. And I didn’t lie, but also, I didn’t send a newsletter for a few weeks, which means there really just feels like a lot to say.

If you want the full rundown of why my August was both a very good and very awful month, you can watch my weird summer catch-up video here.

But if you want to just jump to the good stuff (which is what I would do), you can check out the pop-up podcast I did with Scientific American’s Science Talk this summer talking about books. There are four episodes in total, and in each one, I talk about two science books that have similar themes. The first one is about fish, because they’re weird and inspire great books. Check it out here.

For Journey to the Microcosmos, I wrote and narrated what turned out to be a surprisingly personal episode about the starlet sea anemone, which I still say as “anenome” because my brain is set in its ways.

And for Scishow Tangents, a science game show podcast that I do lots of fun research for, I got to play the games for once—this time, about toilets!


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