Today, January 31, is the last day I greet people with “Happy New Year!”
I am always enthused about starting a new year. I’m extra enthused this year. We sent out our New Year e-card with a Lindquist family update on New Year’s Day.
If you’re not already on our email list, please join. Thank you.
Meanwhile, in Spain, it’s the 30th Anniversary of the publication of my first novel, Sad Movies. Published in the U.S. by Atlantic Monthly Press, the book caught on and was published in seven languages. At the time, I thought this was pretty cool. I still do.
Outside of the U.S., it did best in Japan, Italy, Germany, and Spain.
Due to the anniversary, I was asked to do an interview for Vox Neuva. I think I said I look forward to visiting Spain again.
As part of her ongoing pop culture education, my daughter Sloane and I watched Planet of the Apes. We started with the 2001 version. Next, we are turning to the 1968 original. The concept has aged well in our rancorous, divisive times.
Thanks to the pandemic, Sloane and I watched the entire Star Wars saga. We screened the movies in chronological rather than release order, which I recommend.
At some point, Sloane decided she needed a light saber. I bought her one. My wife Chelsea thinks I’m a sucker that way.
When the battery-powered light saber arrived, Sloane tested it out with joy. Still, after a while she wanted to know if she could have “a real one.” I asked Sloane’s friend and Congressman and fellow Star Wars fan Derek Kilmer if there were any real ones for sale. Apparently not.
I recommend Ryan Holiday‘s latest to begin your new year. The author of The Obstacle is the Way and Stillness is the Key explores stoicism further in Lives of the Stoics: The Art of Living from Zeno to Marcus Aurelius.
Organized into mini-biographies of various stoics, Holiday shares a highlight reel of life lessons.
“All things end. Philosophy is there to remind us of that fact and to prepare us for the blows of life.”
You can study in a few hours what it took some extraordinarily smart men decades of successes and failures to learn.
“Is it possible to be free from error? Not by any means, but it is possible to be a person stretching to avoid error. That’s what Stoicism is. It’s stretching. Training. To be better.”
For fiction, I recommend Jonathan Lethem‘s new novel, The Arrest. It’s a dystopian, post-apocalyptic, Hollywood novel. The title refers to a day when technology stops working. Your iPhone, your car, your gun, your toaster, all of it stops.
This is difficult to imagine, but Lethem has a lively imagination.
As always, Lethem’s writing is smart, strange, sentence-driven and visual. “It was a season of burning leaves, burning light. Heaps of things burning.”
Personally, I’m a fan of his brief, cryptic chapters, though some might find a chapter consisting of a single sentence to be a tad too short.
This is Lethem’s 12th published book. About 15 years ago, I reviewed a collection of his essays, The Disappointment Artist. I’ve remained a fan.
At Herrmann Law Group, we’ve successfully resolved our cases against Boeing in the crash of Lion Air Flight 610. We were honored to represent 46 victim families. Assisting the families and getting to know the culture and country of Indonesia was a highlight of my legal career.
Sadly, another Boeing plane crashed in Indonesia recently, Sriwijaya Air Flight 182. While it’s too soon to say what exactly caused the crash, some theories and prime suspects have emerged. You can read more about it at our HLG website.
In addition to aviation disasters, our firm handles cases of wrongful death, civil rights, and other instances of personal injury. Please let me know if I can help with anything.
During this pandemic, I am especially grateful to everyone who has stayed in contact through this blog and my email list.
Thanks for reading.