Back Porch Reading #3

A third week of short reading recommendations, as you escape your house/office for a mug of joe on the porch–the book I finished yesterday, an article about writing fantasy, and a Netflix movie review.

Photo by Thought Catalog on

Yesterday I finished reading Unlonely Planet by Billy Curry. Having canceled our plans for international travel in October, this book gave solace. I think of the author as Billy because he comes across as good-natured. Unlonely Planet is Billy’s memoir of a journey from Nepal to Brazil with many countries in between. Throughout the book, Billy’s very personal, unapologetic, and relaxed approach to travel is delightful.

Photo by Iqx Azmi on
Photo by Skitterphoto on
Humble roots, an outdoor life, 
  trudging and trekking,
twice lightning, once 
      sickness strikes.
So now when traffic,
   snarling and winding,
stops dead. I have envisaged
minutes left on my timer.

Kindku from Unlonely Planet 
page 31 of 235
Photo by YURI MANEI on

Via I found “The Flat-Heeled Muse”, an article on writing fantasy by Lloyd Alexander. There are some great quotes in this article.

Melancholy men, they say, are the most incisive humorists; by the same token, writers of fantasy must be, within their own frame of work, hardheaded realists.

Once committed to his imaginary kingdom, the writer is not a monarch but a subject. 

Lloyd Alexander
Not that kind of monarch?

I love the movie Secondhand Lions. According to the internet, this movie (2003) is based on a memoir, Unstrung Heroes, by Franz Lidz, a book loved by Lidz’s readers. I hope to be one of them someday. 

I can watch Secondhand Lions over and over again. Robert Duvall and Michael Caine play two eccentric uncles who reluctantly agree to care for their teenage grand nephew, Walter, one summer. Even though this movie is about two old men and a boy on a farm, adventure is not lacking. There’s a lioness, piles of cash, and many villains. If you have overlooked Secondhand Lions on Prime or Netflix, stop doing that.

Photo by Gary Whyte on

Inspired by Walter’s terrible mother, I searched for more stories about bad parenting. I found this article “The 10 Crappiest Parents in Literature”. My vote is King Lear for the worst father, and I’m still searching for the worst mother. I would love to know your thoughts–please comment and follow. I seem to be making Back Porch Reading a regular thing.

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