Party Banter Friday | January

Party Banter Friday: 

In Which A Librarian Provides You With An Interesting Fact to Make You More Popular During Weekend Socializing


Happy PBF! You know how when it’s bitterly cold out, you hole up in your house and at first it’s kind of cozy and you make snacks and watch an entire series of a TV show on Hoopla (plug for Hoopla which is the awesome new way you can download music, TV, and music with your library card)? But then like a month passes and you don’t feel cozy, just cold, and you’re out of snacks and going out doesn’t seem like an option, but staying in your house one single second longer also doesn’t seem like an option so you just stay in bed and shop online for sun lamps?

We’re at that point here in the great white north. BUT, there’s hope. And it comes in the form of this month’s Party Banter fodder fact. Feel free to share this fact in all your socializing, even if you don’t socialize again until spring:

Annie Dillard lived alone in a valley in Virginia  while she wrote her Pulitzer Prize winning narrative, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek and recovered from pneumonia. She transposed entries from her journal “onto thousands of note cards and then, for eight months, wrote the note cards up into a book. Towards the end of the eight months, Dillard was working for up to 16 hours a day. She lived mainly on coffee and Coke, and lost 30 pounds in weight. The plants in her house died.”

(Quotation taken from Robert McFarlane’s article, An Impish Spirit, available here.)


This is to say: ok, maybe we’re all going a little crazy. But if you’ve got coffee and pop in your pantry and some half-dead houseplants*, you could be on your way to a Pulitzer Prize!

At the very least, you could be on your way to reading a really great book about nature, solitude, faith, and exploration in the vein of Thoreau’s Walden. And if you finish that and like it, I would suggest trying For the Time Being by Dillard as well. If you’re a slow reader, it may be time for the thaw by the time you finish them. If not, we’ll always have more suggestions for you here.

*: and also are sort of a genius and a really lyrical writer


Photo credit: Above photo from; our featured image for PBF is a picture from our digital history collection. You can view the original image and browse our collection here.

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