No Time to Spare: Thinking About What Matters

By Ursula K. Le Guin

No Time to Spare is a collection of Le Guin’s blog posts, which cover a range of topics: aging, her cat, the “lit biz”, and what seems to be a delightful array of miscellany. The form ranges from essays to journal entries to criticism to fragments of thought. There’s no real theme, or if there is, the theme is “wonderfully unfiltered!”

I’m always amazed when I think about the staggering diversity and prolificacy of her work — from children’s fantasy to adult science fiction, essays and nonfiction to poetry and short stories, and other books that defy categorization…books on writing, works of myth and legend, historical fiction.

This book was published just in the past year, the last of Le Guin’s works published during her lifetime (her final collection of poetry is to be published this year by Copper Canyon Press).

Le Guin has written a lot of nonfiction; she has an earlier book of essays that’s also in my antilibrary, The Wave in the Mind: Talks and Essays on the Writer, the Reader, and the Imagination, which includes “some of Le Guin’s finest literary criticism, rare autobiographical writings, performance art pieces, and, most centrally, her reflections on the arts of writing and reading”.

I also really enjoyed one of her previous nonfiction collections: Language Of The Night: Essays on Fantasy and Science Fiction.

In the introduction of No Time To Spare, Le Guin mentions being inspired by José Saramago’s blog writing, in his mid 80s (which also sound great) and I’m glad she decided to give it a go too! From what I skimmed, her blog posts, like the rest of her writing, is sharp as hell, at once personable and acerbic, almost effortlessly wise.

Additional information:

  • ISBN: 978-1328507976
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

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