It's Wednesday, which means the reading party is tonight. It starts at 6 pm PST and it happens through Zoom. Unlike the parties that used to happen at Hotel Sorrento, the new version is worldwide.
In the screenshot above—a tiny portion of people holding up their books at last week's party—there are people in Washington State, Massachusettes, Kentucky, and beyond. Their reading material included My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh, A Separate Peace by John Knowles, Tyll by Daniel Kehlmann, and Mindset: The New Psychology of Success.
All of us sat around—with hundreds of people around the world—reading simultaneously to ourselves as the reading party's resident musician Paul Matthew Moore played piano. It was his best reading-party set ever.
Why? First, Paul dedicated it to all the moms out there, in observance of Mother’s Day. Second, he got to play a piece by Hildegard von Bingen, who was born in or around 1098.
“I love her music so much," Paul said after the party. "And I found the sheet music for this piece about 15 minutes before the reading party started. I printed it out and I felt like I did a pretty good job reading through it and tapping into its magical powers. It’s not easy to play medieval vocal music on the piano in a convincing way.”
Paul, as usual, made it look easy.
There's nothing more relaxing than the reading party. Grab a magazine or a book, make a snack, and join us.
And by the way: If you are having trouble finding a book to sink your mind into, I will be making an announcement at tonight's party about a Zoom book club I'm starting through The Stranger. First up will be one of my favorite novels, a captivating story of betrayal. More details tonight!