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No Time to Spare: Thinking About What…

No Time to Spare: Thinking About What Matters (2017)

by Ursula K. Le Guin

Other authors: Karen Joy Fowler (Introduction)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3883041,061 (4.1)41
  1. 10
    The Language of the Night: Essays on Fantasy and Science Fiction by Ursula K. Le Guin (andomck)
  2. 00
    What I Talk About When I Talk About Running: A Memoir by Haruki Murakami (andomck)
  3. 00
    Travels with Charley: In Search of America by John Steinbeck (andomck)
    andomck: Non fiction from these novelists where their pets play a large role. Also, UKL has an essay in her book about knowing Steinbeck in real life

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» See also 41 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 30 (next | show all)
Disappointing to find that the much-admired sci fi writer was a regulation, standard issue "liberal", but she does make some clever remarks, of which my favorite is this: "I've lost faith in the saying 'You're only as old as you think you are, since I got old . . .It is a saying with a fine heritage. It goes right back to the idea of the Power of Positive Thinking, which is so strong in America because it fits in so well with the Power of Commercial Advertising and with the Power of Wishful Thinking, aka the American Dream."
  cstebbins | Mar 18, 2019 |
No Time to Spare was published in December 2017 and author Ursula Le Guin died in January 2018. This collection of essays, blog posts and musings is not only highly readable, it demonstrates what an insightful thinker Ms. Le Guin was to the very end of her life. The book is divided into collections on these topics: Going Over Eighty (aging); The Lit Biz (writing and publishing); Trying to Make Sense of It (current social and political issues); and Rewards (those bright moments that make life worth living); all interspersed with The Annals of Pard, stories about her cat Pard.

I’ve noticed that reviewers tend to focus on the topic that has most relevance to their lives. For me that’s Going Over Eighty. I’m not there yet but if I’m lucky, I will be some day. Young folks need to read this section to learn: a) how stupid are some of the notions held and comments made by most people about aging; b) "Old age is for anybody who gets there"; c) There is a certain diminishment, physical in particular, that comes with aging, made ever so much worse by cultural and social views of the elderly, especially the unconscious lack of respect; d) the way she plays with “no time to spare” and “no spare time” is motivating.

Also in the Rewards collection, the encounter with a rattlesnake spoke to me because I’ve encountered them multiple times in my life. They are mysterious, beautiful in their own way, and scary as hell. Her love affair with a lynx is noteworthy as well. Wild creatures, a dark sky, the desert in spring. She makes me pay attention.

Mmmph to you, Ursula. ( )
  C.J.Shane | Feb 21, 2019 |
Although an started her blog later in life it provides enjoyable insights into her life. The stories of her life with her cat were fun although I am far from a cat person. Hearing her expound on her fascination with words was fun. ( )
  waldhaus1 | Feb 9, 2019 |
My favorite parts of this were on the subjects of old age, letters from children to authors, the idea of “the great American novel”, the refusal of literary prizes, utopias and dystopias, and Le Guin’s frustration with a quote misattributed to her (“the creative adult is the child that has survived”). It was quite enjoyable to listen to. ( )
  brokensandals | Feb 7, 2019 |
I don't read much sci-fi or fantasy, so LeGuin has never been on my favorites list. But this collection of essays on various subjects (from the author's blog) really hit a lot of my sweet spots. What a mind...I'll bet she was usually the smartest person in the room, but never flaunted it. She covers things like the truth about getting old (don't say "it's not for sissies" and stop telling people they're only as young as they feel); the uselessness of swear words that appear five times in one sentence; the inanity of surveys, even those conjured up at Harvard; the narrative gift; and best of all--"The Annals of Pard". Once in a while I found myself disagreeing with her, but she was smarter than I am, so I'm OK with that. I don't mean I grant that she's probably right and I'm wrong, just that I'm fine with an intelligent person holding an opinion I don't share. Once or twice I found I couldn't quite follow her reasoning, and because she was smarter than I am, I think she may have left out a logical step or two that was obvious to her, but not to me. Wish I could sit down and talk to her about those bits. ( )
  laytonwoman3rd | Dec 17, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 30 (next | show all)
Prompted by an alumni survey from her alma mater, Radcliffe, that asks how she occupies her spare time, she takes issue with the idea that any time occupied by living—whether that means reading, writing, cooking, eating, cleaning, etc.—can be considered spare. Moreover, with her 81st birthday fast approaching, Le Guin declares, ”I have no time to spare.”

» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ursula K. Le Guinprimary authorall editionscalculated
Fowler, Karen JoyIntroductionsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wachs , Anne-MarieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Vonda N. McIntyre, with love
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I've been inspired by Jose Saramago's extraordinary blogs, which he posted when he was eighty-five and eighty-six years old.
Old age is for anybody who gets there.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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"From acclaimed author Ursula K. Le Guin, and with an introduction by Karen Joy Fowler, a collection of thoughts--always adroit, often acerbic--on aging, belief, the state of literature, and the state of the nation. Ursula K. Le Guin has taken readers to imaginary worlds for decades. Now she's in the last great frontier of life, old age, and exploring new literary territory: the blog, a forum where her voice -- sharp, witty, as compassionate as it is critical -- shines. No Time to Spare collects the best of Ursula's blog, presenting perfectly crystallized dispatches on what matters to her now, her concerns with this world, and her wonder at it. On the absurdity of denying your age, she says, "If I'm ninety and believe I'm forty-five, I'm headed for a very bad time trying to get out of the bathtub." On cultural perceptions of fantasy: "The direction of escape is toward freedom. So what is 'escapism' an accusation of? " On her new cat: "He still won't sit on a lap" -- "From acclaimed author Ursula K. Le Guin, a collection of thoughts--always adroit, often acerbic--on aging, belief, the state of literature, and the state of the nation"--… (more)

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