Daily Mail

Best books on keeping in touch

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 22/11/2020 23:05:46 Patricia Nicol For The Daily Mail
text: MailOnline logo © Provided by Daily MailMailOnline logo

My smartphone likes to humiliate me. It used to happen just once a week: a notification would pop up titled 'Weekly Report Available: You averaged X hours and X minutes screen time'.

Recently, it has started doing what American commentators might call a 'Daily deep dive' - a forensic breakdown of all my distraction divided into categories such as social, games, information and reading, productivity and finance.

The evidence culled is shaming: an hour a day on the Scrabble app and, despite lockdown, I spend hours being 'social'. Since when did monitoring WhatsApp and scrolling Instagram equate to a get-together?

calendar: Chris Cleave's WW2-set Everyone Brave Is Forgiven was inspired by his grandparents' wartime correspondence © Provided by Daily MailChris Cleave's WW2-set Everyone Brave Is Forgiven was inspired by his grandparents' wartime correspondence text: In Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner a late-night telephone call summons exiled Afghan-American Amir back to the homeland he fled after the Russian invasion © Provided by Daily MailIn Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner a late-night telephone call summons exiled Afghan-American Amir back to the homeland he fled after the Russian invasion

I should use my phone more thoughtfully. I do, after all, recall when contact with loved ones could be a fraught, drawn-out and, sometimes, a costly undertaking.

Letters might go astray. Calls could be exorbitant, echoey and ghosted by disconcerting noises. Often the act of reaching out only reinforced the distance between.

So many plots depend on communication, or lack of it. Chris Cleave's WW2-set Everyone Brave Is Forgiven was inspired by his grandparents' wartime correspondence. Mary and Alistair meet through Tom, his best friend and her boyfriend. For Tom's sake, their mutual attraction is set aside. Later, however, she must write to Alistair in besieged Malta. Their letters become a lifeline.

In Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner a late-night telephone call summons exiled Afghan-American Amir back to the homeland he fled after the Russian invasion. In Taliban-controlled Kabul, he must do right by his childhood friend, Hassan.

Lionel Shriver's harrowing We Need To Talk About Kevin is told through the letters Eva Khatchadourian writes to her apparently estranged husband Franklin. No amount of soul-searching can bridge their divide.

With another week of lockdown, I'm not beating myself up for smartphone use that connects me with friends. I can't visit my friend in York, but we can at least play Scrabble.

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23. marraskuuta 2020 1:05:46 Categories: Daily Mail

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