Part of the six-book haul that we brought back from secondhand bookshops in our last Berlin trip. I picked this one up immediately because it's short and light and approachable, with large margins and lots of whitespace. Perfect book to read on a trip.

The best way to describe the book is to say how it was written. In 2014-2015 Lauren Elkin was living and working in Paris, and every day she took buses 91 and 92 to and back from work. During the rides she looked around and wrote down her thoughts on her iPhone's Notes app. The notes are the book, with almost no editing (autocorrect intentionally left in etc). Immediately sold.

The resulting book is a sort of memoir of short prose, almost poetry-like. There's the background of the year going by, with big public and intimate events unfolding. But the book isn't about them—it's the thoughts of someone on her commute, half-awake in the morning, making or missing the bus, watching other commuters and Paris outside the bus windows. It's about what Perec1 calls the infraordinary: what happens when nothing happens.



  1. there are a lot of Perec inspiration and references in there which I loved. I'll need to get my hands on An Attempt at Exhausting a Place in Paris