Book Notes: Sea of Tranquility

Book cover of Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel

This is the book you get when a speculative fiction author who wrote a book about a pandemic back in 2015 (which is still on my reading list!) writes another book about a pandemic, but this time during a very non-speculative and very real pandemic in 2020. It took me a good two weeks to get through the first part, which is probably more a symptom of me being distracted by life, but then it sucked me right in somewhere in the middle and I finished it off in one sitting.

Although it is a fairly easy read, the questions it raises are quite fundamental: what is reality, how does it affect us, and how do we even know what is real and what is not? How does isolation, whether caused by a pandemic, or by hiding from the world, affect us and our relationships? What insights from these periods of isolation do we bring to our post-isolation world?


Sometimes order can be relentless.

Everything offended Jessica, which is inevitable when you move through the world in search of offense.

How do you investigate reality?

Turns out reality is more important than we thought

I’ve been thinking a great deal about time and motion lately, about being a still point in the ceaseless rush.