I’m slowly making my way through John Green’s books. Thus far, I’ve read (in this order) Paper Towns, Turtles All the Way Down, and I’m currently reading Looking for Alaska. This is not anything like publication order, but as these books aren’t connected, I’m not missing anything on an internal level, but I’m starting to wonder if I’m missing something on a meta-level of John’s corpus (I’m going to break with the convention of using an author’s last name because John’s brother, Hank, is also now a published author, and because my first encounter with the Green brothers was through their work on YouTube, specifically Vlogbrothers, where they begin each video with “Good morning, [the other one’s first name], it’s [day of the week they post their vlogbrother videos]). It need not be pointed out that I frequently use long parentheticals on platforms which do not lend themselves to footnotes (WordPress developers, looking at you).
There’s a lot of depth worth discussion in John’s work, from characters who stay with you to well-written and engaging prose, but what drove me to the blog today is the depth to which John’s stories always drive my mind. I read a couple dozen pages of Looking for Alaska at lunch today and, on my way back to my desk, realized that while I was listening to Bach in my earbuds, Queen was playing in my head, I was thinking about something deep and personal, and already working on solving some of the problems with a current project at work. I basically had four different streams of consciousness, which my inner-monologue chastised as “doing that thing where you go crazy and split your brain into multiple parts.” I responded to that self(?)-chastisement with, “Fortunately, it’s my brain and I can arrange it how I want,” but I immediately questioned that assumption and that’s deeper into the rabbit hole than I want to write about here and now.