Prayer for the Crown-Shy (2022, Doherty Associates, LLC, Tom) 5 stars

After touring the rural areas of Panga, Sibling Dex (a Tea Monk of some renown) …


5 stars

At first I was low-key disappointed: Mosscap's candid questions slightly annoyed me, and I was dreading the answer. The moment where the story would answer its central question: when all your basic needs are met, what else do you need?

In other stories about the meaning of life (or adjacent themes), I could always relate to the part with the questions, and end up disappointed by the answer that the characters find, because the answer specifically works for them, and not for me. It's probably impossible to answer this kind of question in a way that will satisfy every reader, so why even try in the first place?

And... well, I like the direction that the book took, especially in its last chapter. It made me think of How to do nothing, except that Jenny Odell explains you what Becky Chambers makes you experience.

Also, I just read it at home, with closed blinds due to the heat, while preparing for the heat wave that will occur during the next two days and reading about fires, drought and our general inability to address climate change fast enough. Even though the utopian aspects of the book's world didn't always work for me, it made me emotional to read a story when things actually improved and the world turned out fine.

What do you need? Well, today specifically, I needed a story like that.