No Time to Spare
Thinking About What Matters

by Ursula K. Le Guin
Introduction by Karen Joy Fowler

December 5, 2017
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Hardcover ISBN 9781328661593: Hardcover at Powell’s Bookstore
Ebook ISBN 9781328661036: Ebook at Kobo


Awards & Honors

Hugo Award: Best Related Work. Worldcon76, 2018.

The PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay


Table of Contents

Introduction by Karen Joy Fowler

A Note at the Beginning

Part One: Going Over Eighty

In Your Spare Time

The Sissy Strikes Back

The Diminished Thing

Catching Up, Ha Ha

The Annals of Pard

Choosing a Cat

Chosen by a Cat

Part Two: The Lit Biz

Would You Please Fucking Stop?

Readers’ Questions

Kids’ Letters

Having My Cake

Papa H

A Much-Needed Literary Award


TGAN Again

The Narrative Gift as a Moral Conundrum

It Doesn’t Have To Be the Way It Is

Utopiyin, Utopiyang

The Annals of Pard

The Trouble

Pard and the Time Machine

Part Three: Trying to Make Sense Of It

A Band of Brothers, a Stream of Sisters



Clinging Desperately to a Metaphor

Lying It All Away

The Inner Child and the Nude Politician

A Modest Proposal: Vegempathy

Belief in Belief

About Anger

The Annals of Pard

An Unfinished Education

An Unfinished Education, Continued

Doggerel for My Cat

Part Four: Rewards

The Circling Stars, the Sea Surrounding:
Philip Glass and John Luther Adams


Someone Named Delores

Without Egg

Notre-Dame de la Faim

The Tree

The Horsies Upstairs

First Contact

The Lynx

Notes from a Week at a Ranch in the Oregon High Desert


News & Reviews

Review: Ursula K. Le Guin’s No Time to Spare, by Yvonne C. Garrett. brooklynrail.org

“When Ursula K. Le Guin died earlier this year, some obituaries referred to her as a “leading fantasy” writer, but some were smart enough to simply call her what she was: one of our greatest writers....”

Review: Reflecting on What Really Matters, by Lynn Alexander. coastalbreezenews.com

Collections of Essays by Writers Old and Young, by Melissa Febos. The New York Times

“But the trivially personal is a chief pleasure of this collection, which uses its firm footing in the concrete world to ponder an eclectic array of topics. The pages sparkle with lines that make a reader glance up, searching for an available ear with which to share them.”

Who Is the Alien in Ursula K. Le Guin’s No Time to Spare? by Megan Volpert at PopMatters.

“Le Guin’s mindful empathy for every kind of living and non-living thing makes her a role model for the rest of us who ever tried to walk a mile in another kind of shoe… With her profound skepticism of the merits of capitalism, her à la carte Eastern spirituality, and her willingness to be disliked, she could certainly be a strong contender for Mayor of Portland.”

In new book, Ursula K. Le Guin shares witty blog posts on ‘crabby old age’ and cats, by Mark Athitakis. USA Today.

“And if her blog has a recurring theme, it’s her eagerness to question the words we often take for granted or dismiss.”

The Best Reviewed Books of 2017: Essay Collections. lithub.com

Ursula K. Le Guin’s Voice Rings Out In New Nonfiction Collection, by Jason Heller. NPR.org.

“Her takeaway (‘There are many bad books. There are no bad genres.’) exemplifies her keen ability to boil down complex issues to their essence, even as she argues with nuance and grace.”

Ursula K. Le Guin’s Essential Internet Writing, Now Between Two Covers, by Matthew Keeley. Tor.com

“Le Guin, in short, is a good essayist who would make a terrible internet controversialist. She values uncertainty, accepts disagreement—even disagreement with herself—and has never, to my knowledge, written a hot take.”

No Time to Spare: Thinking About What Matters, by Ursula K. Le Guin. Review by Michael Berry. SFGate.com

“The best quickly capture the voice we’ve come to identify as Le Guin’s: wry, measured, insightful, accepting of life’s messiness while determined to act as morally as possible.”

No Time to Spare rife with insight, humor, by Nancy Gilson, The Columbus Dispatch.

“...crisply written, sometimes funny, often philosophical and always opinionated.”

Michelle Dean loves Ursula K. Le Guin's cat stories. Which is a good start, by Michelle Dean. LA Times.

“Is it an insult to Ursula K. Le Guin’s voluminous and varied body of work, or does it malign her stature as a public intellectual, if I admit that among my favorite things she has written are her stories about cats?”

What we can learn from two literary masters: Ursula K. Le Guin and James Salter, by Michael Dirda. Washington Post.

“A year ago I argued that Le Guin deserved a Nobel Prize in literature. In fact — what a fantasy! — she ought to be running the country.”

Review: No Time to Spare: Thinking About What Matters at Shelf Awareness.

No Time to Spare: Thinking About What Matters presents the best of Le Guin's blog: sharp-eyed, big-hearted, idiosyncratic and highly enjoyable.”

What Happens When a Science Fiction Genius Starts Blogging? by Robert Minto at The New Republic.

A review of No Time to Spare: Thinking About What Matters

“In 2010, at the age of 81, the acclaimed novelist Ursula K. Le Guin started a blog. Blogs never seemed a likely destination for the writer, who by then had a long career in 20th-century traditional publishing behind her. But Le Guin’s new book, No Time To Spare, which harvests a representative sample of her blog posts, feels like the surprising and satisfying culmination to a career in other literary forms.” [Continue reading at The New Republic.]

The Best New Books to Read in December, by Lauren Hubbard, at Harper's Bazaar.

No Time to Spare: Thinking About What Matters: ldquo;...truly unexpected collection of musings on creativity, aging, politics, and the oddities of cat ownership...”

No Time to Spare review at Publishers Weekly. “Fantasy and SF author Le Guin (The Lost and the Found) mines her blog in these short, punchy, and canny meditations on aging, literature, and cats....”

Fall 2017 Announcements: Essays & Literary Criticism
, By Everett Jones. Publishers Weekly (June 23, 2017) announcement of No Time to Spare: Thinking About What Matters.

Barbara’s Picks, Nov./Dec. 2017, by Barbara Hoffert, Library Journal. “Le Guin here collects the best essays from her blog, a new medium for her that fits her pointedly glistening writing.” No Time to Spare: Thinking About What Matters


Reviews at HMH

Cover Reveal for No Time to Spare, by Christian Holub at Entertainment Weekly. Includes an excerpt from the Introduction, by Karen Joy Fowler:

“Where other writers secure their legacy with a single book, she’s written a dozen worthy of that.”

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