#13. Ur by Stephen King

Last weekend, we drove down to Dallas. One of my best friends from college and her husband moved down there this past year, putting them only 3 hours away from Oklahoma City. It was an excellent visit — a brewery, an Asian art collection, the art museum, a walk around the cool & eclectic arts district, and a very intense game of Scrabble.

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Christmas Market in the Bishop Arts District, where our friends live.

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Fashion exhibit at The Crow Collection of Asian Art.

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Samurai exhibit at The Crow Collection of Asian Art.

You might be wondering what a weekend getaway to Texas to see our friends has to do with my quest for a million words. Joe’s Nissan Versa has a CD player, which means that on the night before we headed out we made a stop at the Metropolitan Public Library to pick up an audiobook for the drive! We picked up two, but wound up listening to only one: Ur by Stephen King. Originally available only for the Amazon Kindle, this novella introduces readers to Wesley Smith, an English teacher at a small college who loves books. One day in class, he scoffs at a student doing his reading assignment off a Kindle…a computer. But, fresh off a breakup where his ex-girlfriend accused him of being unable to use such devices “like the rest of us,” he takes it as a personal challenge and orders one online.

There are some weird manufacturing quirks to his new Amazon purchase. For one thing, it appeared in the mail for him after only one day, even though he didn’t request one-day delivery. Also, it seems to be a shade of bubblegum pink. Finally, it has an experimental prototype menu called “Ur.” As Wesley loses night after night of sleep exploring Ur novels and Ur news archives, he can’t help but wonder: How many Urs are out there? And why did this strange Kindle show up in his?

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