I’m Charlie Becker, a doting husband and father, second-generation secondhand bookseller, professor, blogger, and novelist. Welcome to Castles in the Sky.

I’m undertaking what novelist Walker Percy called the search

“The search is what anyone would undertake if he were not sunk in the everydayness of his own life. To become aware of the possibility of the search is to be onto something. Not to be onto something is to be in despair.”

I didn’t choose to undertake the search. Steeped in existential boredom, nihilistic confusion, and intellectual loneliness, the search chose me. I have three rules for a good search: 

  1. “To thine own self be true.” -Shakespeare

  2. “Live the questions.” -Rilke 

  3. “Do the weirdest thing that feels right.” -Becker 

Sometimes that can be a lot to explain or remember, so I distill all the rules for a good search to this:

Be curious, earnest, and bold.”

Castles in the Sky is where I document my journey on “the search.” It is not straightforward like a travelogue or series of how-to’s, but more indirect like a scrapbook of the most compelling stories and ideas. 

Here you can find fiction, essays, and memoirs, or—as stated in the short description of the blog: Daydreams, Deep Thoughts, Rabbit Holes, and Moonshots.

Everything I write here is free, but the goal is to eventually put out more, longer, substantive work. If you are also on “the search” and want to join a community of supporting and making that work real, you can support for $8 per month

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Daydreams, deep thoughts, rabbit holes, and moonshots


Writer, teacher, professor, Dad.