Nicola here: I’m away on holiday this week, so my lovely friend Kevin is stepping in to guest curate. Enjoy!
Good day, reader!
I won’t say much here up top because I have not, as Nicola the young Scot has, cultivated an ease and rapport with you that would allow for such small talk. I’ll leave you with the same thing an artisan butcher once told me in Brooklyn: I hope you enjoy the following curated links.
–– ARTS & CULTURE ––
In The New Yorker, Danzy Senna extols the virtues of Fran Ross’s “hilarious, badass” novel Oreo, calling it “an overlooked classic about the comedy of race.”
James Wood interviews Karl Ove Knausgaard, the Norwegian novelist who has made quite the impact with the English translations of his My Struggle series. They discuss, among other things, reading, religion, and gender expectations. “You’re also” Wood says,” willing to look at things.”
Christian Lorentzen, an editor of the London Review of Books, writes about Kingsley Amis’s Take a Girl Like You and the “unpleasant hero”.
Lastly, here are three book reviews worth reading from the New York Times: John Williams on the new novel Lurid and Cute; Michiko Kakutani on Women of Will, a look at Shakespeare’s female characters; and Maria Russo on In a Villiage by the Sea, a children’s book about life in a Vietnamese fishing village.
–– DIGITAL ––
Just as Longform.org has become essential for finding great newspaper and magazine articles, new and old, their podcast has become essential listening for anyone who wants a peek behind the editorial curtain. Two recent conversations were back-to-back gold: Alexis Okeowo and Rachel Syme.
In the first of a three part series for the New York Review of Books, Michael Massing asks “How creative and innovative has digital journalism been? How much impact has it had?”
–– ON PAPER ––
This week, I made my way through Bruce Chatwin’s What Am I Doing Here, which features encounters with Werner Herzog, meditations on the horses who changed Chinese history, and a trip down the Volga river.
I devoured Heavy Weather, one of P.G. Wodehouse’s Blandings novels in just two sittings. There’s no better way to spend an afternoon than with a bit of Wodehouse, preferably near a window with good light.
I also sped through Eat, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss, a quite basic (but funny!) look at grammar and punctuation.
Lastly, I’m teaching To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf to my senior seminar, Women Writers. It is, for me, the perfect example of what James Wood has called “free indirect style“; for my students, it’s “really, really hard.”
What about you? Read anything good lately?
–– &c. ––
Actress Judy Greer (Arrested Development, Archer) asks Why Should a Man Make More Than Me?
Nicholson Baker, author of The Mezzanine and Human Smoke, takes us through the finer details of his hoovering/vacuuming life.
Tovin Lapan over at Medium explores how our music tastes change (and stagnate) with age.