READ: Love in translation. | “Which of these two people sounds like she has an inner life, by virtue of which she requires some outer protection?” | Monstrous births: pushing back against empowerment in childbirth. / “… a profound, frightening, exhilarating, transformative experience at the boundary of life, an experience from which one comes back a different person.” | “There was an aliveness in me of a kind I’d only ever experienced intermittently. I was physically very fit, and perhaps for the first time I felt my external environment was an expression or a continuation of my inner world, there was no dissonance, no fantasy, no depression, and this congruence enabled a sort of expansion, and a sort of courage…” | “… if she got to know that he was giving a lecture somewhere in London she would stand outside the hall holding a placard that read, as I’ve always (and wrongly) remembered it: ‘This is the wife he abandoned.’ Sadly, but no doubt accurately, the various biographies substitute ‘I am’ for ‘This is’.” | Joanne the Scammer lives for drama. | Excited for Bright, Precious Days.
LOOK: Fifty days of Brexit haikus. | Plum shrub. | Moonlists. | The Chanel lamppost. | “Reading a book alone in London? / Where does the money come from.” | NIGELLA HAS A PODCAST. | At home with Rachel Roddy. | Cried so much watching Holding the Man (2015).
THINK: “I want to end my relationship but it’s too hard.” | Large number of young people experience sex problems. | Fundamentals of writing “the other” (and the self). | “I always wanted to be white.” | David Bowie as art school. | The doctor who beat big tobacco. | There’s no such thing as a protest vote. | “I can look back now and see that, while I helped out, it was usually on my schedule and on my terms.” | Children don’t need to be taught in order to learn.
READ: “The exhaustion experienced in burnout combines an intense yearning for [a] state of completion with the tormenting sense that it cannot be attained, that there is always some demand or anxiety or distraction which can’t be silenced.” | “What I am calling for,” she writes, is “a society of citizens who admit that they are needy and vulnerable.” The philosopher of feelings. | “When something you have made in private is mass-consumed, the irony is that the magnifying glass burns even brighter on you as an individual.” | Fences: a Brexit diary by Zadie Smith. | “‘Do what you love’ is a fantastic piece of superficial advice, but I’m more inclined to impart the following words to would-be writers and editors: be careful when you discover you’re good at something.” | I just read all the Liane Moriartys! They’re like modern Australian light but slightly dark Maeve Bincheys? Top three, in order: 1. Husband’s Secret; 2. Big Little Lies; 3. What Alice Forgot. | Taking the Patrick Melrose omnibus on holidays next week.
LOOK: The Averard Hotel has been “stripped back to reveal its multi-layered history in a state of arrested decay, as it awaits renovation into luxury flats.” / On Instagram: @theaverardhotel. | Agatha Christie plates at Persephone! | Making the Australian quilt. | Audiobooks for kids. | David Chang’s unified theory of deliciousness. | Pantry Confidential. | Vegetable offal. | A week with a three year old.
THINK: Should vaginal birth be the default option? | “…that’s what being-middle-class-in-the-world is about. Darkness is managed or hidden.” | Can a woman’s voice ever be right? | Should we close our zoos? | How do you prepare for death?
READ: “As I’ve grown older, had a child, advanced professionally, the gap between the clothes my stage in life called for (Theory? The more tailored section of J. Crew? Ann Taylor Loft?) and what I actually wore (slip-on Vans) became ever wider. This pleased me, to an extent. It was like an inside joke that, admittedly, maybe only I enjoyed.” | Mother, writer, monster, maid.
LOOK: Beautiful vicarage. | Quite okay, mildly gripping series: Disparue.
THINK: Am I a perfectionist?
FRIGHTENING WORLD DEVELOPMENTS: In the UK: A nice introductory Brexit explainer: luck runs out for a leader of ‘Brexit’ campaign. | Brexit: a disaster decades in the making. | The sociology of Brexit. | How “Remain” failed: the inside story of a doomed campaign. | Helpful and interesting: The New Statesman podcast. | In Australia: Pauline Hanson takes centre stage again but this time we should listen not lampoon. | In the US, George Saunders in the New Yorker: Who are all these Trump supporters? | Everywhere: The myth of cosmopolitanism: “… it’s a problem that our tribe of self-styled cosmopolitans doesn’t see itself clearly as a tribe: because that means our leaders can’t see themselves the way the Brexiteers and Trumpistas and Marine Le Pen voters see them…” | “Activism, the expression of our deeply held feelings, used to be only one part of building a movement…” Against activism.
READ. Simone Biles is the best gymnast in the world. | Lily Briscoe’s painting. | Return to “The Secret Garden”: a perfect, perfect, perfect book. | “And whatever he might feel, it doesn’t touch the pain you are feeling as a grown, thinking, feeling woman.” / “It’s crazy how knowledge can shift inside the space of one second. You’re not pregnant until you read the results in a tiny test window. You’re pregnant up until one scan. I was technically pregnant before the test, and I was technically not pregnant before the scan, but I didn’t know that until I knew that.” | “Ask your friend how the birth was; be visibly shocked by the answer – you must agree two things now. One, that it sounds like a particularly scary, appalling birth and two, that it was fine.” | How to tiptoe around a depressed mother. | The book of my enemy. | In the restroom at the Walter Reade Theater.
LOOK. Shed envy. | Classic carbonara. | How to make the perfect meringue. | Palak paneer. | Dishes to cook for new parents. | How Helen DeWitt wrote The Last Samurai. | Is it pathetic to admit I actually cried in a bit of this Longform interview with Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau? I was just so envious of his meaningful work for a kind boss. | Jon Favreau’s politics podcast Keepin’ it 1600. | Genial political chat on The Axe Files with David Axelrod. | Emily Books is expanding (and the story of Virago will be told in a new documentary!)
THINK. “It’s worth asking to what degree charisma, as we have defined it, is a masculine trait. Can a woman appeal to the country in the same way we are used to men doing it?” | Are you in despair? That’s good. | The media don’t hate Jeremy Corbyn. It’s more complicated than that. | Could Bill Shorten actually win? (No, but this is an interesting profile. His book choices are sooo boring and earnest.) | Shame: an explainer. | McDonald’s: you can sneer, but it’s the glue that holds communities together. | I’ll be Right Back: a parenting newsletter. It’s all great writing but Issue 11, has especially good resources for people who need or wish to formula-feed.