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Shakespeare and Co

READ: Interview with Helen Garner, 1986. | Akhil Sharma: “I stopped wishing away the guilt and started acting in ways I didn’t need to feel guilty about, even a little. No more stealing Splenda. No more mixing recyclables.” / ”The book does everything I would want a book to do. I just wish twelve and a half years of my life hadn’t gone into creating it.” | ”Remember, these are accepted manuscripts I’m talking about … You can imagine what rejected manuscripts are like.” | The “female inclination toward breaking form.” | The Bloomsbury Group’s food. | A dapper Melbourne chap. | Doing Exercise Videos In My Kitchen.

LOOK: Labneh balls. | Pressing edible flowers. | At home with Ashley Helvey on Sight Unseen. | Aphex Twin: Selected Ambient Works Volume II. | Crispy almond-coated chicken. | Fromager d’Affinois and Medjool dates. | Meet the People. | Virginia Woolf ballet. | Hat trick. | She is Butters. (My friend Laura’s blog: best food photography. | Bon Appétempt. | Non-dominant hand. | Paris in the spring, with a small companion.

THINK: Tumblr and emergent optimisation. | The Mere Exposure Effect. | Public smoking bans work.

Paris in the spring, with a small companion.

Sitting by the canal





We have honed our Paris weekends away so they are as ritualised as our London ones. Rose Bakery, felafel in the Marais, APC-and-Merci-Merci (chant it), Shakespeare and Co, a steak place, an oyster place, a token new place. It is not boring to us to repeat this! Over and over again! But this time we had a plus one. We got to have Rose Bakery and felafel, but no steak. Oysters we had at Bones, before rushing Sunday back for bed. She danced at Le Comptoir Generale. We fed her next to a tomb in Père Lachaise. Having her with us made it more fun, not less.

On the train I read Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting. Interesting! Now I’ve started Jennifer Senior’s All Joy and No Fun. They’re both anthropological deep dives with a light touch.



This READ.LOOK.THINK. is being produced while I try and teach the baby to nap in her cot, not just her pram. For a moment she seemed like she would sleep when I was (unsustainably) leaning down to hold her hand, but then my ponytail flipped over my head and she laughed herself awake. Now she is crying in such a dispirited and tired way I feel like a terrible person. If she has not fallen asleep by the time I post this I’ll have to give up and put her in her pram. Not feeling the self elevation/self love right now.

READ: Young love fucks us up. | “Thinking, not moving, was living.” | ”You hesitate to say anything at all, as if staying quiet better preserves the miracle.” | ”Being immersed in the daily life of a stay-at-home father, in what most people still considered women’s work, had changed how I read.” | As a feminist, I knew the score. Having a baby meant writing was out of the question, for months if not years. But what effect would the pram in the hall have on reading?

LOOK: notes from apart. | Celia Rowlson-Hall‘s choreography. | Call Chelsea Peretti. | Cake with edible flowers. | Hackney Marshes: A Walk for One. | Za’atar. | Fatima Al Qadiri. | Practising Simplicity. | One room living. | Sunday with a swan by Vic.

THINK: Forget clicks. I think we know now that even people who’ve shared it haven’t read it. | Class in Australia. | “…we always knew we could do a great deal of damage to this planet, but even the most hubristic among us had not imagined we would ever be able to fundamentally change its rhythms and character, just as a child who has screamed all day at her father still does not expect to see him lie down on the kitchen floor and weep.” | The shallowness of True Detective.

What I’m reading.

Camellia love!

Every week I look forward to the latest ‘What I’m Reading’ on the Meanjin blog. It makes me feel homesick for Melbourne, but in a good way. I remember all the hours I spent in Brunswick Street Books and Readings Carlton. Every post sounds like a conversation that could be overheard there. I was very excited to do a What I’m Reading of my own. Basically, my secret is that I don’t read books at all and when I do, they’re only by men. Sorry!