READ: Dress, Memory by Lorelei Vashti: a beautiful memoir. | Moving experience, by Helen Garner. | “I found that the whole secret of human connection with others was to give the deepest self.” | “Knowing too much seems a strange problem for an author to face, since the work of the novel is to impose meaningful order on the welter of experience…” | “I see the nine years I spent working on my Ph.D. as [...] a quest for a lineage that might give me a right to speak.” | “As an intellectual or whatever, I was skeptical.” The tarot card reader. | “I want to leave in more mistakes, to leave an impression more provocative than good.” Imperfect beauty. | “But then again, you don’t really have a “reason” to feel this way, do you? People have been through worse.” | The Referees, a story by Joseph O’Neill. | So excited to read In the Light of What We Know. | Loneliness and solitude: a reading list. | I finally read The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P because my friend Emma and I have been quoting Sheila Heti’s essay for weeks: “The women around him do the heavy labour of making relationships honest and tender, because that’s their position culturally: they’re the ‘immigrant labourers’ in the business of love.” And what about Nate always getting his work done even as Hannah’s suffers?
LOOK: Nourishing Traditions chicken stock. | mountainpottery on Instagram. | Apple rings five ways. | Brussels sprouts in a winter vegetable slaw. | Butternut squash lasagna on My New Roots. | Tokyo potted gardens. | Life in Squares: can’t wait.
THINK: Carefree Black Girl: The life and death of Karyn Washington. | The problem of writers’ entitlement. | “Shame [...] is what we feel when we haven’t lived up to some ideal of ourselves.” | “[M]any Indigenous childhoods look all wrong to those who regard them from the fortress of their own system.” Andrew Solomon on how the stolen generations are an unending disaster for Australia.
READ: Family Life. | Isabella Blow and Alexander McQueen: “fashion muse and master – lovers without the sex.” | Remember that having a dad is a lot of work. | Laura Jane Faulds’ first week in London Part 1 and Part 2. | “I used to think, “Well, this is the world,” and the impact I felt was numbed and relatively small. I had armor to protect me. Now I have none.”
LOOK: Tiny, perfect Melbourne home in a garage. | The non-banana part of this tastes exactly like Nutella. | Lilting. | Lea Taleb’s blog is so golden age of personal style blogging, thank you Hannah Rose. | Artist exhibits work in her home. | Birthday Suits (or, feeling okay about nakedness.) | Guest DJ Patti Smith. | Assemble Papers. | Blueberry and blackberry crumble. | The Faber podcast.
THINK: Notes from the milk cave: “Work that doesn’t count as such.” | What we see when we read. | “It’s a warm and nutrient-rich bath between the beach of daily life and the cold, black water of actual writing.” | “Sir, Will you allow me to draw your attention to the fact that in a review of a book by me (October ) your reviewer omitted to use the word Highbrow?”
READ: Moving Helen Garner’s books. | “I know I am not the first woman to ask this, but how can I be both damaged and loveable? How do I become the protagonist of a story?” | Of other people: “she could hear of them with interest, and talk of them with detail, minute, graphic, and accurate; but WITH them, she rarely exchanged a word.” | On being fictionalised: “Because the shock of recognition is so acute, the fictionalized often fail to grasp how impersonally their “personal” material is used—or how minor a role “their” material plays.” | “…as an artist, not having parents is really the jam.” | Nobody’s looking at you. | I LOVED My Salinger Year, read beautifully on audiobook by the author. Excited to read: The Dog by Joseph O’Neill (Netherland is now one of my favourite books); Nobody is ever missing.
LOOK: Downtown in the flesh, upstate in the mind. | Sex and the City scripts. | No black person is ugly. | A very Melbourne experimental enterprise: The Good Copy. | Kettle’s Yard. | Wartime secrets of West End hotels. | Seinfeld episodes.
THINK: Relatability is the shitty version of nailing it. | Mothers aren’t leaving the workforce because they can’t hack it. It’s because they’re rational economic actors. | When writers attack bad PR, the unspoken heart of their criticism is the failure on the part of the publicist to adequately conceal that she is performing emotional work for money.
READ: A strange, beautiful, romantic book: Love is Where it Falls. | For a few months, the New Yorker’s archive is open, free. | People in Places. My favourite short story, and the most shocking, is ‘Wanda is in nature.’ | Virginia Woolf’s idea of privacy. | “The women around him do the heavy labour of making relationships honest and tender, because that’s their position culturally: they’re the ‘immigrant labourers’ in the business of love.”
LOOK: Virginia Woolf at the National Portrait Gallery. | Mrs Dalloway, In Our Time on BBC Radio 4. If you’re not in the UK you can still find the ep on iTunes. (Caution: Melvyn Bragg is ghastly.) | New (to me) parenting podcast: The Longest Shortest Time. | I used to listen to podcasts on the horrible iTunes pod app. Now I use Overcast: beautiful. | Two cooking blogs: Shake Guac and Roll and Mostly Saturdays. | Two perfect photos: 10.45 and Glenridding.
THINK: “…bludgeoning the joy that is friendship into the unrecognizable “friendzone” – a place where it’s actually humiliating to be friends with a woman.” | “It’s such a comfortable pose, gathering around women and deciding what we think of them—hot or not, alluring or tragic, moral or immoral, responsible or irresponsible, capable of consent or incapable of consent, maternal or neglectful.” | How to photograph your kids without revealing their identity.