READ: Do not coddle men. | Hilary Mantel on Elizabeth Jane Howard. | Adelle Waldman’s essays for The New Yorker. | AS Byatt’s children call her AS Byatt. | Just what you need to hear today. | On being ugly. | “… a young girl’s coming of age in the cutthroat world of New York City ballet” ADD TO CART.
LOOK: @sqirlla on Instagram. / Turmeric tonic. / Jessica Koslow on Freunde von Freunden. | Cooking for the storm. | Leftover porridge cake. | Wholesome pregnancy eating. | Alice Bowman: Waiting. (The seductive audacity of “Transparent.”) | Psychoanalysis podcasts from the Freud Museum London. (Therapy wars: the revenge of Freud.) | Babe vibes interviews. | Coloured Stones: beautiful mix of indigenous Australian music. | Miranda July’s first house in LA is a time capsule of her life and career. | Bible of British taste. | “He even managed to return to the theme of mother and child, one final time, by carving a small maternity from the butt of a stolen rifle.”
THINK: The reductive seduction of other people’s problems. | Keep the nuclear launch codes in the chest cavity of an innocent volunteer. | Australia Day: it’s time to change our traditions.
READ: “Our emotional orbits intersected in a thousand places every day but never exactly aligned. There was a space between us as we moved through life. Sometimes I think it is this space that allows us to stay married. Sometimes I think it is this space that makes me stay hungry for something else.” A friendship affair. | “Wry detachment, especially when funny, rings masc because it’s about not caring.” | “It is not a wonderful thing for a man to leave another woman for you. Do not want this for yourself.” | “Could Marsh, this brilliant neurosurgeon, be troubled by a constant need to call attention to himself? Weren’t his extraordinary qualities, so obvious to everyone around him, fixed securely in his own image of himself?” | The unhappy king of snooker. | “Neither of us are the same. I’m still learning how that will be true.” | “This year, I shelved a novel that I had been writing since 2010.” | “My father’s mantra, “Don’t upset your mother,” gathered new meanings. She was not who I thought she was. Or, I suppose, she was more than who I thought she was: more complex, more brave, more tragic.” Postpartum.
LOOK: I relistened to Harry Potter and Half Blood Prince on audio over Christmas, and found this transcript of an early TV program on JK Rowling. “It’s a book for the kind of people who enjoy every little tiny detail about a world. Because I have every little tiny detail about the world.” cf. this Scriptnotes episode about epic top down/bottom up world-building. | There must have been others. | “My BODY hasn’t aged as well as I have.” | Emily Books forum. | Bitchy hungover Jane Austen. | New Guardian Australia podcast Token. | A flat in Bloomsbury. | Winter salads. | Chicken with cardamom rice. | Fig and earl grey Victoria sponge. | Quince and thyme crumble.
THINK: Quite upsetting 71 page PDF summary of a metafilter thread on unpaid emotional labour. | White fragility. | “Chill is a sinister refashioning of “Calm down!” from an enraging and highly gendered command into an admirable attitude.” Against chill. | Germaine Greer “was the catalyst. Let’s remember that as we rightfully tell her to get out of the way.
” | Men explain Lolita to me by Rebecca Solnit. | Saying nice things about Hillary Clinton is a subversive act. | No offense. (How to be less outraged.) | “Labour people are optimists, but this time I see no hope.”
READ: Some incredible interviews: “So yeah, I think that my skill is more upbeat curating, as in choosing the right tracks and then sort of trying to understand the will or nature of popular culture.” Sia. / “This isn’t a problem while we’re dealing with self-regulation: it’s important to set limits for oneself. The problem is that we live within limits set by others, and we are disapproving of ourselves when we fail to respect them.” Elena Ferrante | “When you hear, for example, two girls at a bus stop and one is telling the other a ‘story’ – ‘and she was like… and I was like… and they were like’ – the story-telling girl is not doing this because she imagines that with this act of mimesis, with this ‘realistic’ re-telling, she has fooled her listener into believing that what she is presenting is ‘authentic’ or an unvarnished truth, in some sense essentially ‘real’ – no.” Zadie Smith (Also: Zadie Smith on the Work episode of Women of the Hour.) | Jill Soloway’s radical mind. (Michaela Watkins talks about Jill Soloway directing on this perfect episode of WTF.) | “A fantasy of anorexia: total expressivity. See the anorexic’s sadness, legible on her anatomy, her inner life and emotions immediately present to anyone who looks at her…” | “What about the grand old man of French publishing who had read my third novel and, with a magisterial wave of his hand, said, “You should keep writing”?” Siri Hustvedt | Choose your own adventure: a conversation with Jennifer Egan and George Saunders. | Some 2015 book lists: 100 greatest British novels. | The best audiobooks. | Five books for food lovers. | The NYT’s 100 notable books. | The Millions’ Year in Reading. | Currently reading: John le Carré: The Biography.
LOOK: Have I posted this before? Box wine game changer. | How to cook pasta and tomato sauce. | Preserved lemons. | Ottolenghi’s vegetarian Christmas. | Becky Lucas’ newsletter. | I Capture the Castle dramatised on BBC Radio 4.
THINK: The real reason the media is rising up against Donald Trump. See also: Access denied, part of The Content Wars series. | Is the demountable an architectural icon? | How to get your children to eat better. (Definitely buying First Bite: How we learn to eat.) | “I’ll have a conversation with you about race while I’m on the clock and being paid.” | Rukmini Callimachi covers ISIS for The New York Times. Her Longform podcast Part 1 / Part 2.
READ: “At some point in our conversation, I discovered that Gaitskill had figured out how to turn off my recorder, which was lying between us on the table.” | “I don’t want to so badly miss jokes and opinions and links to essays other, younger people are writing while I’m at the playground. But I do, often.” | How often should you have sex a week? | Lenny Letter’s Endometriosis issue especially this toast to a last period. | “Write to your worst enemy. I think you’ll discover that the work for the enemy will be of highest quality.” | “Better to sound like a woman than to have murdered one.” Jacqueline Rose on the trial of Oscar Pistorius. | “… this book I’m ostensibly working on which I can’t seem to write because I’m so consumed by the visual nuance and complicated shopping process of kitchen rugs and scatter cushions.” | SELFIE. | The Sunday Solo. | Kate Atkinson’s A God in Ruins is a great audiobook (Life After Life was a transcendental one).
LOOK: Beautiful romantic oblique TV show London Spy. | Write a letter to your future self. | Candle holder. | Vogue has a podcast. | A child’s Book of Questions. | Twice-cooked broccoli.
THINK: Just asking. | Men make more attempts at humor, so they are successful more of the time. | On Gawker’s problem with women. (How difficult it is to pin down sexism, even when you know it’s there.) | Even if more people could be persuaded to answer the phone, opinion polling would still be teetering on the edge of disaster. | How to raise an emotionally resilient child. | Feminism needs more thinkers who aren’t right 100 percent of the time. | Against subtlety: the case for heavy-handedness in art.