READ: Why so sad? Why so sad? | How to talk about yourself. | The art of opening up. | Your life is no ordinary life: commercial women’s fiction. | George Saunders’ writing education. | “Unfortunately, there are not enough books so good that you want to live your life inside of them. When you find one, one that helps you live, one that reminds you how to engage with the world when it’s impossible to engage with the world, you must read it over and over, because it has instructions for you.” | The Zeigarnik Effect “… unfinished experiences lend memorability to an experience. Once it feels finished, once it completes, it’s no longer memorable.” | The shoes under the art world. | Currently reading: The third Cormoran Strike.
LOOK: Figures in a Landscape (1953) | Emergency preparedness: a guide to supplies, food, and disaster planning. | This is 50. | The New Yorker Radio Hour. | Chickpea pasta. | Moroccan herb jam. | Tiles: London life. / Cut-outs. | Beautiful baby sleeping bags. | What can I do with my 1 year old / 1.5 year old / 2 year old? (All day with the baby. / Don’t shame mothers for sharing photos.)
THINK: Neoliberal mothering. | “Also-rans make up the vast majority in every race, but in any field of elite competition the losers have to subject themselves to the same work, same costs, same instability, same underdevelopment, but without the glory or affirmation that come with making it.” | “… she’s still grappling with the psychic toll—what she calls ‘the trauma of not being seen.'” How doctors take women’s pain less seriously. | “Oh, how I crave the immediate turn-around, the buoying force of the quick and enthusiastic response.”
READ: ‘‘Well, it’s mutual,’’ I said stiffly. ‘‘Trust me.’’ Miranda July x Rihanna. | Reading City on Fire, thanks to Charlotte. I can’t tell if I will love it but it’s immediately good. A great interview with Garth Risk Hallberg on The Millions, where you can tell he’s just freaking out that his giant work will out in public soon. (On writing after a baby, he says: “… I discover that I am different, but not in the way I’d thought. I’m instantly so much tireder and dumber and more impatient and slower.”) | A birth story. Don’t stop reading before you get to the cake! | When Rachel Cusk joined a book group. | An array of luminaries (like Alan Hollinghurst) list their Top Ten Books. / “… I just happened to meet someone about half my age, became very involved with, who reminded me that there were ways of enjoying myself which didn’t entail a visit to the Royal Opera House. And indeed it introduced me to the whole world of recreational drugs…” An interview with Alan Hollinghurst. / A one-handed while-feeding-the-baby tribute to my favourite book: @Lollinghurst.
LOOK: On World Ballet Day, companies around the world broadcast their classes. | Heidi Julavits at home. | Women swimmers go for freezing swim in Hampstead Heath bathing pond in 1931. | Porridge bread. | River Cottage soda bread. | Ham hocks. | White chard stew. | Parmesan chard bake. | Love! Kitchen encounters. | Coconut lemon tea cake. | Nigella Lawson’s life in food. | The Gannet’s profile of Lillie O’Brien from London Borough of Jam. | The Cornershop Cookbook, including beautiful photographs from @charlottebland. | Via Ana Kinsella’s A Week’s Clicks I discovered Katie Sanderson, who talks about her obsession with black garlic. “Simply stick a few heads of garlic in a rice cooker and leave it on the keep warm setting for three weeks…” What? I investigated in NOPI: The Cookbook on Google Books and it does take three weeks. Intense. Tempting.
THINK: Why are London cyclists so white, male and middle-class? | Aspirin a day could dramatically cut cancer risk. | After having my second baby, with all different worries to the first one, I briefly considered a campaign of buying all the search words relating to pregnancy and birth and making little microsites of real women saying “it happened to me and was quickly/eventually fine.” Just to balance out all the frightening forum posts. Different of course, but it makes me happy that someone scared will google a mastectomy and find Victoria Derbyshire’s breast cancer video diary. | How hard is it to raise a kid on your own? / Working parents essays. / How to hold a stranger’s baby. | “Our reinventions feel gleeful and liberating…” | “The issue in this case is whether it is lawful for the doctors treating Mr B, a 73-year-old gentleman with a severely infected leg, to amputate his foot against his wishes in order to save his life…” | A theory of how American politics is changing.
READ: “What she has had instead of happiness requires better language to describe. There are entirely different criteria for a good life that might matter more to a person — honor, meaning, depth, engagement, hope.” | Diana Athill: “When sometimes during those years I stood back and passed judgment on my life, I saw it as happy. And that is still true, because when love-happiness faded out, writing-happiness took over.” | Fertility and hope. | “…the lights out, the crying beginning from the time her head is laid in the crib and her arms reach up. And so we shut the door and snuck downstairs to do the things we do when we feel bad.” | Dark mom reading list.
LOOK: Like banana bread, but with avocados. (Do I support or oppose this?) | Heidi Swanson’s kitchen (look at how she listens to music while she cooks). | Rice bowls. | Four dishes from fennel bulbs. | Jam making, a guide. / How to write a cookbook. | Amazing breast milk. | On Instagram: @jenniferhiggie | Homes on Sight Unseen. | Your next box set. (We’re on Brideshead Revisited.)
THINK: “… people of all stripes and socioeconomic classes seemed to sense the power lurking behind that type of attention, that kind of historic relevancy.” (The real heroes are dead.) | “… you have achieved more than I ever will in my lifetime, so I’m going to get online and tell you that you don’t look like someone I want to f—.” | Disenchantment and burnout among career women lawyers: “one of the primary issues that needs to be addressed in therapy with this group is the tendency to be self-punishing.” / A good workplace is one in which you can look around and see versions of yourself five years from now, or ten. / Office fashion or “capitalist burqa.” | The cause of the “unlikable character” has been popular to champion in recent years but as of this writing, there is no room for the “unlikable author.” | Why did the harrowing personal essay take over the internet? | Australia has a new Prime Minister! Two incredible profiles: Raging Turnbull (1991) / Stop at Nothing (2009).
READ: “I’ll sleep with you again if you send me the first draft of your novel.” | “I thought of it as England itself, and I can’t say I loved it, only that it was what life was.” On BBC Radio 4. | “You’re attracted to people who are attracted to strength and hate weakness.” | You’re just a baby. | “Somehow, along the way, she made a decision to be excellent while still being Serena.” / “I craved the right to turn my face to the wall, to create a death commensurate with bourgeois achievement, political awareness, and aesthetically compelling feminine despair.” | Contributed a link to Stevie’s Weekend List: Cut-out-and-keep special: “a go-to kit for bolstering and yes!ing.”
LOOK: ARTnews Consumer Reports (especially this one). | “I have never objected to mess, since mess reminds me that I can choose to write or I can choose to clean, and I have always chosen to write.” Writers’ rooms. | Steve Reich’s Clapping Music app. | Respectful parenting podcast. | On Instagram: @peopleintheirhomes and @thecuriouspear. | Spiced courgette and lemon cake. / Lemon and lavender yogurt cake.
THINK: How the internet can kill your anxiety. | Your perfume is killing me!!!!!!! | Identity is lost without a moral compass: moral traits like kindness and integrity define who we are. | Virtue signalling/shy Tories. | Self care.