READ: “You had less freedom, true. But what was so great about freedom?” Elif Batuman on the head scarf. | How to plan your wedding in one week. This is probably why Meaghan’s writing is so 100 emoji. | A novel is a machine for simulating experience, a ‘life simulator.’ The follow up to Essays in Love will soon be out: The Course of Love. | “I think if a) no one else would do it like me and b) I myself could not do it better, then I’ve succeeded.” | “In literature and life, it’s been a woman’s survival tactic to understand and adapt to the character of a man, whether her boyfriend, husband or father…” | The evolution of a first novel. | Write fiction about your life and pay with your life. / [O]ne night at MacDowell, the writers colony, [they] kept chanting at me “delete your blog delete your blog.” | A guide for writers planning on taking up residence at Shakespeare and Company in Paris. | Eileen Myles on the excruciating pain of waiting for love (I didn’t realise my hatred of perfume in public spaces was a boundaries thing, but of course it is!) / Eileen Myles’s ideal syllabus. / More Eileen Myles: A portrait of the artist engulfed in flames. | Self-help for artists. | Delighted by this Bieber profile. | Winona, forever.
LOOK: Michael Pollan’s documentary series Cooked will be on Netflix this week. | A tour of Florence Welch’s London dream home. (The garden!) | Gastropod: food with a side of science and history. | Shell pattern. | ‘Beauty Revealed‘ (1828) | Misty Copeland and Degas. | Girls at Library. | Pop culture died in 2009. (The video in this is insane.) | Tiny London shop behind some of the very best libraries. | Labia library. | Clue: the not-ugly period tracker.
THINK: Erasure. / Building a black literary movement. | Give children the space to have secrets. | “That is why I say to people: if your children misbehave, if a young man is irritable, if your daughter has a lot of somatic complaints, this could be a mental issue. We have to be able to ask questions such as, do you wish you could just die sometimes?” | When your baby won’t eat. | Should I throw in the towel? (Sorry, you might have to do weird hacks to view this FT article). | Bodily integrity: “our skin needs to be the line of defense between our own dignity and will and any outside force.” | Problems with food media. | Indigenous men and women are now allowed to sell their artwork while in prison. | “Supporting Clinton means justifying the thousands of concessions she’s made to the world as it is, rather than as we want it to be. Doing this is easier, I think, when you are older, and have made more concessions yourself. Indeed, sometimes it feels like to defend Clinton is to defend middle age itself“. | Finally someone has uploaded a Liberal Party ad from 1996 that made a big impression on me. The dancing – so gruesome. Was there another follow up that just had Gareth Evans in slow motion? I wish I could find it.
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.