READ: I have never highlighted an Instapaper save more than this profile of Rachel Cusk. Eg: “Wanting people to like you corrupts your writing.” | “About two months before our first baby died, I announced to the internet I was pregnant with her…” | Wonderful profile of London’s mayor Sadiq Khan. | Growing up behind the scenes at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. | I am half way through Conversations with Friends. In an interview on Literary Friction, Sally Rooney says she was surprised how many people were interested in her, rather than the book. Reading about her university debating career has made me one of those people. (I also thought this episode of Literary Friction about race was very good.)
LOOK: A special object. | Nigel Slater will publish a book of autumn and winter food and ritual. | How to make a layer cake that won’t collapse. | Coconut lentil dhal / more dhal. (As I post this, I realise I left the cumin seeds out of the vat sitting on my stove.) | SALT, FAT, ACID, HEAT. | Don’t forget Top of the Lake Season II is out.
THINK: Not my usual type of recommendation but I liked this man’s approach to money. Probably just as relevant to non-Australians. | How climate scepticism turned into something more dangerous. Also available as a podcast on the Guardian’s Audio Long Read feed. | Twitter is definitely making you more anxious. I have deleted it from my phone and it’s made such a difference.
READ: Before the internet. | “You are getting yourself a bad reputation as a lonely woman. Stop it at once.” | Seven rules for being alone. | “Why I hate my best short story.” | “Some wine I drank in England.” | “My control over words felt like a monkey of barrels.” | Bohemia was never a safe country for women. | “In today’s world, a secondhand woman is like a secondhand car,” he said. “Once it’s been driven, it’s not worth a fraction of its original selling price.” A secondhand man, on the other hand, Yu explained, is like renovated property in China’s real-estate market: “The value only appreciates.” | …whether the recipe was for a typewriter with candy keys or a rubber duck with potato chip lips, it began, like a prayer, in the exact same way: “Make cake according to directions on packet.” | “There is no diagnosis.” | In praise of Daphne du Maurier. | “Because my home life was stable, I had the luxury of dreaming up very bad situations and strategizing how to survive them.” | Listening to Elif Batuman narrating The Idiot on audiobook.
LOOK: Bolt hole. | Vita’s cigarette case. | Everyday oil.
THINK: How to better talk to children about their art. | How to raise a reader. | Ask Polly: I’m terrified of having kids! | “Self-esteem decreased during pregnancy, increased [after birth] until the child was six months old and then gradually decreased over following years.” Mothers with three-year-olds hit a low point in their self-esteem. | Sexting in the present tense. | Actually, how Donald Trump eats his steak matters. | “[W]e know that protest is not the answer but it creates space for the answer.” | A reminder that this boring-looking politics podcast is excellent.
“Anything can happen, the tallest towers/ Be overturned, those in high places daunted,/ Those overlooked regarded.”
READ: I write, “HORMONES ARE LIFE. HORMONES ARE MENTAL ILLNESS.” I write, “EQUALITY BETWEEN THE SEXES DOES NOT EXIST.” | “You have to teach yourself, if you have never known it before, that conversation is a thing you can have with yourself as well as other people.” | Clerks. | “Feel the feelings, as unpleasant as they might be, and return to the breath. By working at being with your breath, your body may become an anchor for the baby to find calm in the present moment.” | What if we cultivated our ugliness? | “I can’t help thinking there are men who still somewhere deep inside them have an unconscious fantasy that one day they’ll be helpless again. And they don’t want the person who’s going to be looking after them to be thinking, ‘Fuck you, I wish you’d die in the night.’” ( Why she broke by Helen Garner. / The good daughter.)
LOOK: Time to get into jelly. | Boiled meat. | Beautiful. | Eyes as wide as swimming pools.
THINK: “This is one of the penalties of being a better survivor. You survive, but maybe not quite as intact as you were before.” | “To be pregnant in public was in poor taste — unsophisticated, trashy, unbecoming, obscene.” | Many terrorists’ first victims are their wives. Why can’t we talk about it? | Depression might not be due to past traumas and present stresses but because of skewed visions of what lies ahead. | How writing heals the body. | “We tend to think of “wellness” as the province of swoony liberal elites, but it does, in fact, blossom at both cultural poles…” | “I want to be buried with my editorial endorsements,” [Hillary] said with a laugh. “I want an open casket and they can all be piled on top of me. You won’t even be able to see my body.” (P.S.)
And here is an experiment: to see/save all the links as a list, and easily save to Pocket.
READ: A little tooth. | Sometimes she would simply “throw objects into the Thames at the dead of night”. When I asked what audience there was for these works, she said: “There was no audience at all. An audience of one.” | It pains me to say it, but I am a failed artist. | Kara Walker—No/Kara Walker—Yes/Kara Walker—? | Growing up in Comme des Garçons. | “I can remember my father saying to me at Thanksgiving, when my aunts would be around, ‘When I put my hand on my tie, it means you’re talking too much‘.” / We look at the world once in childhood. The rest is memory. | On parenting books. | Perhaps this one will be my last sharehouse. | Still Moving: a TinyLetter about women’s still life in the early 20th century. | Currently reading: Balancing Acts: Behind the scenes at the National Theatre.
LOOK: Fergus Henderson’s suit. | Persephone x Grenson. (Obviously not realistic as an actual shoe!) | Food Memory Bank. | New CBeebies drama for pre-schoolers set on inner city council estate. | Balls. | Granny Boyd’s biscuits, a Nigella recipe you almost certainly have the ingredients for in your house. | Leila’s Shop with Stevie MacKenzie-Smith. | Takeout-style sesame noodles.
THINK: I think I’ve ruined my child. | Matrescence. | “I took a standard practice that was about making the meeting open to other people and in a snide way I tried to use it to re-center myself and my feelings.” | Accelerationism. | Do public school uniforms solve inequality? | “The irony is that conservatives don’t actually care if progressives disapprove of them, with the result that political correctness generally amounts to internecine warfare on the left…” / “Dear Dr. ___. I’m the person who inadvertently bumped you at IGA this evening…” | “I don’t have many jealousy triggers. But I don’t like it when someone my wife is seeing takes the parking spot in front of my house.” | Skin hungry.