I think the rating system, such as it is, is pretty self-explanatory. 52. Priestdaddy – Patricia Lockwood (!!!!) 51. A Separation – Katie Kitamura (!!!) 50. Some Trees – John Ashbery (!) 49. Dear Friend, from My Life I Write to You in Your Life – Yiyun Li (!) 48. The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood (!!!) 47. The Selfishness of Others:… Continue reading What I Read in 2017
Some extemporaneous thoughts: I’ve noticed while making this list–an annual tradition at this point and, more particularly, a way for me to reflect on the preceding 12 months–that I’ve become more averse to the whole idea of it. I’ve found more enjoyment in making my monthly mixes, posting them on Spotify for friends, and generally… Continue reading My 50 Favorite Albums of 2017
“Terrible as he thought the whole business was, and repelled as he was by mindlessness in love, he could not keep the deep wave of sorrow from engulfing him as he looked at this really rather pretty woman sitting straight as a pole, holding her breasts, and staring in front of her out of hollow… Continue reading Relationship Advice from Toni Morrison
There is an aging arm across a naked waist There is a fallen tree against a perfect January snow And that’s as spiritual as I need to be That’s as spiritual as I need to be
For those of us who have not suffered a life-changing loss, reading these books can be shocking. I think of, for instance, when I first read Roland Barthes’s almost unbearable Mourning Diary, about the death of his mother. Barthes was a true mama’s boy, having lived with his mother for virtually all his adult life,… Continue reading “Culture is in its most intimate intent a heroic denial of creatureliness.”
‘Tis in ourselves that we are thus or thus. Our bodies are our gardens, to the which our wills are gardeners: so that if we will plant nettles or sow lettuce, set hyssop and weed up thyme, supply it with one gender of herbs or distract it with many, either to have it sterile with… Continue reading “Virtue? A fig!
Taking a cue from this post and several others that have been popping up on Twitter today . . . The Tempest, William Shakespeare Gilead, Marilynne Robinson Ulysses, James Joyce Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?, Jeannette Winterson Giovanni’s Room, James Baldwin Station Eleven, Emily St. John Mandel Zone, Mathias Énard The Iliad,… Continue reading A Personal Canon