Reading List, Socks Up Foot Down edition.
Autumn is here, and everything is crisp.
"If there’s anything the last 10 years have taught me, it’s that telling the truth isn’t always fun, but it’s the only way to change anything.” [Emily Gould, BuzzFeed]
Things I miss about having a “real” job. [Meaghan O’Connell, The Billfold]
… Why voice calls are dying and this is a good thing. I’ve been saying this for years: unscheduled phone calls are just rude. Basically: “Please just text me, unless you’re my grandma.” [Jess Zimmerman, The Guardian]
“Marriage is a good idea if you believe in marriage, but more importantly if you believe in divorce.” [Sarah Nicole Prickett]
Say ’no’ clearly doesn’t make you rude, it makes you respectful. [J Maureen Henderson, Forbes]
Autumn Whitefield-Madrano on “good girl feminism” - this is such a brilliant point.
The price of black ambition [Roxane Gay, VQR]
"I could not have written a novel if I hadn’t been a journalist first, because it taught me that there’s no muse that’s going to come down and bestow upon you the mood to write. You just have to do it. I’m definitely not precious.” Loved this interview with Gillian Flynn [Emma Brockes, The Guardian]
Twin Peaks revival odds [Matt Buchanan, The Awl]
Debbie Harry’s life in T-shirts [Vulture]
Tattoo stories [The New Yorker]
Anticipation [Kara Haupt]
Layover [Charles Bukowski]
Reading List, 17 Reasons Why edition.
September has been beautiful and warm, and I feel fine. I miss East London like a lost limb but soon, soon.
"Part of me is feeling extremely old now, and part of me is feeling extremely young. Because I look at these pictures and realize I worried about things that I shouldn’t have been worrying about. Like the fact that I had little marionette lines around my mouth when I was 29, and I was complaining about them. I wouldn’t go out to the beach without a sarong from my neck to my ankles. Now I see a picture of myself from that era in a bikini and I’m like, ‘You looked great.’” Stevie Nicks <3
"I could taste that it didn’t need me. I needed it. I didn’t need it. I wanted it.“ I don’t really care about wine, but I care about Laura Jane Faulds’ wine blog.
Study finds “magical contagion”. Dude! [University of Chicago, via @dailydoseofjess]
Sarah Beller’s Tinder fantasies. [The Hairpin]
"There’s something satisfying about nixing words that render your private life public.” Nona Willis Aronowitz in NY Magazine on alternatives to “husband”.
The Central Sadness [Meghan Daum, The New Yorker]
"For so long I’ve tied the way I look, or rather the standard of personal presentation that I hold myself to, to how I feel. […] But losing every primpable part of me has left me adrift." Vanessa Pelz-Sharpe on losing her hair to cancer.
Love this piece by Helen Lewis in The Guardian on how we talk about female sexuality in public, and how it’s shouldn’t be just about “protect[ing] us from ourselves, and from the dangerous vaginas we were carrying around like unexploded bombs”. When what it’s really about is “desire and gossip and freedom and your head exploding and adventures and waking up feeling like the rest of your life has just started”.Self-portraits by Stevie Nicks [AnOther Magazine]
Reading List, Twist edition.
“Everything is nothing, with a twist.” Kurt Vonnegut
“Feelings are the only facts.” Kanye West
"Stop trying to make sense of things. You can’t think your way through this.“ Polly Forever [Heather Havrilesky, NY Magazine]
"I don’t know, I just know that I stood there for a long time , uncomfortably shifting in my too-tight running leggings, drinking recycled London water from a goddamn champagne glass, watching him tip the contents of the wheelbarrow into the bin, jewels and all.” Gardening in London when you’re lonely [Maeve Higgins, Medium]
Signs without signification [Jeff Brouws]
“This is the art of being a woman and remembering the feelings of a girl.” Molly Lambert in Grantland, on what the real Britney Spears may look like.
Meaghan O’Connell’s birth story is one of the most brilliant things I’ve ever read.
“If there is an exception he’s it“ - What Sarah Nicole Prickett wore to fall in love. [From Women in Clothes via Adult Magazine … My writer crush on SNP is way out of control.]
“Blood Hounds" This is gross and I love it. [Maureen O’Connor, NY Magazine]
“Trend piece” [Rosemary Counter, the New Yorker]
Sarah Wilson on the most rebellious kind of alone time.
The case for dying at 75. [Ezekiel Emanuel, The Atlantic]
Life in minimalism. [Leah Finnegan, Domesticity, via @annfriedman] Oh these kinds of stories make me hot. Also, in the comments: “Leah, what I like about you is your utter ruthlessness in all areas of life.”
"The mourning for what could have been is countered by an appreciation for what is - a woman’s life, allowed to proceed as she wants it to.” My year as an abortion doula [Alex Ronan, NY Magazine]
“Like my body was the only thing keeping me together. I only wanted to do things with my body. I wanted to take long walks and eat big meals and kiss.” September. [Kara VanderBijl]
Reading List, Soho Edition.
“All I ever really want to know is how other people are making it through life. Where do they put their body, hour by hour, and how do they cope inside of it.” Miranda July.
The best time I (maybe) got rabies. Lola Pellegrino, The Hairpin
Mary HK Choi bought a very expensive coat. [NY Magazine]
"I had a strong sense of destiny in my youth. I don’t know what my parents thought of me moving to London when I was 22. I never thought about it and I didn’t go home to Akron, Ohio, for 35 Christmases.” [Chrissie Hynde in The Guardian]
"Is San Francisco Pacific Time? San Francisco is a good time. “ Molly Sanchez at The Bold Italic answers Google autofill questions about the City.
A song of spice and fire. Jazmine Hughes at The Hairpin marks the start of Pumpkin Spice Latte season.
"Why don’t you try being a dick and striking out on your own and making a fucking mess for a change?” Ask Polly is at NY Magazine now, still killing it.
Obituaries for the pre-dead. [Margalit Fox, The New York Times]
How to write a novel. [Emma Stroud, Rookie]
Sadie Stein’s cookbook addiction [The Paris Review]
Reading List, Mountain Pose edition.
“Right now, I’m lost in a transition. The old is dead, and I don’t know what the new is. The only way to find the new is to start different things and see if there’s something that can come out of experimentation. It’s somewhat unsettling, but it’s a hopeful thing in a way. I’ve been here before, lots of times.” David Lynch.
"At one point she was stuck on a lyric, and Lindsey Buckingham suggested, ‘Just write about sex.’” Christine McVie.
[Marianne Faithfull photo by John Pratt]
Patricia Lockwood’s GrubStreet food diary. I won’t quote from this because it’s ALL GOLD.
I Promise to Be a Worse, More Prolific Writer. Elizabeth Spiers.
Without you I’m nothing. Alexandra Molotkow in The Believer, on the lovers of rockstars.
"Nostalgia for lost love is cowardice disguised as poetry.” Jeanette Winterson, The Guardian.
“They often view it as trivial, even though what I do is try to show the ways in which seemingly trivial things like celebrities and gossip actually communicate much larger ideas about society and ideology.” Anne Helen Petersen, interviewed by Flora Tsapovsky in Ravishly.
On hushed forgiveness. Tag Savage.
The joy of exercising in moderation. Samuel Sattin, The Atlantic.
How different cultures understand time. Richard Lewis, Business Insider.
On the scourge of relatability. Rebecca Mead, The New Yorker.
This place makes everyone a gambler. Alice Bolin in The Believer, on Los Angeles and Joan Didion.
"I just never formed the habit of living, the way most people do. They […] wake up and, without a second thought, without knowing they are deciding, decide to live. I am not one of these people. Every day I wake up and think why. I know I’ll decide to live like everyone else, but […] I remain the kind of addict who believes each time she reaches for air that it’s her choice.” Sarah Nicole Prickett.
Reading List, Black Coffee edition.
“What do people dream about when they can choose? Flying, sex, and magic, mostly.” [x]
Moving experience [Helen Garner, The Monthly, via @dailydoseofjess]
“(Lamp lamp lamp) - anyway, the point is, I worked it out.” [Rachael Maddux, The Billfold]
“Seven days without complaining (almost)” [Melissa Dahl, NY Magazine]
The harsh light of predictive technology [James Carmichael, The Atlantic]
For the love of emoji [Mary Mann, Medium]
"Sometimes, the goal of eating is to fill your torsal cavity with so much foreign matter that you are no longer capable of producing even the simplest of thoughts.” Mallory Ortberg, The Toast. … Yea, I’m on a major don’t-eat-crap roll right now and I have some, eh, thoughts, about what eating means.
Related: Movement for Modern Life. This has got me back on the yoga horse out here in the Western Circumstances: this site has proper yoga classes, run by great teachers, with choices for all levels, styles and schedules. And no hippie music. Namaste.
“Freelancing zen.” [Luke O’Neil, Village Voice]
Woman earns advanced degree while husband perfects TV picture. [Sarah Miller, the New Yorker]
"Hey, is it cool if I bring my boyfriend along last minute to our catch up brunch we’ve been planning all week?” 🔫 [Michelle Markowitz, The Hairpin]
“Not Poor Enough, Not Depressed Enough, Not Abused Enough” [Clem Bastow, for I Believe You, It’s Not Your Fault]
All the times I lost my virginity [Kathleen Hale, Adult Magazine]
Reading List, Sandal Weather edition.
London is humid and green and lush, and the summer just goes on and on.
"We are such inward secret creatures, that inwardness is the most amazing thing about us, even more amazing than our reason.” [Iris Murdoch]
Summer over the city [George Steinmetz, the New Yorker]
“As though this desire for companionship was somehow equal to submission of some sort.” Summer of Pie, by Jeanne Hodesh on The Hairpin.
“The best time I lived with 100 sled dogs in Alaska and learned to be alone” [Catherine New, on The Hairpin, which has become really quite good all of a sudden.]
Maybe it’s just me, but there seems to be a resurgence of some good “old” fashioned blogging! Where people just talk about life and no one styles the photos. Currently into: Hels Martin, Kate Stull, Stevie Mackenzie-Smith, Bim Adewunmi, Emily Gould, Roxane Gay, and Laura Jane Faulds on Strawberry Fields Whatever.
“In the future, ‘we’ll see a separation between our meals for utility and function, and our meals for experience and socialisation.’ Soylent isn’t coming for our Sunday potlucks. It’s coming for our frozen quesadillas.” The end of food, by Lizzie Widdicombe in the New Yorker. … I for one welcome our Soylent overlords.
"Poehler ‘went black in the eyes for a second, and wheeled around on him,’ forcefully informing him: ‘I don’t fucking care if you like it.’” [Rebecca Traister, the New Republic]
“Listen, mom, I know it upset you that I said ‘pussy hole’ on the Internet, but it’s about the shared experience.” [Samantha Irby, interviewed by Sari Botton in the Rumpus.]
"No act of personal writing makes my skin crawl like when a father sits down to describe what having a daughter has taught him about the female experience. … He was apparently unable to empathize with women before one sprung from his loins.” Kat Stoeffel in NY Mag on “feminist dads”.
“Introversion v extroversion is a fight no one wins” [Jillian Lucas, Nerve]
Photos of San Francisco houses with matching people. [The Bold Italic]
“Big Blue Sky" <3
"Maybe people don’t understand what it is I do. But what am I actually doing? Just living my life, making questionable decisions, and trying to get laid.” Katie West Forever.
Reading List, ‘Oh, Wow’ Edition.
"In summer, the song sings itself" [William Carlos Williams]
“There is no final, satisfying way to balance our need to be known with our need to be alone. The balance is always uncertain and provisional; it’s always a matter of dissatisfaction, give-and-take, and sacrifice.” [Joshua Rothman, the New Yorker]
"There’s always another level of truth sitting around and waiting for you to move to another country.” Laura Jane Faulds, Strawberry Fields Whatever.
A whole supplement on Lana Del Rey in the New Inquiry. This part especially, by Sarah Nicole Prickett: “And if all she wants is dope and diamonds, so what? What if the most radical - fuck it, feminist - thing you can do is believe everything a girl says about her life, whether or not you like it?”
“Even in nonfiction I was still constructing characters - myself included. I began to see how I might owe myself the same things I owed my fictive characters: complexity, interior conflict, strengths and flaws caught in tense tandem.” Great advice on writing (and life) from Leslie Jamison in The New York Times.
"I’m determined to feel a kind of purchase, to defy the instinct that I’ve developed in the last couple of years to always be ready to go.” Jean Hannah Edelstein on a new life in Brooklyn.
"I have blocked so much of, say, ages 13-25 out. I try to be as polite as I can. I wish I could remember. It confuses me that they all remember me, and so distinctly. They tell me stories about things I said or did. I was often sassy, I have noticed.” Roxane Gay.
I recently had to wipe my laptop and everything on it. I’m ok with this. Kate Stull explains the magic of moving on electronically.
"Let’s get one thing straight: I do not talk on the phone,” says Nicole Cliffe on The Toast. “You don’t have to! You never have to talk on the phone if you don’t want to.” My hero.
“One regrets the loss even of one’s worst habits. Perhaps one regrets them the most. They are such an essential part of one’s personality.” Oscar Wilde, via Gretchen Rubin.
Penelope Trunk, being clever on why we are all terrible multitaskers and really need to just focus on what we most want to achieve.
What happened when a couple gave their kid the mother’s last name [Molly Caro May, The Hairpin] … This is interesting. I am happy to have both my parents’ surnames, which was pretty cool of them in 1980. I remember, as a kid, railing against people who ignored my mum’s name when addressing me. They did that a lot.
How the Babysitters Club does money - a Billfold series by Nicole Dieker.
"My verbal changeability is not a sign of a lack of personality. Rather, it’s a function of what it means to be many things at once, but never just one - that one will always speak as befits an insistent now, because there is no pure centre from which to do so." [Navneet Alang, Hazlitt]
Readling List, Wet Summer edition.
July has always been my birthday month, but now it’s my wedding anniversary month, too. One year <3
"Take your pleasure seriously" [Charles Eames]
"I think there’s value in procrastination. I do a lot of writing in my head, doing the work mentally before I ever commit something to paper. I think our minds are telling us something about what we’re ready to do and not do.” Jen Doll interviews Roxane Gay for Mental Floss.
“We found hope in a Mega Millions ticket” - on being broke and dreaming in San Diego, by Mary Mann on The Billfold.
Also on The Billfold (which is on a strong run again/still), a tale of the pre-existing conditions you take into a marriage.
On how the world opens up when you get a driving license while living somewhere without public transport. [Jojo Moyes in Biographile, via @salihughes]
"Tell you about myself? Why?” Quiet days with dad [Lucy Mangan, The Guardian]
Office smalltalk - an illustrated typology.
A reminder of the Hairy Arm tactic of client/boss management. [Oliver Burkeman, The Guardian]
JR Blackwell on the power of admitting to embarrassment.
"I hope I’m coming across as glib and unconcerned, which is truthfully how I feel. It will be interesting to see how things pan out. It seems like maybe I’m taking a gamble. The men I date are historically uninterested in my blog and who I truly am as a person, generally. Let’s just assume it’s going to stay like that forever and ever.” Molly Laich
Katherine Angel in The Independent on the delight and challenge that is Lana Del Rey.
“ “Is this it?” I asked myself constantly, in all seriousness, as each year of the 2000s passed.” No country for old pervs, by Molly Lambert at Grantland
Independence Days, by J Maureen Henderson. “At some point I’ve stopped looking for someone to give me my big break. I’ve stopped believing that the only way I can have more is if someone gives it to me. I’ve stopped looking for a benefactor, a patron, a champion. I’ve accepted, without really realizing it, that if I want more, I can go get it.”
Joan Didion’s packing list.
Reading List, Mercury Retrograde edition.
“I understand now something about the world that I didn’t before. And that’s why I wrote it.” [Ta-Nehisi Coates / Longform Podcast]
Like every time my pelvis touches a sink brim. [Fiona Duncan, Adult Magazine]
… And this, by Larissa Pham. Adult Magazine continues to be amazing.
A surprisingly intriguing essay on YouTube beauty vloggers. [Alice Bolin, The Hairpin]
"If you are ever going to wear a crop top, the time is now.” Lauren Laverne is keeping Eva Wiseman’s Observer column warm and it’s very, very good.
“The amount of maintenance involving hair is genuinely overwhelming. Sometimes I think that not having to worry about your hair anymore is the secret upside of death.” Nora Ephron on maintenance in Oprah Magazine (via @hadleyfreeman)
On the laws of probability and why impossible things happen all the time. [David Hand, Aeon Magazine]
The most wonderful story by Amanda Hess about her father, who got her out of the Grand Canyon alive - twice. [Slate]
"I say all the time that living in New York City requires you to find some kind of drug. It can be yoga, or it can be meditation, or it can be drugs”. Sarah Nicole Prickett interviews Emily Gould for Vice.
“I don’t feel like I’ve worked in four years.” Rosie Spinks on GOOD: Have Plug, Will Travel.
Very important: Captain Janeway sass x 46 on Buzzfeed. [Cate Sevilla]
A visit to the world’s largest ball of twine [Claire Suddath, The Awl]