Reading recommendations. For the weekend.
When I unplug for Shabbos, I get a glorious 25 screenless hours in which I’m suddenly able to read a book for five hours on end. What are you reading these days? (FYI: Book links are Bookshop affiliate links.)
Roses by The Chainsmokers ft. ROZES, Stereo Sounds
This is by me! I wrote this! It’s up right now, with Australian spelling edits! Special thanks to Vin Maskell for publishing.
More of This World or Maybe Another, by Barb Johnson
This book of linked short stories was a staff recommendation at Skokie Public Library waaaaay back in February (aka the last time I was allowed to set foot in there). I’m finishing it up from last Shabbos, when I threw it down because of all the child abuse and the baby dying etc. etc. but I’m coming back to it because the writing is really quite lovely and I do want to know how it ultimately turns out. It skips back and forth between the childhoods and adulthoods of a couple of characters in Louisiana, and it’s heavy on atmosphere and relationships.
How To Make Your Smallest Room, The Coziest Room In Your Home + Sara’s TV Room Reveal, by Sara Ligorria-Tramp, over on Style by Emily Henderson
When we moved and I was researching how big a dining room chandelier should be, I stumbled across this blog and have somehow read it every day since. I find it so soothing to exist in these uber-designed spaces for a little while, enjoying the perfect balances and complementary colors and mix of vintage and contemporary and other designery things. There’s a lot of trend commentary, but also a very real lack of judgment about mixing and matching aesthetics and creating a space that has personal meaning to you. This particular article was a long time coming – it’s the weirdly-shaped back room of one of the employees that they finally finished turning into her TV room. It’s also one of the likely reasons I’ve been painting our powder room a deep turquoise color.
I am not watching I May Destory You, Michaela Coel’s followup to Chewing Gum. I’m just not. Maybe one night when I’m feeling super masochistic I’ll watch an exploration of a woman’s date rape, but not in the middle of a pandemic, surely. But in the same way that Daniel Kaluuya’s character on Skins piqued my interest in that I’d never really seen a black Brit in a TV show who wasn’t some sort of wealthy, I love how Michaela Coel’s perspective is making dents in the media over here in America. The writer of this article is Bolu Babalola, whose Twitter feed I absolutely worship. You might remember her from when she conned her way into meeting Michael B. Jordan. She also has a book coming out soon.
What Happened to Val Kilmer? He’s Just Starting to Figure It Out, by Taffy Brodesser-Akner in The New York Times
If you’ve never read one of Brodesser-Akner’s celebrity profiles, they are meta deep dives into her subjects and their “why”s. My absolute favorite is her piece on Gwyneth Paltrow, obviously, but she always has the ability to pull some great insight. Also, she might have tanked Bradley Cooper’s chances of getting an Oscar for A Star is Born with his profile. Kind of terrible, but also kind of powerful?? I’m catching up on her latest, of Val Kilmer. I will refrain from expressing my opinion of Fleishman Is in Trouble.
“We Are Not Your Friends,” by Jia Tolentino in The Awl
I recently did a deep dive into Jia Tolentino’s old pop culture articles. I read her book Trick Mirror a couple of months ago and I find her critiques very insightful. I happened to have seen this forgettable Zac Efron flick, and it’s always fun for me to see what smart people have to say about bad movies.
An All-Pantry Meal Plan for Coronavirus and Other Perilous Times, from Epicurious
Hat tip to the Jewish Book Council for this one. To be clear, the anxiety-ridden necessity to prepare THREE MEALS A DAY came with having a family of my own, not coronavirus. But I can’t be the only one desperate for quick meal options. We have things to do, p̶l̶a̶c̶e̶s̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶g̶o̶,̶ ̶p̶e̶o̶p̶l̶e̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶s̶e̶e̶ . I’m trying to minimize the amount of time I stare at a boiling pot. Epicurious is slowly becoming my go-to site for recipes and tips, thanks to this uh-mazing soup that I found because I need to use all the canned tomatoes we bought before the pandemic started and Epicurious has a list of recipes that use the canned tomatoes we bought before the pandemic started.
Have a restful weekend!