Let’s unplug for Shabbos! (Book links are Bookshop affiliate links.)
Heartburn, by Nora Ephron
Willa Paskin was asking for short novel recommendations, and apparently everyone knows about this one?? Good to know. Soon I, too, shall know about it. I get a lot of recs this way – when I was getting my MFA, CNF and fiction tracks were combined for the teaching practicum. We were assigned to create a syllabus and the teacher came in the next week and went, “Soooo …. not everyone has to teach David Sedaris.” And that’s how I started reading David Sedaris. For more on this, please see my blog archives.
What’s Next for Northerly Island? By Ryan Smith in Chicago Magazine
An interesting history of the manmade island that houses the Adler Planetarium in Chicago and a live concert venue. It’s always been plagued, even more so in light of recent events. The article mentions the fact that there was a whole plan for multiple islands – hence, “Northerly” – a fact that I myself learned at Adler Planetarium and am pleased to see in print. It also manages to casually imply some of that famous real estate corruption for which we’re so famous.
The Balletic Millennial Bedtimes of ‘Normal People’, By Lorrie Moore for the New York Review of Books
A tweet back in July alerted me to this incredible review of Normal People by a literary scene veteran. It is a searing roast of Millennials (but also confuses us with Gen-Z’ers?) and features a whole lot of “I’m in this photo and I don’t like it” vibes. As far as Normal People goes, in both the book and the show there’s, like, barely enough plot, but I enjoyed both. Neither makes my list for tops of the year, but Sally Rooney is remarkable with characters and dialogue and atmosphere. The TV show is a great adaptation of her book.
How “WAP” Became the Dirtiest No. 1 in Hot 100 History, by Chris Molanphy in Slate
Do I need to tell you that I love “WAP”, Cardi B- and Megan Thee Stallion’s super dirty song? I love it. It’s fun and joyful and unapologetic. If you’re not Ben Shapiro and you’re not squeamish re: profane songs about women’s sexuality, check out this great cover by Qveen Herby.