- Dirty Wings, Sarah McCarry. GREAT READING MONTH, GANG. First, the sequel to the dreamy, gorgeous All Our Pretty Songs. I found this one even dreamier and gorgeous-er! If you like Greek myths, girl friendship, witches, music, Seattle, and EVIL, you must read these. I won the ARC on Twitter by naming my favorite pop culture vampire (it’s Harmony!), but I would like to endorse it with my dollars.
I will buy a copy for the first person to send me a Tumblr message that says “GIMME THAT BOOK.”quintessentiallyquirky is gettin’ this book.
- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, J.K. Rowling. Just discovered this underhyped gem. Have you guys heard of it? (You can follow along with my re-read, specifically the parts I’m crying at, here.)
- The Women’s Room, Marilyn French. I found a slightly waterlogged 1978 paperback edition of this ("For every man who ever thought he knew a woman! For every woman who ever thought she knew herself!") on the free book stand at my parents’ beach club in New Jersey while visiting a few weeks ago. It’s dated now but if I’d read it then I would have for sure dropped out of my life and moved to a lesbian separatist commune.
- Short stories: “Helen,” Claire Spaulding. “The Pink House,” Rebecca Curtis. “It Could Never Happen Here,” Martin Wilson. “Apple Cake,” Allegra Goodman. Loved them all, especially the Curtis, which is a ghost story. Not sure if you’ve picked up on this yet, but my whole literary aesthetic is “ghosts or GTFO.”
- White Girls, Hilton Als. I didn’t get it.
- California, Edan Lepucki. Read it slightly too slowly to participate in Reblog Book Club, but only because I wanted to savor it and the state of heightened anxiety it put me in. Loved Frida, loved the sentences, loved loved loved the last chapter. Made me hungry for bread. Made me want to hoard food. Started to build an earthquake survival kit. Seriously—a mountain of boxes sits in my bedroom now, filled with Cliff Bars and water and batteries. You should read it, but you should also practice breathing exercises so you don’t panic to death.
I was at this great little co-op cafe by the water in camden (maine, of course ;) and our apps were taking longer than usual (which is no problem by me. my main course is the view, and there’s plenty of that ;) so the server brought out a seaweed salad from the chef. they had just pulled it from the bay that dusk. I was chowing down and then boom: a jazz trio starts up on the adjacent pier. They’re playing a really laid back arrangement of ‘these are a few of my favorite things’ from that movie. the name of the movie escapes me, but the notes coming out of that alto sax sure didn’t ;) My buddy dakota looks at me, and we’re both smiling and he says ‘chill sitch.’ A few years later I heard about twitters and the rest is herstory.
Let’s resolve to live every day like we’re @chillsitch
On my wedding day I made my photographer take a photo of Alice and me recreating the final tableau of our high school’s 2003 production of The Hobbit, starring Alice as Bilbo Baggins and me as Thorin Oakenshield, where—just as in the classic novel—Thorin survives the final battle and visits Bilbo at the Shire to give him his gold and call him brave, and Bilbo says, “Brave? Me?” and they put their hands on each other’s shoulders and turn to stare out at the audience and freeze as the curtain closes and instrumental music from Titanic plays (100% true description of the final scene of our high school’s 2003 production of The Hobbit). Long story short, we nailed it YET AGAIN.
Things are quiet. I’ve been writing, making pizzas, teaching myself Italian. I can identify most of the animals in a zoo. I can order myself a single fried egg. Right this second I am a temporary receptionist. A woman I don’t know has yelled at me over the phone three times already this morning. I thought it was funny and then I thought it was infuriating and then I went on a break and bought myself tea and new pens and now I have no opinion about it. I think of that phrase “practice self-care” a lot. There are people who need to be reminded to practice self-care. I have never been such a person. It’s possible I care more than a little too much for myself.
Last week, we watched Edan's dog, Omar, while Edan was looking glamorous on TV. If Edan ever asks you to watch Omar, you should refuse, because he is the best dog in the universe and you will fall in love with him so hard; you will find yourself singing songs from Bye Bye Birdie to him, adapting the lyrics to reflect your devotion (“One dog, one special dog, one dog to live for, to care for, be there for…”) But then he will leave, and he won’t even, like, glance longingly at you as he drives away. Here is a picture of Omar, to help you understand what I’m going through today:
We were in New Jersey for a while and while we were there, I visited my first book club. They had a lot of snacks and even more bottles of white wine; they called themselves a drinking club with a reading problem. They gave me a handmade mug that says “Stay Up Late and Write” and an AM/FM crank radio for when the apocalypse hits. I loved them. We slept a lot; we went to the beach; we stayed inside on overcast days and watched the World Cup and read back issues of Martha Stewart Living. We drank whiskey with my best friend and her new-ish boyfriend—he is A DELIGHT. I got twenty-eight mosquito bites. It was all pretty heavenly.
I’m writing a new book, a happy book, a book where the world is still spinning and no teenagers die. I mean, maybe a teenager will die; I can’t actually hold myself to that promise. It’s about loving things, stories and people, and learning how to not be ashamed of loving them. You’ll like it!
I am going to Indianapolis in February of next year to talk about Vivian Apple at the End of the World. I am going to Austin in April. I have tentative plans to go to New York and Philadelphia, too. Where do you live and would you like me to visit? I can try to visit you, wherever you live.
Girls don’t like boys, girls like Steve Buscemi.(via hannibal-is-my-faithfalterer)