Lately I’ve been reading books you guys have recommended. Finished Crosstalk and Piranesi, which were both quite enjoyable (Piranesi was especially amazing and I highly recommend it). A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik is also super fun if you’re in the market for a book about magic. TV-wise I’m excited to binge Search Party season 4 and Disenchantment season 3.
Tell me what you’ve been consuming!
Just finished "Luster" by Raven Leilani and loved that (I'm pretty sure you've mentioned it in previous newsletters?) and binged "Pretend It's a City" on Netflix, and liked that. I've started reading "Sour Heart" by Jenny Zhang and "Very Important People: Status and Beauty in the Global Party Circuit" by Ashley Mears last night, enjoying both so far.
"Great Pretender" on Netflix is a really fun watch. Rereading Nick Drnaso's "Sabrina," which shouldn't be so comforting in times like these but somehow really really is.
I recently came to the thought that I have probably read and forgotten more books than I will read in the future. I need to track and make notes of what I have read.
Barbarian Days A Surfing Life by William Flanagan, a Pulitzer Prize winning book (!) about surfing.
If you like the aesthetic of Piranesi you may want to look at the Gormenghast books by Mervyn Peake. Its a much bigger undertaking, three slow, detailed books heavy on description which don't make much concession to the reader. However, at least the first book Titus Groan is worth checking out. Gormenghast is deeply weird but has a slow, detailed wonder of its own, where sunlight crawls across ivy on ancient stones and cobwebs blow in forgotten attics. I honestly also think if you like imaginative fiction its a book you have to read in your 20s. Earlier than that and you won't understand it, much later and life speeds up too much and you lose the patient imagination to appreciate it.
Reading “The Master and the Margarita”. Really interesting story in terms of the depiction of the devil. Halfway through it and feels like a cracker of a novel.
Last night, I read "Umwelt", a oneshot manga by Igarashi Daisuke. It's really something... in the end, it culminates in saying that we have become the existence that has strayed farthest from God. I was very touched by this, and it moved me to write this poem (link below), which I called "Kneel", and it's about the futility of our expression. But if you read "Umwelt" first, you'll see just how much "Kneel" takes from it.
Just finished On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous. I think the prose is the most beautiful I’ve ever read.
"An African in Greenland" by Tété-Michel Kpomassie. I found it on Molly Young's book recommendation newsletter, Read Like the Wind. It feels like travelling, but with words!
Reading the Uplift Trilogy by David Brin!
Just read the most incredible short story collection - Salt Slow by Julia Armfield
+1 on Piranesi & a Deadly Education -- I'm looking forward to the second book in the series.
I recently read The Writing Life by Annie Dillard, but I was a little surprised and saddened to find that she "repudiated the book" in the biography published by her husband; I'm not sure if it's the contents, or the way the book is written? I hope it's the latter.
And 2 B R 0 2 B by Vonnegut for a snack.
Just finished reading the Four Quartets by T.S. Eliot, after someone recommended it on twitter. I am also watching “Alice In Borderland” on Netflix, which is a show set in an abandoned Tokyo, where people have to play intense and devious games, in order to survive.
Reading “the 99% invisible city” by Roman Mars. It’s nice enough but lacks the magic of his audio. Also “three awakenings” by Catherine Perrin which was ❤️