A road trip Q&A
10 things worth sharing: answering questions on the road, what I’m reading and watching and listening to, and more...
On Tuesday I shared a travel diary from my week off and we discussed taking vacations in the comments. It’s so nice to have “a clean, well-lighted place” on the internet. If you haven’t become a paid subscriber yet, try the monthly plan: for just $5, you can read all the old issues, join our discussions, and see if you like it.
Here are 10 things I thought were worth sharing this week:
While we were on the road last week, I answered some questions.
I put Polish writer Olga Tokarczuk’s novel Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead (translated by Antonia Lloyd-Jones) on my list of 20 favorite books of 2020, so I’m looking forward to reading her latest in English, The Books of Jacob, translated by Jennifer Croft. But before that, I’m catching up on Flights, a very strange and beautifully fragmented novel, also translated by Croft. (I quite enjoyed this Nobel interview while making Valentine zines for my first grader.)
The highlight of my week was being a lunch monitor at my kids’ elementary school. A reader reminded me that Anne Lamott wrote about “School Lunches” in her classic, Bird By Bird: “It only looked like a bunch of kids eating lunch. It was really about opening our insides in front of everyone.”
I somehow missed John McPhee’s “Tabula Rasa” project collecting his “false starts” (which are better than anything I will ever finish) in The New Yorker. If you dig those, see his “quilt” of pieces in The Patch. (I love the “inscrutable blueprints” of his weird structure diagrams.)
Fun trivia I learned from good interviews: when he first joined Radiohead as a teenager, Jonny Greenwood played with his keyboards turned all the way down, Sting stole “Message in a Bottle” from “Don’t Fear the Reaper,” and Bob Odenkirk wrote the legendary SNL skit that starred Chris Farley as a motivational speaker who is “Living in a van down by the river!”
I hope you have a nice weekend. You deserve it. Remember: you don’t have to kill your darlings, you can just relocate them.