A state of flow
10 things worth sharing: Laurie Anderson’s 5 questions, The Velvet Underground, Dune, Joy Williams, new mom cartoons, Moby-Dick reviews, Horse Lords, and more...
Here are 10 things I thought were worth sharing this week:
I like podcasts fine, but what I’m really digging these days is typing a short story writer’s name into my podcast app and seeing what comes up. I’m still on a Joy Williams kick: on The Writer’s Voice you can hear her read “The Fellow,” “Stuff,” and “Chaunt,” and on The New Yorker’s Fiction Podcast you can hear Dana Spiotta read “Chicken Hill” and Colin Barrett read “Stuff.”
Book club news: my November pick for our Read Like an Artist book club is David Epstein’s Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World.
I loved Todd Haynes’ documentary The Velvet Underground, especially the scenes with Jonathan Richman. There’s a great chapter in Ryan Walsh’s Astral Weeks: A Secret History of 1968 about the VU’s connection to Boston and how Richman and Lou Reed met. (Check out this drawing Richman made predicting the band’s trajectory.) I also somehow forgot guitarist Sterling Morrison’s connection to Austin, Texas.
Laurie Anderson’s 5 questions for knowing whether something is worth doing.
Bewilderingly, I have been totally sucked into the Dune hype. I loved Helen Macdonald’s profile of director Denis Villeneuve, which led me to watching David Lynch’s Dune (and this interview) and even picking up the novel. (We’ll see how far I get.) Perhaps the best thing I’ve read is this twitter thread about author Frank Herbert’s real-life inspiration.
RIP The Believer. I was a subscriber for many years, and there was so much good stuff published there. Prime example: Paul Collins’ 2004 piece “The Lost Symphony” was a huge help in putting together the history in Newspaper Blackout. (Speaking of magazine archives: check out this digital stash of Interview from 1975-2010.)
Thanks for reading! If you’re a longtime subscriber, you may have noticed the email looks a tiny bit different this week. Here’s why.