Here are 10 things I thought were worth sharing this week:
The popular writing advice is: “Kill your darlings.” But what if you just relocate them?
A list of good books I read this spring. My summer reading is off to a really good start: I’m halfway through Larry McMurtry’s In A Narrow Grave: Essays on Texas and Sarah Ruhl’s forthcoming Smile: The Story of a Face. (If the second half of the latter is as good as the first half, I might pick it for our book club.)
A portrait of my brain working on 3 talks.
People worry about their good ideas getting stolen, but bad ideas get stolen plenty.
Ear candy: Joni Mitchell’s Blue is 50 years old. (I love that album, but I can’t read so many people gushing about it without thinking of Emma Thompson.) For a record that’s pretty stripped down, a listen to the new EP of demos and outtakes highlighted for me how much the session players added to the vibe. (See: James Taylor’s playing on “A Case of You” and Sneaky Pete Kleinow’s pedal steel on “California.”)
Poem: a beautiful close reading of Elizabeth Bishop’s “One Art.”
More ear candy: I’m a new fan of the band Dry Cleaning. Here’s a full set of theirs at a BBC music festival earlier this year. They could be grouped into the “Post-Brexit New Wave,” which you can hear more of in this Spotify playlist. (Like my other favorite acts in the genre, Sleaford Mods and Billy Nomates, Dry Cleaning have a sense of humor that I feel is lacking in most contemporary art.)
Worth streaming: from this list of The 21 Best Comedies of the 21st Century (So Far), my favorites are Curb Your Enthusiasm, Atlanta, Better Things, Chappelle’s Show, Veep, and the first 3 seasons of Arrested Development, which star Jason Bateman once brilliantly described as “The Royal Tenenbaums shot like Cops.” I would add: Fleabag, What We Do in the Shadows, Detectorists, Catastrophe, and Derry Girls. (And maybe even more.)
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PS. Thanks to R.J. Julia Booksellers for this excellent photo of Keep Going. I hope to stop in and shop someday.