And here we are in the new year, 2015. The year my second daughter will turn 30, staggering to the mama. The year I will turn 57, a little less staggering to the mama somehow. The year I’ll go to Colombia, and Iceland, and back to southeast Asia. And today the day I will see almost all my book club women (but no Faith, to my sorrow), my boon companions here in Austin. We’ll eat well, laugh a lot I have no doubt, and Marc will be in the mix, which will be . . . interesting.
Someone in London, Ontario has been slowly and systematically reading her way through my blog, month by month. It’s been very interesting to observe; she (I assume she) doesn’t know what’s to come in late October 2012, and I wish I could warn her. She’ll be as shocked by the sudden crumbling of my whole life as I was (well…..kinda, not really). Periodically I’ve wanted to see what she was seeing, so I’d open a month page and read through the posts for that month, in that year. It’s been a lot of fun, actually, revisiting those days, seeing the kinds of things I wrote about.
One thing I did a lot of a year or two ago was to share links, things I wanted to read or think about. I haven’t done that in a while, so I thought I’d do it today; in case you’re in a lying-around kind of mood maybe something will strike your fancy. Here are some links I’ve saved:
Links about books and literary stuff to read
- Brain Picking’s choice of the best books on psychology, philosophy, and how to live meaningfully. I imagine every single book on this list is going on my to-read list. I read a couple of books by Alan Lightman a few years ago (I can unabashedly recommend Einstein’s Dreams) and enjoy his writing a lot. Sam Harris, I’m not a huge fun of a lot of him, so I’ll probably save him for a while. Brain Picking is one of my favorite sites, always.
- A piece in the Paris Review about The Metamorphosis, by David Cronenberg. I love the Paris Review, I love The Metamorphosis, and I’m a sometimes-fan of Cronenberg. But he is creepy and weird, so I am curious to read his take on this creepy weird story. Ooooh, wouldn’t you love to read David Lynch’s essay on it, or Werner Herzog’s? I would love to hear Herzog talk about it in that gorgeous accent of his.
- The year’s most popular posts on The Millions, so a bunch of links that will take you and me out to other stories. The Millions is reliably wonderful, so I’ll check out most of their best posts, I have no doubt.
- A piece in the wonderful Lapham’s Quarterly about forgotten internment camps in WWI, which I am very interested in understanding (WWI that is).
- Texas Monthly‘s most popular long reads of 2014. At least some of these will be great reads; I want to start with the story about the woman whose job it was to witness executions, and how that job changed her.
- Again from Brain Pickings, her definitive list of the 14 best books of the year. A good bit of overlap with that top link, but not completely — worth its own link here.
- I love good translations — here is a list of the best translated books of the year, 75 of them. I’m very curious about Who’s Afraid of Meryl Streep, myself, which is about a recently married Lebanese man. Hmm. And that’s just one of the books!
- The 29 biggest literary moments of 2014? Aren’t you the least bit curious? An Oxford professor found two new poems by Sappho, that was one of them.
- Here is The New Yorker‘s idea of the best books of 2014. Some surprises in there, at least for me. And as long as we’re in NY, here is the NYTimes‘s list of 100 notable books from 2014.
- Electric Literature thinks 2014 was the year of the essay. Here’s why. (Hint: There were some absolutely amazing collections released last year, among them Charles D’Ambrosio’s Loitering, which you already know I adored.) If you’re in the mood to read some essays, here is LongRead’s list of the best in 2014.
- And here is Electric Literature‘s list of 9 comics to read.
- I absolutely loved this piece by Tim Parks in the NYRB about how he reads. Loved it. I’ll read it again and again — I learned a few things about how to read more comprehensively and thoughtfully.
- Here are 6 books The Atlantic missed this year. Me too!!
- And here are some standout poetry collections from the Academy of American Poets. Yum. For some reason I read fiction and non-fiction almost exclusively on my Kindle, but can and will only read poetry on paper. Don’t know why, exactly.
- The illusive art of inner wholeness, how to stop hiding your soul. Brain Pickings strikes again. I’ve read it three times already and each time it puts my heart in my throat and makes me want to live differently.
- A great article in The New Yorker: “Pain Really Does Make Us Gain.” I wondered why I loved it so much and then I glanced at the byline. Maria Konnikova. Brain Pickings. She is amazing.
- Vulture collected 10 of the best Dear Sugar columns from Cheryl Strayed’s tenure writing on The Rumpus. I cannot possibly pick a favorite, they’re all amazing. I wish Wild had moved me half as much as any one of these did.
- Here are five very thoughtful resolutions you might want to consider as you look at this blank canvas of 2015 waiting for you. Well, it’s not at all blank, actually. You’ve already painted in so much of it, and you’re still you there, holding the paintbrush. Maybe you can add a new color.
- The New Yorker’s commentary on the year in movies. (And from me: See Boyhood. Full stop.)
- From Salon.com, Andrew O’Hehir’s list of the best movies. (Among the rest, from him: see Boyhood.
- Here’s Vulture’s list of the best movies on Netflix. (When will Boyhood get there??) I love this list because it reminded me of some I’d forgotten about.
- And here’s the A.V. Club’s best 20 list. Some I hadn’t heard of! And I’m dying to see Force Majeure. And guess which one is in their #1 slot? BOYHOOD.
- Here is The New Yorker‘s list (different from the commentary in that top link). Do you think Boyhood made their list?
- Got a bunch of egg whites lying about? Here you go. Egg white recipes. You’re welcome.
- Food & Wine put together some great breakfast pastry recipes, if that’s your thing. It most certainly is mine!
- Also from Food & Wine, some fast weekday meals, if that’s your thing. It is mine, though I like the meatless ones, like that creamy buckwheat pasta with wild mushrooms. YUM.
- Want to make bibimbap at home? Bon Appetit has your back. (If you make it, I’ll come over.)
- Lentil soup, no recipe. Easy as can be.
- Drowning in drool here: tandoori-spiced sweet potato and lentil curry. Come. To. Mama.
- I have my own Texas caviar recipe, but this blackeyed pea dip looks AMAZING.
OK! Happy new year. Thanks for following my blog, for commenting here or on Facebook, and emailing and messaging me about posts, or other things my posts make you think of, or for any reason at all. I look forward to seeing how this year unfolds for us all. Peace on earth is too much to hope for, but I’d settle for a quiet weekend here and there, wouldn’t you?
And p.s. Since my daily gratitude email system has apparently gone down for the count, I’ve decided to put it here. There may be days that’s all I post, just a short note about what I’m grateful for. Dang, that system was so great . . . I really miss it. For 616 days in a row I made note of what I was grateful for, beginning right after Gracie died. Usually my daily gratitude was about someone specific, and that may well be you. I’m just going to use first initials, so since I know a bunch of people whose names begin with K, and with D, you’re just going to have to wonder, I guess. Since I write my posts the day before, and schedule them to go up at 7am the next morning, there’ll be a tiny bit of a lag. So here goes:
gratitude: 01/01/15: Today I am so grateful for my wonderful little home, with a landlord who takes such good care of me and with friends N&B just on the other side of the wall who turn this into a home depot, where we watch out for each other as we come and go. I never take having a home for granted, but I really hit the jackpot here.
01/01/13: Struggling to feel grateful about anything today. (I remember that day.)
01/01/14: Grateful today for a new year of life.