My reading output has greatly diminished in recent years. I intend to fix that. Until then, here are the best books I read in 2013:
"The Lowland," by Jhumpa Lahiri. This got off to a slow start, but I finished it yesterday in an epic five-hour stretch. Lovely.
"Telegraph Avenue," by Michael Chabon. I would never call his writing "beautiful," but that’s only because it’s the wrong word. Every single sentence is perfectly put together. Phenomenal characters.
"Stories," by Alice Munro. The final four stories are generally autobiographical, the first she’s ever written in that vein. They are absolutely wonderful. She’s a master (and Nobel knows it).
"Life," by Keith Richards. This was so fun to read; I only wish it had come out sooner.
"Wild," by Cheryl Strayed. I really enjoyed this. I do not enjoy the meta conversation about it. Good for her for completing her epic trek.
Honorable mention: “Iodine,” by Haven Kimmel. Dark. Weird. Good.
Sometimes you take the wrong way home. Sometimes the data that helps you make a decision about which way to go home isn’t good, or quick enough, or changes en route. Sometimes you get home after a long day and a long ride home and stand in the kitchen making everything you can think of. Bread, pasta, stir-fry. Wine. Cookie butter. Cheese slices.
Sometimes it’s just like that.
How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. What we do with this hour, and that one, is what we are doing. A schedule defends from chaos and whim. It is a net for catching days. It is a scaffolding on which a worker can stand and labor with both hands at sections of time. A schedule is a mock-up of reason and order—willed, faked, and so brought into being; it is a peace and a haven set into the wreck of time; it is a lifeboat on which you find yourself, decades later, still living. Each day is the same, so you remember the series afterward as a blurred and powerful pattern. —
Annie Dillard, in “The Writing Life.”
Highlighted by Brain Pickings.
Drunk guy at The National concert last night: “Being there. Man, that’s no good.”
It took me a minute. Oh, “Being There.”
Go home, drunk guy, you’re drunk.
Crumbler: What's on your workout playlist? -
Like many people who know better I sat myself down on New Year’s Day, gave myself a stern talking-to, and outlined why my thirty-second year would be the one in which I finally got serious about fitness. Whether this comes true is anyone’s guess — for a few years now I have been a truly committed…
The three that are always on my workout playlist
Other perennial favorites:
Yo, Crumbler, will you post your latest list? I could use a refresh, too.
It's Not OK To Be Shitty: Guy Fieri, BuzzFeed, And The Tyranny Of Stupid Popular Things -
The more we define “success” as that which appeals to as many people as possible, the more we forgive dumb things because they went “viral,” the more we monetize stupid bullshit because we’re at a brief, fleeting moment in our culture where we’ve convinced ourselves that’s what matters … the more we forget what was initially so fun about the Internet in the first place. The beauty of the Web is that it belongs to you, and me, and to each of us, individually. What are other people doing on the Internet? Who the hell cares? I’ll just find people who like doing what I’m doing and talk to them. Is that the best way to make money on the Web? Probably not. But that’s their problem: Not ours.
I highlighted nearly every single line in this as I read it, in order to share it. Which perhaps exemplifies the problem in general and is so ultimately ironic that we should all just read it, then retreat to our corners of the Internet.
I just stepped out of a cab after dinner, and a woman in a pointed straw hat carrying a couple of baskets spotted me.
"Hello!" she shouted, and stepped up to the open door.
I ignored her and walked toward my hotel. She tried again.
"Bananas?" she whispered quietly, changing the ploy altogether.
This is an unfinished life list that I’ve had sitting in drafts for … at least two years, because some of these are completed now. So here’s my now-updated, unfinished (both in items to be included, as well as completion of items) life list, just as a checkpoint now.
I plan to think on this some more and really update it soon.
Replace electrolytes after your workout with flat Coke and sugar cubes!
(One per member. For extra sugar, see Ed.)
This is a LiveJournal (aww, LJ) from back in the day that my friend Lizzie and I collaborated on (I’m maliavale), and she emailed it to me this week after a spambot found it and left her a lovely and relevant message. Behold:
in our downtime, the lovely maliavale and I have decided to open a
restaurant. the name is still up in the air, but we have decided on
many menu items, with a few assists from nabbalicious, and the theme
is very clear. see if you can figure it out!
requests are welcome. soon we will have little suggestion cards with
small pencils and checkboxes.
Fleetwood Mac & Cheese
Paul Westerburger on a Morrisseed bun with Aimee Mannonaise
Split P. Diddy Soup
Culture Club Sandwich
Grilled Cheese Incident
Paul McCartney & Buffalo Wings
Sides will include:
Nat King Coleslaw
Al Green Salad
Your dessert options are currently limited to Cream Puff Daddy, Red
Velvet Elvis Cake, and - for some reason, Maliavale insists on this -
Bowl of Eminems.
and of course for beverages, or Refreshments, if you will, which we will:
Neutral Milkshake Hotel
Youngsters may order from the Destiny’s Child’s Menu. And if you come
Tuesday evening, check out the special: Three Chili Dog Night!