Elsewhere on the Internet: Summer of Love

I was just polishing up my next reading roundup, adding in a few links that I had to dig out of my Twitter feed, when I realized that I missed the old curated link roundups I used to post here and on my food blog. Who knows whether they interest anyone other than me? But I still refer back to these old posts when I am looking up sources or half-formed ideas on either blog. Now that I’m back in a job where I can keep up with Twitter throughout the day, the posts I read spark thoughts that turn into themes over the course of a few days. When I was dissertating, they might have become part of a chapter or a series on my old food blog. Now, I’m not sure, but I’d like to record them all the same.

Let’s start with a nice moment. My gentleman friend, who is always so good about supporting and encouraging his friends in their arts and their passions, tweeted me this link from Electric Literature: Why Women Should Do More Literary Manspreading. “Looking forward to reading your massive novel one day,” he added. I was startled–I received this message at work, where my editing responsibilities often involve gleefully cutting down bloated passages of academic text. I don’t think of myself as verbose. But at the same time, I was drafting the post that would become Some Lessons I Didn’t Know I Learned at Grad School, and I was cringing about the length and seeming disconnectedness of the stories. I wondered whether I should break it into more than one post, or just not post at all. But then I got this encouragement in the form of a link, and thought, to heck with it. Send post.

Speaking of Electric Literature, which is just on my Good List lately, they are doing a whole series of posts where contemporary female authors list their favorite books by people who are not men. As you might imagine, it is extremely my jam.

Sorry (not sorry) that this is turning into an Electric Literature fan blog, but I appreciate that they had the scoop on The Wife, a film adapted from a book I rather liked, starring Glenn Close who is not who I would have pictured in this role but who is so, so perfect for it.

Speaking of adaptations of Books I Love! I can’t believe there is going to be a film adaptation of Nella Larsen’s Passing! I can’t believe it will star Ruth Negga as Claire, which sounds incredible for many reasons including the way she looks in red lipstick, and Tessa Thompson as Irene, who is going to give this reticent character such a sensual and intelligent electricity. White lady director whose acting work I admired in Professor Marston and the Wonder Women, please do this well.

One more surprising adaptation: the gorgeous puzzle game Monument Valley is also going to be a live action/CG hybrid movie?! (Via Paste, an excellent website for people who like books, movies, and video games.)

You’ve already read this because it’s so good, but Star Wars actor (and namesake of my Ryder) Kelly Marie Tran was in the New York Times talking about how she won’t let the haters bring her down.

Love well-put-together pieces on trends in book covers, book titles, etc.: Vanity Fair, How Publishing’s Floral-Print Trend Came to Rule the World’s Bookshelves

I adored The Westing Game as a child, even though I didn’t fully understand everything in it. That was often the way: as a ravenous reader in a school library that might not have had the most up-to-date selection (except in the American Girls collection), I devoured children’s books that were written in the 60s and 70s–recently enough that they didn’t feel “old” like Mary Poppins and Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle (which I also loved), but not so contemporary as the Babysitter’s Club or Saddle Club books. This piece at Public Books places The Westing Game in its context: bleak, skeptical bicentenntial America.

My favorite bookstore is Penn Book Center, an independent store that is now mere steps from my workplace. The storefront is unassuming, but inside is a treasure trove of literary fiction and poetry (and other things, but most of what I care about is at the front of the shop), gorgeous art books, and a clearance table full of surprising finds. Even if all I do is skim clearance and the carefully curated top shelf of each row, I find things I want and will love.

My love for PBC will never diminish, but I was very excited to learn that my own neighborhood will be acquiring a new bookstore–for what I think might be the first time! If you wish to give me the gift of local browsing and literary events and a growing TBR pile, you can contribute to their start-up costs here.


5 thoughts on “Elsewhere on the Internet: Summer of Love”

  1. Your mini-exciting-things roundup always brings me to one or two things that interest me – this week was especially good. I reread the Westing Game last year and found it FAR more challenging and puzzling than I remembered. And I don’t… know what they’re trying to do with Monument Valley. Maybe a Pixar short, but … yeah. I don’t have a great feeling about this.
    Your gentleman friend is right; I think your fiction (I imagine there’s some already written, maybe?) would be marvelous to read. One of my favorite thing about your posts is your distinct voice and your economy of words. …”Editing responsibilities often involve gleefully cutting down bloated passages” – YES. This is the hardest thing. And one of the best parts of writing.

    1. Rereading The Westing Game is a splendid idea! It WAS puzzling, and I’d be curious to know which parts really stood out to you that way. I particularly remember being perplexed by the sections having to do with the stock market, but no doubt there was plenty of subtext that I missed or accepted at face value.

      I’m always particularly honored by your compliments to my writing, and you make me wish I wrote fiction! I haven’t tried since college, and that was all thinly veiled autobiography. Whatever muscle supports imaginative storytelling in my communication system is weak and in need of development. But I plan to try again, at some point, and your encouragement matters a lot.

      I cannot support your skepticism about Monument Valley the Movie though. Give me bright colors, Escherian wizardry, and a barely-there plot! I am all about film candy in these hard times.

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