What I'm Reading

A List to Make Your Bookshelf Proud

Thanks to you guys, I received so many great recommendations for my book club reading list. I’m sharing our final selections below, but in case you’re looking for a new book, I’m also adding our collective nominations, as well as the titles I received from many of you. 

Very happy reading indeed.

2015 Book Club Selections

More of the Same

Worldly Reads

Classics

Modern Sensibilities

Non-Fiction

Suspense

 

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What I'm Reading

For People Who Don’t Read Nicholas Sparks

I work on the Internet. Most of what I read is scaled for 140 characters. Lately, I had been missing the kind of immersive, pleasurable reading that seems to only happen when one’s head is buried deep in books.

I’ve joined a legitimate book club, friends, and it’s not one for the weak of heart. No chick lit or beach reads here—we’re diving deep into canons, we’re exploring oeuvres, we’re owning non-fiction like a boss.

This month: Nabokov’s PninI had to ask the other participants just how exactly to pronounce the title character’s name (puh-neen, if you’re curious). Did I mention this should also be an act of deep humility?

The next time we meet, we’re each suggesting five book titles to the group. We’ll collectively review the selections and choose which books will round out our 2015 reading list. With eight readers of various intents, it’s bound to be an eclectic list.

I’ve been shuffling around my list of book selections for awhile now.

Some of these book selections are selfish, friends. I’ve been meaning to read Saunder’s Tenth for months. Recently, Jezebel brought Elena Ferrante to my attention and I haven’t quite been able to get her out of my mind. Perhaps you have some suggestions for me? To make my list a little less selfish?

Add your suggestions to the comments below.

More of the same

“One of the funniest and most interesting questions you can ask a group of couples at a party is whether or not they have combined their bookshelves.” Alexander Chee describes the act of combining bookshelves with the one you love.

If Elena Ferrante has abandoned her books, J.K. Rowling has been a generous ambassador for hers.

I’m a long-time fan of the Longform newsletter, so I’ve recently decided to give the Longform podcast a go. It’s mostly a roving conversation about writing, style, process and the public, but with people I really like and admire. Start with Alex Blumberg, then jump to Ta-Nehisi Coates.

I came to The Handmaid’s Tale late in adulthood, but it ripped wide open some feelings about how comfortable we’ve become in our third-wave/post-feminism world. The Verge asks an improbable question: Does Atwood’s dystopian classic hold up? (Hint: Fuck yes.)

Also, Margaret Atwood: Smartest Woman Alive.

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What I'm Reading

Heremione Gives Zero Fucks

Hermione in Harry Potter 7

Lady Stuffs

What would happen if Hermione were the main character in the Harry Potter films? It’s probably be more like Hermione Granger and the Goddamn PatriarchyBuzzfeed takes this premise to epic proportions, practically rewriting the entire Harry Potter genre.

Related: Do you know who would make a perfect adult Hermione? Ruth Wilson. Not that I’ve given it thought or anything.

Past

If you know Elizabeth Bishop it’s likely because her poem “One Art” was required reading in high school. But quite accidentally, I keep stumbling upon her works and small anecdotes from her life, like this piece in The Paris Review on Bishop’s footprint in New York.

Present

David and I live in world consumed by podcasts. We’ve regularly found ourselves forgoing television for the shared experience of listening to a podcast. Serial introduced the rest of the world to podcasting and I’m happy to see its explosive growth. This week I found Nick Quah’s Hot Pod newsletter and my cup runneth over with great new podcasts and a community of people who get it. My long-abiding nerdiness is now justifiably hip.

Future

I used to complain that tipping had become a problem because who carries cash anymore? Technology has set out to solve our mutual problem by making is easier than ever to leave a tip—unfortunately New York Times has found there is a good chance you’re paying a larger tip than you had intended. I’m generally a robust tipper, but when my $2 coffee is suddenly $3, the numbers can start adding up and that’s just what new “smart tipping” features hope for.

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What I'm Reading

New Year, New Patriarchal Bullsh1t

New Years 2015

I love the end of the year. Every content marketer looks over the zeitgeist of the past year and wrangles it into a list, and oh, those lists are like lovely pieces of digital candy. This surge of content is often met with a January bereft of good stories or analysis beyond the resolutions of the new year. 2015, however, has started off spectacularly.

I’m tired of these bullshit young women denouncing feminism (fig. 1: Kaley Cuoco, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry). It’s cool though, ladies,  you can continue to earn 75 cents on the dollar—I’ll take your 25 cents and my own dollar too (fig 2: Beyonce).

In other news, The Verge wonders whether the dystopian novel A Handmaid’s Tale is still relevant (Yes. See fig. 1).

While we’re talking about inequality, can a girl get a sex scene that doesn’t look completely like it fell out of some bad romance novel? If more young women understood the realities of sex, it’d be a better experience for us all. Here’s why TV should start honoring the female gaze.

Google reminds us why, in spite of everything, the Internet is so fking cool.

With every new friend that swears off social media as their resolution (and the assholes who rebuke it on December 27 and swear it’s not a new year’s resolution), I can’t help but wonder how much better it would be if we stopped treating it like camera and more like a mirror.

Remember what a fcked up thing Gamergate was? Meet Jane Austen, original game theorist.

That time Mark Zuckerberg started a book club (thing/not a thing?).

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