1. “… rather than picking a specialty, like blogging or being a videographer, was to master the basics of really good storytelling, have curiosity and a sense of how a topic is different than a story, and actually go out and witness and report. If you hone those skills, you will be in demand, as those talents are prized. There is too much journalism right now that is just based on people scraping the Internet and riffing off something else.”
2. “Men never chalk up their success to luck but women often do.”
3. “Of course I experienced sexism early on. I remember being in story sessions, and so many times, I would have an idea and I would talk about it. Then the convener of the meeting would say, “And as Jerry was just saying …” and they would remember the idea as coming from a male colleague. I didn’t pipe up in real time. I did grouse about it with other women in the office, which in some ways is safer and more cowardly but is very comforting and kind of gratifying.”
Friend Meg and I are trying to read 26 books in 52 weeks — a year — for no good reason other than to pick up books we’ve put off and to become increasingly self-satisfied with each passing month. Any recommendations for the next six? Here’s what I’ve tackled so far, my favorites in bold.
1. The Boy Kings of Texas, by Domingo Martinez
2. Tenth of December, by George Saunders
3. As I Lay Dying, by William Faulkner
4. The Telling Room, by Michael Paterniti
5. And the Mountains Echoed, by Khaled Hosseini
6. All the Pretty Horses, by Cormac McCarthy
7. Train Dreams, by Denis Johnson
8. Vampires in the Lemon Grove, by Karen Russell
9. Jesus’ Son, by Denis Johnson
10. Dept. of Speculation, by Jenny Offill
11. Candide, by Voltaire
12. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, by Junot Diaz
Read and recommended this year:
1. Beautiful Ruins, by Jess Walter
2. The Round House, by Louise Erdrich
3. Dear Life, by Alice Munro
4. Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls, by David Sedaris
5. A Better Angel, by Chris Adrian
6. NW, by Zadie Smith
7. The Tiger’s Wife, by Tea Obrecht
8. Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk Home, by Ben Fountain
9. As Always, Julia: The Letters of Julia Child and Avis DeVoto, by Joan Reardon
10. Love Medicine, by Louise Erdrich
11. Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth, by Reza Aslan
"More than half the questions I am asked are about the politics of the way I look. What it feels like to be not skinny/dark-skinned/a minority/not conventionally pretty/female/etc. It’s not very interesting to me, but I know it’s interesting to people reading an interview. Sometimes I get jealous of white male showrunners when 90 percent of their questions are about characters, story structure, creative inspiration, or, hell, even the business of getting a show on the air. Because as a result the interview of me reads like I’m interested only in talking about my outward appearance and the politics of being a minority and how I fit into Hollywood, blah blah blah. I want to shout, “Those were the only questions they asked!?"
— Mindy Kaling (interviewed by Lena Dunham) on the politics of the way she looks (via heidisaman)
"Write hard and write clear about what hurts."
(Speaking of writing hard and clear about what hurts: this.)
"Be with me, words, a little longer…"
— John Updike, in a poem he wrote for his 76th and last birthday.
"What’s so hard about that first sentence is that you’re stuck with it."
— Joan Didion (via theparisreview)
"There was never any couple in love like us. We was meant to be together."
— James Davis in the New York Times story about honoring his wife’s last wishes to be buried in the front yard of the home where they spent three decades together.
(Source: The New York Times)