We’re nearing the end of a decade, looking back at we’ve gained and lost as well as our favorite moments is only fitting. I haven’t had as much time to write as usual but I wanted to look back at some lovely moments over the last decade.
This is my first post of the year and I thought it would be right to review a compelling read. Deborah Levy’s The Cost of Living is the second installment of the author’s living memoir, but it’s also a moving journey of transformation. Levy’s life drastically changes and she must find a way to navigate those choices while writing. The Cost of Living is memorable as it reveals Levy’s adventurous spirit and I was drawn to her story. She buys an e-bike and uses her friend’s shed as a writing space. The Cost of Living explores themes of loss, identity, and mourning with wit and strength.
Dear Readers, happy April! It’s been months since my last post, I’ve been busy with queries, manuscript requests, job applications and interviews. The good news is we survived winter, which is no small feat. Spring will be fantastic. There’s much to look forward to so I’m writing about my five loves this spring.
Lorna Simpson’s exhibition at Hauser & Wirth in London began March 1st and ends April 28th. “Unanswerable” features Simpson’s most recent work, which includes themes of identity and gender. She’s a renowned artist, I can’t possibly imagine missing this exhibit if I were in London. I first saw Simpson’s work at the MoMA when I was a student, she’s remarkable. You can read the interview that Simpson did with Bomb Magazine here. Details on the exhibit are here.
For those of us stateside, the Morgan Library has an extensive collection of Peter Hujar’s photographs on display until May 20th. Hujar is well known for capturing significant figures and moments the East Village. He made a subculture that wasn’t visible to mainstream society relevant. Here are the details on Peter Hujar: Speed of Life.
The Brooklyn Museum’s exhibition, David Bowie is. It’s on until July 15th. If you’re planning a trip to NYC this spring or summer make sure to include a trip to the Brooklyn Museum.
Deborah Levy. Her new book, The Cost of Living is out in the UK. If you’re in the USA, I recommend revisiting Things I Don’t Want to Know until her most recent book is released in the US. You could always order The Cost of Living directly from the UK but international shipping fees can be rather pricey. Here is the link to Foyles.
A Public Space. It’s one of my favorite literary magazines. The founder, Brigid Hughes is the former executive editor of The Paris Review. I’m impressed by the art in each issue. It’s published quarterly and definitely worth reading. You can subscribe here.
Happy Reading, everyone!
I was listening to Bing Crosby and David Bowie’s classic Christmas song, Peace on Earth/ Little Drummer Boy. It was the first time I had heard the beautiful song and I immediately fell in love with it. The idea of good will and peace on earth is a noble one, I was thinking about the one organization that embraces those values. UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, works tirelessly to save the lives of refugees and place them in safe countries. Their support has saved countless lives and demonstrates the importance of supporting refugees. Spend a little time on their website, you’ll see stories of hope. Refugees who risked everything to seek safety, are now learning the language of their new country, they’re opening businesses, and building lives. Everyone deserves to live in a stable country and UNHCR recognizes that fact with action.
“The Ballad of Sexual Dependency is the diary I let people read.”
I sat in a dark room at the MoMA and watched a slideshow of nearly 700 snapshots. The Ballad of Sexual Dependency is a visual diary that chronicles Nan Goldin’s and her friends bohemian lives. Goldin moved to the Bowery after earning a degree in fine arts from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston. In New York, she began documenting herself and those around her. Many of Goldin’s friends died of overdoses and AIDS. What’s striking about Goldin’s slideshow is how the music encapsulated every image.
Happy fall, lovely readers! This is my first post in awhile. I hope everyone enjoyed the summer and is looking forward to a blissful autumn. Over the last few weeks I’ve been editing my fall reading list, there are so many fantastic books being released that it was difficult to narrow my list down to just six books. I’m including two political books, which is rare for me but these writers produce compelling articles.
We Were Eight Years in Power by Ta-Nehisi Coates releases on 10/03/2017. Coates examines the Obama era and the president’s historic candidacy. He has written insightful essays for The Atlantic and was recently awarded the MacArthur Fellowship. Coates has always written nuanced essays and I’m looking forward to reading this book. You can pre-order We Were Eight Years in Power here at Waterstones or at Barnes & Noble.
Ali Smith is an international treasure. Usually people are national treasures, but Ali Smith’s star shines brighter than the United Kingdom. She has readers across the pond that adore her. Winter: A Novel releases on November 2, 2017. It is the second novel in her quartet. The synopsis is intriguing, check it out here. The first novel, Autumn, was longlisted for the Man Booker. Do read it if you haven’t already. You can pre-order Winter here or here.
The third book on my list doesn’t have a release date in the US, but it’ll be available in the UK on October 2, 2017. The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris is a beautiful picture book suited for children and adults. Jackie Morris is a talented artist, whose illustrations are the perfect match for Macfarlane’s nature words. If you’ve read Landmarks, then you know how mesmerizing Macfarlane’s books can be. You can find it here at Waterstones.
The Future is History by Masha Gessen. This book is an examination of Russia as a failed democracy and Vladimir Putin’s rise to power created an autocracy. Gessen follows four Russians. The book sounds like a cautionary tale as Gessen offers readers a grim reality of what happens when democracy ends. The Future is History releases on October 3, 2017 and can be ordered here.
David Hallberg is immensely talented and one of the most beautiful dancers I’ve ever seen. I was thrilled to learn he wrote a memoir. Hallberg is known for being the first American dancer to join the Bolshoi Ballet, but a long time ago I went to the ballet one evening and watched him perform. He’s special. This memoir includes how he recovered from a serious injury, one that sidelined his career for more than a year. A Body of Work: Dancing to the Edge and Back releases on November 7, 2017. You can pre-order it here.
I’ve become obsessed with Queen Victoria and her little dog, Dash. Jenna Coleman is superb in this PBS period drama. So while I wait for the second season, I’m reading Daisy Goodwin’s Victoria: A Novel and forming a strong love for Lord Melbourne. Not sure he was the Byronic hero that Rufus Sewell’s portraying, I saw his portrait in the National Portrait Gallery and was immediately fascinated by his tragic marriage. You can find Goodwin’s novel here.
What’s everyone planning to read this fall?
Happy Summer, lovely readers! Hopefully you’re all enjoying the sunshine and warm weather, I wanted to share my summer reading list. Some of these books are quite long so I’m not sure I’ll make it through the entire list. There are a few suggestions in case you’ve read the books on my list. Also check out the summer issue of the Paris Review, which features an interview with one of my favorite writers, Ali Smith.
New York City is a special place so instead of reviewing a book I decided to write about my recent trip in three posts. Travelling is a bit of an issue because I have Celiac Disease, which is an intolerance to gluten. Usually I find out exactly what restaurants and cafes can accommodate my diet, I’ve found that restaurants often state they have gluten free options when, in fact, it’s a vegan option. There was one gluten free restaurant that I loved and visited every time I was in NYC: Risotteria. It closed lost year. I’ll miss that place forever.
Spring is nearly here. Right now I’m pouring over the letters of W.B. Yeats and Maud Gonne. How many times is she going to break his heart? Why did Yeats continue to propose? Also why did Yeats propose to Gonne’s daughter, Iseult? This is one fascinating love story. Gonne inspired Yeats’ love poems and I’ve always wanted to learn about her. I plan to be finished with these letters in time for my spring reading list.