The Audacious Roundup
For the week of November 20th
Our November book club selection is The Unsettled by Ayana Mathis. We will be in conversation with Ayana on November 30th, and registration is open.
I appeared on an episode of We Can Do Hard Things where Glennon, Abby, Amanda, and I discussed what social media has become and our relationships to it all, among other things. Here is the transcript. I was also on a podcast called Depresh Mode. Finally, I appeared on Amanpour & Company and it will air on PBS sometime this week. The conversation, with Michel Martin, is also up on YouTube.
Three young Palestinian men were shot and critically injured in Vermont because a racist ass man with a gun took issue with their mere existence.
A former State Department employee who worked in five administrations harassed a halal vendor repeatedly and because he fucked around, he found out. And New Yorkers have been since showing the vendor, Mohamed Hussein, their support by frequenting his cart and otherwise being good and decent.
The Brew & Forge Bookfair is open and all proceeds will be going to the Palestinian Feminist Collective.
New York put together an interesting set of pieces about the war in Gaza including a look at the sometimes complicated or messy things people are feeling. And more on the fractures in 92Y and the literary community.
Some Asian American families are still pressed about college admissions despite the unfortunate dismantling of affirmative action in college admissions. It’s almost as if affirmative action wasn’t actually the problem at all. There’s a lot to unpack in this article, but the sheer intensity of the PARENTS in all of this… I cannot relate. My parents went to college so I wasn’t navigating something entirely foreign when I applied. They offered their opinions (commands) on where I should apply but I filled out my little applications myself. There were no consultants or weird manipulations. I just did the best I could during high school, applied to several schools, and hoped I would get in somewhere. I cared. My family cared. But it wasn’t an obsession. I find it curious that so many parents these days seem far more invested in where their children go to college than the children themselves. I’m sure there’s more to be said about all that.
What’s up with the campus novel?
Paul Lynch is the winner of the 2023 Booker Prize.
There are menus and there are MENUS.
Some Twitter posts begin in the most unexpected places.
Linda Evangelista doesn’t want to have to listen to a man breathing. Relatable.
Life at Sea promised people a three year cruise around the world and people sold or rented out their homes, packed up their belongings and headed to port only to find out the cruise had been cancelled because… there was no ship. It’s like Fyre Fest: Cruise Edition.
Beyoncé’s Renaissance film had its splashy premiere and soon we will be able to behold the greatness.
Joel Anderson writes about why he has been waiting for the other shoe to drop where Diddy is concerned.
For one woman, menopause hit and drastically altered her sex life but she found erotic fulfillment (ish) by writing romance novels.
A mystery illness is making dogs sick. Just keep an eye on your pups.
Let freedom ring.
Derek Chauvin was stabbed in prison on… Black Friday.
New York Magazine is hiring a culture editor.
This week I learned that Hall & Oates don’t get along! So sad.
Some Succession type nonsense went down with Open AI and for a few days there was high tech drama with a revolving cast of CEOs, resignations, threats of resigning, new positions created, and public posturing.
Grand Gesture, a romance bookshop owned by a Black woman, is opening soon in Portland. I, for one, cannot wait to visit.
Paternity leave is important!
Here are 100 notable books for 2023, according to the New York Times. I look forward to this list every year, and sad trivia: no book of mine has ever made this list. I wish I didn’t care about such things but it’s fine that I do. Clearly, it doesn’t like rule my life or anything.
Phillip Kaufman takes a look back at The Right Stuff.
A profile of Lana Del Rey by Chloe Cooper Jones. An interview with John Woo who remains one of my favorite directors. I don’t care at all when directors don’t like superhero movies. Who cares? Not everything is for everybody. An interview with Catherine Hardwicke about the Twilight movies. A conversation with Travis Kelce. He is a football player, I am told. A profile of Joyce Carol Oates.
A review of Blake Butler’s Molly.
Leslie Jamison on finishing a friend’s novel in the wake of her passing.
Comedian makes jokes about domestic violence because he wants to make comedy for men or something. So dull.
We love a hugely famous writer who just minds her business.
There was a mass shooting at a Walmart in Ohio that barely made the news because, sadly, mass shootings are so common place.
There is a shortage of claymation clay!
Debbie and I went to Houston for Thanksgiving where the fam got together at my brother’s house. We had a pretty lovely time even though I firmly believe the traditional holiday is a gruesome reminder of what colonization does to indigenous peoples. We celebrated what would have been Joel’s 46th birthday which was… bittersweet. I hope, wherever he is, that he sees how much he is still with us. I cooked a few things including this butternut squash mash (which sounds gross) but was honestly perfection. I also made a caesar salad with dressing from scratch and a cake (for said birthday celebration) and Haitian macaroni and cheese and a brioche herb dressing. Debbie made the turkey. Other people made other dishes. It was, of course, way too much food, and there are lots of leftovers still being enjoyed. Max menaced my brother’s cats and then they all became besties. We watched Interstellar which is still a perfect movie. We saw a bunch of people at our hotel heading off to what looked to be a spectacular Nigerian wedding. We rented a car to get to and fro and it was a Tesla which is not the car I selected (the electric Mustang is what I selected) but it was… interesting. There is, shall we say, a learning curve. How was your holiday, however you chose to spend it? Are you ready for holiday music season?