"The Strange Case of Rachel K."

Something I think about more and more is how to convey the most amount of information in the least amount of words; for simplicity, sure, but also for power. The person with the most power always speaks the least, which is what someone with a healthy amount of power once told me, so I trust them, kind of.

Over the weekend I read The Strange Case of Rachel K., a collection of very, very short stories by Rachel Kushner: "The Great Exception," a story about an explorer with a penchant for hyperbole and a woman named Aloha, "Debouchment," a story about an argument in a bar, and then the [...]


Black Girls Don't Read Sylvia Plath

It was another muggy summer, the summer I discovered Plath. If I had discovered her legacy later in life, it may have served as a calming revelation, the meat of hindsight. Wonderment not as thorny and beloved.

I discovered Plath through the typical girlhood grapevine: a slumber party. A friend who looked like Stevie Nicks circa Rumors but had suited up in detail-heavy riot girrl gear mentioned Sylvia Plath. She had just finished The Bell Jar. She wanted to know if I had read it. She casually said, like a cowboy flicking a cigarette stub to the side, I think you’d like it.


"Has Your Husband Read It?"

Over the weekend I read Love Me Back by Merritt Tierce, mostly because several of my friends had e-mailed me this review by Pooja Bhatia with the following line highlighted:

People compare Tierce to Joan Didion, maybe the doyenne of literary realism, and Mary Gaitskill, whose intense short stories have explored sex and debasement.

I mean, sold.


A Six-Month Reading List

Courtesy The Millions, here is every new book you will want to read in the next six months. I just finished The Flamethrowers, so I'll catch up with you all 'round 2016. [The Millions]


Totally Real and Not Made Up Excerpts From Kim Gordon's Forthcoming Memoir

"[Richard] Edson, [Bob] Bert, [Jim] Sclavunos…we went through a lot of drummers early on before finally settling on Steve Shelley in 1985. Our excuse was we were trying to find the right percussionist to perfect the sound we were aiming for, but really, Thurston kept firing them because they made fun of his hair."

"I once saw Billy Corgan cry while watching Home Alone 2. And not just like, tearing up a little. He was full on bawling."

[On Sonic Youth's 1996 guest stint on the Simpsons] "That wasn't actually us. That was just a cartoon rendering of us."


Writers Writing About Writers (and Musicians, and Artists, and and)

I was in New York a few weeks ago and I did something truly outrageous—I walked into my favorite bookstore, turned to Anna, and was like, "I'm only allowed to buy one book, ok?", and then actually bought only one book. I hope you can appreciate the magnitude of this event because it has, quite literally, never happened before and will probably never happen again.


Hail Satan, Tonight: John Darnielle's Wolf in White Van

When you punish a person for dreaming his dream
 Don't expect him to thank or forgive you
 The best ever death metal band out of Denton
 Will in time both outpace and outlive you
 Hail Satan!
 Hail Satan tonight!
 Hail Satan! Hail hail! -The Mountain Goats, Best Ever Death Metal Band in Denton

Wolf in White Van is the first novel from the man who might've been the Poet Laureate of the United States of America, despite having only really written songs about lonely people and monsters. As the sole founder of the beloved indie folk band The Mountain Goats, John Darnielle is no stranger to touching people [...]


Books You Might Like Because Some People on Twitter Thought I'd Like Them

Yesterday, Haley had sent me to the library since I've never read any Zadie Smith (I know!! I know!!!!!!!!). I asked Twitter for some additional recommendations, and they gave me more stuff than I could read in a lifetime, so I wanted to share it with you: These Are the Books that My Twitter Followers Think You Should Read. You'll Never Guess What Comes Next. (Books.)

Consider it your holiday homework assignment (after The Pillow Book, obviously). I ended up checking out Changing My Mind, by Zadie Smith, Salvage the Bones, by Jesmyn Ward, and, of course, the crown jewel— Simon and Garfunkel: The Biography, by [...]


Book Titles, Answered

A: My natural habitat being systematically destroyed in the name of advancing civilization.

A: Technically, they count electric sheep while they're still awake, trying to drift off to sleep. Then they generally dream of naked lady androids, or of writing midterms at the local electric school they're unprepared for, while wearing electric underwear with a Batman motif.


"Did Something Happen?": On Elena Ferrante's 'Abandonment' and Jenny Offill's 'Speculation'

I went on a trip back home to Texas last weekend with Elena Ferrante’s The Days of Abandonment and Jenny Offill’s Dept. of Speculation in my backpack. I had no idea what either novel was about when I bought them; it surprised me to find that both were narrated by women whose husbands are having affairs.

We live in a world that is alarmingly full of options, which is why people have affairs and why I like plane rides in the company of books good enough to keep you off the expensive wifi: I read Offill’s book in one sitting and Ferrante’s in two. The authors’ [...]