This year started even more dreadful and scary than I ever imagined it could. Can we catch a break? In response to the chaos, I’ve retreated even more into the safety of my cozy home routine, which includes a lot of reading, listening to music and watching the occasional show. I’ve also leaned heavily on poetry, as I often do in tough times. Here are a few of my favorites.
Tracy K. Smith: A few months ago, my dad gave me a box filled with old The New Yorker magazines. I’ve been savoring them, taking one out each night and getting lost in the stories and poetry. One poet kept standing out to me: Tracy K. Smith. She speaks authentically about race, feminism and desire. I can’t get enough.
The Cost of Living by Deborah Levy: After reading Levy’s novel Hot Milk, I immediately went and bought a bunch of her other books. The Cost of Living is a working autobiography — a memoir written in the present time — while her life is messy and in a state of flux. Levy writes beautifully, often citing many academics and authors, but it never feels boring. Her work is fresh and thought-provoking.
“Pretend It’s a City”: I’m thoroughly enjoying this documentary series about the witty and fascinating writer Fran Lebowitz. Martin Scorsese directs it. Fran is such a character; I’d love to have a drink with her.
“Read” Hat by Jon Klassen: I’ve been eyeing this hat for almost a year now. I finally got it! All the profits benefit the Book Industry Charitable Foundation (which helps independent booksellers in need).
Lianne La Havas: This song has been on repeat all month!
Checkerboard Slip-On Vans: I’ve been wearing these for years, but this past month, they’ve been my shoes of choice. They go with pretty much everything I own and the print feels surprisingly like a neutral.