Carousel #5

  1. All I really want for my birthday this year is Scrivener. Sounds absolutely perfect.
  2. Have some chiptunes I came across. Music made with a GameBoy, for those not in the know.
  3. Here’s an interesting article about Tumblr as the modern commonplace book. I’ve never kept one of my own, although I suppose this blog has become a sort with the inclusion of these carousels.
  4. I recently discovered the fantastic Dear Sugar advice column. Anonymous questions (often difficult, sometimes quite strange) are sent in and eloquently answered by the always compassionate, level-headed Sugar (who recently revealed herself as the author Cheryl Strayed, by the way).
  5. While the movie adaptation of The Hunger Games enjoying a huge success at the box office wasn’t all too surprising, it was surprising to see how some fans reacted to some of the characters being portrayed as black. I haven’t read the books myself, but the response is quite shocking to say the least. On the heels of this whole debacle, here’s Toni Morrison discussing racism.
  6. Aaron Burch, the fantastic editor over at Hobart, wrote a eulogy for the closing of a bookstore he used to work at. Sad to see all these bookstores go.
  7. Something I’ve noticed when it comes to fiction novels these days: there are a ton of books out there with the titles “The _____’s Daughter,” or “The _____’s Wife.” Apparently though, I’m not the only one who has picked up on this. Maybe the titles have a nice cadence, and maybe people do pick them up because they’re familiar, but I think it’s about time we retire them.
  8. Flannery O’Connor is one of my favorite short story writers, and it was her birthday last week. A big volume of her complete works sits on my shelf. Lacy Marschalk, a writer and a teacher, recounts her visit to Ms. O’Connor’s house in Georgia and the farm. Plus peacocks!
  9. This week, poet Adrienne Rich passed away. She was one of my favorite poets as an undergrad. Read and listen to her poem “Diving into the Wreck.”

Carousel #4

  1. I came across the story of Joyce Carol Vincent, a 38-year-old woman from London who died alone at home and whose skeleton wasn’t discovered until three years later. It’s horrible to think how this could possibly happen, and probably happens a lot more than we think. I think the most awful part for me is the fact that she was wrapping Christmas gifts when she died – it’s clear that she cared for some people in her life enough and thought they cared for her, but  how mistaken she was in the latter.
  2. An online acquaintance of mine, Swankivy, made a video about frequent grammatical mistakes sometimes even writers and well-read people can make. Check it out – you may be surprised by what you didn’t know.
  3. I discovered the fantastic slice-of-life full-color comics of Melinda Boyce. So lovely and charming. She first drew my attention when she did a drawing of Anaïs. She also has a Kickstarter project where you can get copies of her comics.
  4. Aubrey Plaza, an actress several friends of mine have fallen in love with, is now working on a young adult novel. My sister and I only really know her as Julie from Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. I wonder if her characteristic snarkiness will be a part of that high school experience she describes. I know it was a part of mine!
  5. Writer Edan Lepucki is starting a new column for The Millions in which she will be answering letters from writers. She’s asking people to send in questions. Seems pretty useful!
  6. Nobel and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Toni Morrison spoke about how her life isn’t interesting enough for a memoir. Kind of shocked, since I’m sure anything she writes would be worth reading, regardless. Always inspiring.
  7. I came across this article on how people’s brains are stimulated by reading good fiction. Among the observations made are: how reading affects multiple, critical areas of the brain, how vivid imagery and metaphors stimulate the sensory cortexes (and not cliches), and how reading novels is an excellent way to improve one’s empathy and understanding of the world. I’m not entirely surprised by any of these results, but it’s always nice to have scientific evidence for support.