Reading Material, Vol. II

Earlier this year, I intended to share stuff I’ve read on a regular basis. I compiled my first list in May, and now, it’s October! Here’s some writing I’ve enjoyed in the past month or so. I spend a lot of time reading blogs on WordPress.com and get especially excited when I discover a new voice, read something unexpected, or come upon another solid post from a favorite writer.

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One night, a few nights before you actually died, I was folding laundry calmly in the same room with you when I had the distinct feeling I was alone. I was facing you, only a few feet away. You hadn’t moved or changed. You were just mostly absent, and then just as suddenly you were back. You were practicing to be gone.

The Internet, Lisa Schamess

* * *

There is this leaning in that happens when I read an ideal essay. It’s like peering over the gilded edge of the Grand Canyon; like stepping on tip-toe to secret out the scent of my husband’s glorious beard; like pressing my nose to the glass at the zoo’s lion exhibit, his breath and mine steaming the opposite sides of the barrier.

Defining the Ideal Essay, Samantha Tucker Iacovetto

* * *

Egypt was an unfathomable mystery with an ancient stillness that resonated at the most unlikely moments and I would never completely unravel it. And that was ok because life didn’t run on straight linear lines here.

On Our Traveller Perception of a Place, Jessica Lee

* * *

In a way it doesn’t matter if Chaucer was a rapist, because whether or not he was, he was clearly deeply entrenched in the rape culture of his time. The Reeve’s Tale demonstrates a pretty typical set of medieval attitudes toward sex, rape and women, and for all we may want to see Chaucer as exceptional, he was absolutely a man of his time.

Chaucer’s Funny Rape: Addressing a Taboo in Medieval Studies, Rachel Moss

* * *

When we sever ourselves from “home” — that nebulous concept that tends to refer more often to people and memories than to brick and mortar — we find ourselves placeless and free, but also deeply lonely.

The Eroticism of Placelessness, Cody Delistraty

* * *

I’m tired of how some days, being a woman in science gets in the way of actually doing it.

When Words Fail: Women, Science, and Women-in-Science; Jacquelyn Gill

* * *

Flying, sipping brandy out of a cup, 5 in the morning. Leaning back in our blankets, in our seats, reclining. We raise our hands to the displays and tap the screens and look as dull and robotic as the figures on the pre-flight safety video, dummies reaching out for masks, Tap Here, lean back.

Bad Thoughts Precede Bad Thoughts: Flying, Drinking, Writing, Landing; William Pearse

* * *

Without books, without history, Libyans will be mired in this identity crisis, trying on different cultural standards and discovering that none of them fit just right.

What It Means To Be Libyan, Nada Elfeituri

* * *

Art offers us opinions and perspectives other than our own. Art offers us choices. But the first choice has to be ours.

Why Should Artists at Work Fund Idlers at Art?, Dave Lamb

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After reading my friend’s comment on Facebook, I scanned my collection of theology books. Then I started counting. Only one was written by a woman.

What My Bookshelf Says About the Continuing Effects of Patriarchy, Ben Irwin

* * *

“BUT WHAT ABOUT THE D?” I hear you cry.

On the Origins of Fuck, Part 2: But What About the D?, Kate Wiles

* * *

When you use the term “cultural capital,” you are using a metaphor that suggests that learning a language, knowing how to use a library, falling in love with Balzacthese things are all best compared to money.

On Coates, Cultural Capital, and Remotism; Philip Christman

3 Comments

  1. This is better than the wine and cheese sampler I had the other day… it’s always so pleasantly surprising to happen upon good writing online.

    Like

  2. Thank, Cheri, for the list. I just fell for Cody Delistraty’s blog. The post that you highlight hits home. Big time. Beautiful writing and deep refection about exile and its consequences that echo my current state of mind. Thank you. Really.

    Like

    1. I enjoy Cody’s writing — you’ll find his stuff elsewhere — at the Atlantic and other pubs — but I’m glad to see pieces on his blog, too. Good person to follow!

      Like

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