Rules: In a text post, list ten books that have stayed with you in some way. Don’t take but a few minutes, and don’t think too hard — they don’t have to be the “right” or “great” works, just the ones that have touched you. Tag 5 friends, including me, so I’ll see your list. Make sure you let your friends know you’ve tagged them.
Tagged by: seasquared and skyscope
1. Pessoa The Book of Disquiet - I haven’t gone back to this one in years, but it immediately comes to mind when I’m asked what my favorites are. Filled with beautiful little vignettes (and anyways, how can you not love a writer with over 50 pseudonyms?)
2. Danielewski House of Leave - I’m pretty sure I only picked up this book because seasquared recommended it in high school, but I remember being so blown away by how playful and complex it was. I had never read anything like it at the time. Plus I had independently been fond of the Poe song "Hey Pretty" and so running across the lyrics in the book (and then discovering they were siblings) was an unexpected little delight for me.
3. Nabokov Lolita - I only read this all the way through once (I have this thing where there are some texts that I find too painful to experience all at once and so, after the first time, I only return to them in chunks), but it made a very big impression on me when I was young. That said, I was probably 15/16 the last time I attempted to read it, and I’ve been told that Humbert Humbert (who I felt so deeply for back in the day) comes off as a major creeper when you’re a grown-ass adult who (should) know better.
4. Mitchell Gone with the Wind - Yeah, yeah, laugh it up. But honestly (/shamefully?) this is probably the book that I’ve read the most times in my life. I have the opening sentence burned into my memory (Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were). To my defense, I first encountered/read this book when I was 8 years old (too young to know any better!), bored out of my skull at a dinner party in Guangzhou where there were no other kids my age. This was the only book in English that the host had. So blame him/her for my ridiculous, inexplicable obsession with the text til the age of like 14 (maybe it was the ballgowns & epic descriptions of Southern cooking? Or the amazing way in which it totally glosses over, you know, uh, slavery and all that non-fun stuff that led to the war going on in the background BUT RHETTTTTTT AND BBQQQQQ), okay???
5. Anderson Winesburg, Ohio - Yeah, I’m a sucker for spare writing that packs an emotional wallop.
Which of course leads me to…
6. Ishiguro Remains of the Day - This fucking ending. Ugh.
7. Lorrie Moore The Collected Stories - I actually can’t read too many of her short stories in a row because they make me want to kill myself. But they are beautiful and gutwrenching and you should def. check them out.
8. Moraga and Anzaldua (eds) This Bridge Called My Back - A really key (well, I guess canonical now to be precise) collection of essays written by feminists of color. I read this my first year of undergrad and it was pretty foundational for my thinking/development.
9. Conan Doyle Every Damn Sherlock Story/Novel Ever - Since getting the audible app two years ago, I’ve found that I can’t fall asleep without listening to an audiobook (which, yes, definitely led to me having some awkward-ass conversations bc I’m way too selfish to give up my sleep for anyone). For whatever reason, the Sherlock stories are best at entertaining me + knocking me out and I have now spent countless hours of my life consciously and subconsciously absorbing Sherlock trivia. Ask me a question. Any fucking question.
10. Petry The Narrows - Saved this one for last because it’s the most obscure on my list and the one that I think more people should really check out. If you want compelling, nuanced (and well-written) literature on U.S. race relations in the 1950s, this is your novel.
Tagged: baseln, cmao and herocountry (THO YOU’VE ALREADY BEEN TAGGED), falenburg, provincal, minalys, and anyone else who wants to share!
seems about right
To live and die fabulous. 🌈 (at Luna Park Sydney)
Trailer for a documentary on Asian American rappers. Check out the fundraising campaign here
—Iggy Azalea - "Fancy" (Remix) feat. Charli XCX & Bishop Nehru
Can’t stop listening to this (ultimate perk-me-up in the final stages of dissertation writing)