Monday, May 31, 2010

reading rainbow

Besides looking (at pictures; at the sky; at tiny daschunds making their way across the crosswalk), I love reading. I've had a subscription to The New Yorker* magazine for more years than I can remember -- I love how it brings me a new short story every week, and nonfiction articles that I quickly become obsessed with (like this one about Balkan theives, something I never thought  I'd be interested in.). This helps a lot with subway commuting -- there's nothing better than actually enjoying your subway ride because you have something good to read instead of having to play the avoid-everyone's-eyes and worry-if-someone's-staring-at-your-butt game the whole time.

This new story by Jonathan Franzen took my breath away. It brought me right back to high school -- that period in your life when you're still quite dependent upon your parents, navigating your own way either in sync with or contrary to their beliefs. That feeling of being captive in your own home, but not knowing anything else. And the subtle ways parents belittle and abandon and make their disapproval of their children known. I've never read any of Franzen's books, but I was so impressed by that story that I think I'll go to buy The Corrections today. And there's a new story by Jeffrey Eugenides in the next issue. Oh, thank you, New Yorker. I mean it.

In other news, this is what my spring/summer is looking like right now...


*I remember when I first discovered The New Yorker. No, I didn't grow up in a house with copies of the New Yorker littered on the coffee table with mum and dad's Economist and New York Times and In Search of Lost Time. We had Parade and The New Haven Register and a lot of catalogs. I discovered The New Yorker in my high school library, and I was turned off at first by the small size of the print and the large number of words per page. It looked so theory-heavy and intellectual to me, and I assumed that it was for people smarter than me - you know, 99th percentile types. But three things drew me in: poetry (in a magazine?), lots of drawings, and semi-regular fashion criticism. What a strange blend, I thought. Much later on, I discovered that I could actually keep up with some of it and, more important, that no one was stopping me from trying.

**I made this collage so many years ago, and I guess it's what I'd like my summer to feel like. pretty green and white fresh soap packaging; a photo from the miu miu spring 2002 collection on the bottom (i love that collection - see it all here); a woven chair; and a photo of writers and sisters Susan and Eliza Minot. I completely love the way Eliza's standing in this photo. And her outfit. Goddamit, it's her home on the range, and she will not be shifted. A staunch character, I bet.


  1. lovely post. i miss the new yorker! i used to get it years ago, and i would read it on the subway. and i went to a new yorker festival and saw jeffrey eugenides speak. oh, it was so awesome. then i became a workaholic and stopped reading. you are reminding me that i need another subscription. i need that back in my life!

    the corrections is so, so good. you will love it.

  2. thanks, jenny! oh, i bet that eugenides event was great. every year i think i'll go to the festival, but then i waste too much time choosing which event to attend and then it's too late! i'm so glad you recommend the corrections, too - i can't wait to start it. ps: take a breather from being a workaholic and re-subscribe if you can! it sounds like you really miss it. i've started to consider the new yorker a necessity because it makes my day so much better. and a three years' subscription was only slightly more than a month's metrocard! yikes.