Bill Gates The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined by Steven Pinker (via TIME)
A Jane Austen Sir Charles Grandison by Samuel Richardson (via The Jane Austen Society of North America) D Joan Didion Victory: An Island Tale (Penguin Classics) by Joseph Conrad (“…maybe my favorite book in the world…” via Mental Floss) N Vladimir Nabokov Ulysses by James Joyce, The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka, Petersburg by Andrei Bely, “the first half of Proust’s fairy tale, In Search of Lost Time” by Marcel Proust (via Mental Floss) R Ayn Rand Calumet “K” by Samuel Merwin and Henry Kitchell Webster (“The very best I’ve ever read, my favorite thing in all world literature…” via Mental Floss)
In 2014, in between two full-time jobs, I freelanced for about six months. The flexibility was intoxicating. Waking up whenever I wanted; wearing pajamas for days straight; watching TV shows between assignments; taking a 3-week trip back home to New York. It was a dream come true – but then I went a little crazy.
I first came across Mary Frances Kennedy Fisher (1908-1922) after reading The Gastronomical Me. I think the measure of a reader’s love for a writer comes from how often she finds herself thinking: this combination of words so precisely expresses how I feel about this or that situation that it is blowing my mind right now.
I don’t remember how exactly I came across this book, but it was one of those envy-inducing reads that left me wishing desperately that I could write like the author. And everywhere, in every village pub or great temple of gastronomy, there were the proper wines, whether they came out of a spigot into a thick tumbler or slipped from a cradled or cobwebbed bottle into the bottoms of glasses that rang thinly in the faintest stir of air. Then, days later, when we moved slowly past the Canaries, I decided, almost, that I wanted to live there. What would it be like to live on an island, such a small intensely islandic island? No… It would be something like living for so many somnolent weeks on a small ship, as we did. There would be unrecognized emotions, and perhaps sudden flarings of strong action, and tears and then quiet…