Stuff We Like :: 1.12.18
around the web
I still remember how it exciting it was when Bridget Hughes (a girl!) got the top job at The Paris Review, and I am a huge fan of the work she’s done at A Public Space. So this piece about how Hughes has been systematically erased from the Review’s history made me really sad.
I think all of us who work from home can appreciate this ode to the home offices that would never be featured in home design magazines but that we love anyway.
Haven’t you always wondered what it would be like to be a bee? This is my favorite neurobiology read of 2018 so far. :)
in the magazine: I just signed off on the winter issue’s final proofs, so expect it in your inbox soon!
on the blog: Suzanne’s favorite nonfiction of 2017
one year ago: Suzanne’s guide to reading the Brontes
two years ago: Tips for organizing your homeschool library
three years ago: Carving out time for yourself
I put The Buried Book: The Loss and Rediscovery of the Great Epic of Gilgamesh on my library holds list back when I was thinking about teaching it as part of a classical literature curriculum. but I’m just now getting around to reading it and I want to recommend it to everyone. It’s fascinating! The book starts in the 19th century with an English engraver who basically taught himself cuneiform with the tablets at the British Museum and started to piece together the story of Gilgamesh, then meanders — along several equally interesting detours — back 4,000 years to the time of the historical Gilgamesh. Some of the literary connections the author tries to make feel like a stretch, and I’m not sure he really dives into the more interesting implications of some of his ideas, but overall, this was a terrific read.
Apparently, this was a heavy-on-nonfiction week, because I am also going to rave about The Goddess of Anarchy: The Life and Times of Lucy Parsons, American Radical. I did not know much about Parsons beyond the blurb on the book jacket going in, and I definitely had that “How is she not in a history book!?” feeling as I was reading. Parsons was born to an enslaved woman about a decade before the Civil War, but her radical labor organizing feels way ahead of its time — Parsons (and her husband who was executed for his inciting rhetoric that may have provoked a Chicago bombing) believed that armed struggle was the only way to destroy capitalism. Honestly, the book is a little on the dry side writing-wise, but Parsons is so interesting that it felt like I was reading a novel.
Our readaloud lately is What Goes Up by Katie Kennedy, and it’s pretty much exactly the right blend of funny, smart, and exciting. Rosa, Eddie, and hundreds of other science-smart teens are hoping to get into a top secret NASA program, but the competition is stiff — and the program comes with plenty of hazards, too. I feel like this is kind of a stealth book right now, so get it at the library before other people start discovering it and the hold list gets crazy.
Jason got a Roku stick thingy for Hanukkah, which came with a free month of HBO — so, way behind the rest of the world, we’re binging Game of Thrones. There are many interesting things about it, but seriously, why does HBO only make series where women are generally marginalized and abused characters? It’s like every show is The Handmaid’s Tale.