10 Things: Birds, Birds, Everywhere.
This post is a week and two days late. I took the week off (because of birds, see my calendar of regular breaks below), but I meant to post this ten recommendations to close out the week before Bird Week. Unfortunately, Bird Week comes in the midst of a lot of Big Stressful Life Things for me. I apologize, and believe that I will never be quite this busy ever again. But I’ll probably be wrong. We have to hope about these things, because it’s how we keep going.
(Paid subscribers this week get a few lists-within-lists, which means there’s more here than meets the eye.)
PERUSE: The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Graphic Literature: Artists and Writers on Creating Graphic Narratives, Poetry Comics, and Literary Collage edited by Kelcey Ervick and Tom Hart.
First of all, I love Kelcey Ervick, and recommend with all my heart her recent book, “The Keeper.” Her graphic work in watercolor is dreamy, elegant, magical. Second, this is an extraordinary book with all kinds of literary graphic work. I daydreamed about a book like this existing ten years ago. I feel so grateful that graphic nonfiction has come so far in the past few decades, and am excited to live in a world where so many brilliant writers and artists are rejecting ideas about what comics are supposed to be. If you’re interested in this kind of thing (and I am pretty sure that you are, because you’re here), I recommend you get your hands on this. My favorites in here are by the great Mira Jacobs, Thi Bui, and Bianca Stone, but I was also excited to discover new artists like Mita Mahato! It’s a 10/10.
I had such a good time reading “Lessons in Chemistry” last week that I decided to stay on the bestsellers train and try this one on. Reese Witherspoon loved it, after all. It’s about an “SNL” writer (although, in the book, the show is called “The Night Owls”) who starts dating a hot pop star who hosts the show. It’s a simple, fluffy, homage to the rom-com, playing with the gender stereotypes around this type of romance, and eliciting more than eleventh out-loud “awwws” from me. I am also obsessed with “SNL” writing culture, and Sittenfeld exhaustively researched for this, so it was just like pure cotton candy for me, the exact intended reader for this book.
DOWNLOAD: OSEARCH Shark Tracker
At school, I asked my college students if they had to delete all but three apps from their phones what they would choose. Mostly, people would keep Instagram, Spotify, and WhatsApp (or something like that), with a few people who need Google Maps (raises hand), Twitter, and TikTok. And then there was one person who said they would keep Shark Tracker. It’s an app that just tracks all the sharks. You open it up, and you can see where all the sharks are. I downloaded it, and it’s oddly mesmerizing. I love staring at these sharks. I get it, student. I get it.