Friday Roundup: In Like A Lamb?




Happy Friday! And Happy March! (Today is rather lamb-ish for March 1st in NYC, hence today’s post’s accompanying photo.)

Some stuff I liked reading this week:

I’m a very big fan HBO’s endangered comedy Enlightened right now. Every episode in this – the second season – has been truly impressive and I think that the entire series will impact me as a writer for a long time to come. Two pieces on Enlightened I really enjoyed this week:
1) “Enlightened is TV’s best show right now – and it needs more viewers” (AV Club)
2) “Why We Need Enlightened” (The Awl)

I talked about my Carnivale fandom last week. Here’s another piece on how great that show was, this time from The Awl.

I’m finally “catching up” on my New Yorkers, which means I just read most of last week’s. I really enjoyed this profile on the playwright Annie Baker. (Article is subscription-only online.) I made myself struggle through the article on Spain’s economic collapse. This article is also subscription only, but here’s a link to a photo slideshow illustrating what a mess Spain is right now. And I haven’t finished this one yet because I got sleepy last night, but this piece on Gerard Depardieu seems very promising, if only for the awesome photo of him riding a motorbike in a tank top.

Just for fun, here is Splitsider’s “The Annotated Wisdom of Louis C.K.” (Do they write about anything else?)

There was also some good stuff on Stereogum this week, including this thing on “The Return of the Postal Service and Why 2013 Should Be the New 2003”. (I’m definitely hoping that 2013 turns out to be the next 2003.) Also, I was prompted to start listening to Rilo Kiley again because they did a 10 Best Rilo Kiley Songs countdown. (Pretty sure I’ll be purchasing RKives next month.) Finally, there was this very chill Kurt Vile interview. I’m really into his forthcoming album’s single, which I’m conveniently posting here:

Friday Roundup: All of the Things I’ve Ever Been Obsessed With

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If I consider Monday the beginning of the week, then I started this one off right, with the smoked meat sandwich pictured above from Mile End Deli. (Not pictured: poutine! Which luckily, I shared with two other people.) Presidents Day Weekend actually felt long for a long weekend. So long that I never really left weekend-mode and I am very ready for it to be the actual weekend again.

This week, I was pretty obsessed with the conversation surrounding Hilary Mantel’s recent lecture, republished here by the London Review of Books. (Her last two novels, Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, are two of my favorite books I have read in the last several years, if not ever, so I’m KIND OF a huge fan girl.) The lecture is, of course, fascinating, not only for Mantel’s commentary on the way she and the rest of the  sees – and objectifies – British royalty, but also for the way she places the current state of affairs within a larger historical context. The parallels she draws between Kate Middleton and Anne Boleyn are interesting to consider for a lot of reasons and I highly suggest reading this if you’re into British history or tabloid culture.

If you were following the press around this at all, you might have heard about how Mantel was lambasted by British publications, as well as Prime Minister David Cameron, for a few unsavory remarks she made during the lecture about Princess Catherine. The quotes used in the press were taken out of context, of course, and the ensuing madness only ended up proving her point about our – the public’s – personal relationship with royalty. I liked this piece on The New Yorker’s Page-Turner blog about “the pitfalls of the public lecture”, which was less of a stating-how-obviously-wrong the initial reaction to the lecture was and more of an excuse for Ian Crouch to talk about Pnin and Lucky Jim, two of the best books ever about academia. (Lucky Jim is another one of my favorite, favorite books. This has reminded me that I really badly need to reread it soon.)

Anyway, all of this has been good for Hilary Mantel, whose books are selling like hotcakes again.

Not actually doing as well as we though? Short stories! Laura Miller’s response on Salon to the New York Times’ assertion that short stories are back “in” because of George Saunders and Kindles is excellent in that it points out that the idea that people are not reading short fiction just because they have small screens on their e-readers and smart phones. And that a market for short fiction has never existed and probably won’t just because George Saunders is on the bestseller list. (Sidenote: Should I abandon my short story collection now? I have only written like one page, anyhow.)

I read this New York Times Magazine piece on the science behind the addictiveness of junk food over two days this week. It was really enlightening and I highly recommend it.

Also, I don’t know if any of you were fans of Carnivale, but I was super excited to see this two-part interview with series creator Daniel Knauf on The AV Club. I was completely obsessed with this show but never knew much about its genesis or plans for its future beyond a few details that were released around the second season (and series) finale. Here are both parts:

Part One
Part Two

And finally, a look back at something else I was once (and still kind of am) really into. There was a short-ish documentary/verbal history about the making of Belle & Sebastian’s If You’re Feeling Sinister on Pitchfork this week. Watch it! I liked it a lot. (I have no idea if you’ll like it. There just wasn’t any way that I was going to hate it, so.)