Friday Reads: Very Long

Friday Read: Dombey and Son by Charles Dickens

I’ve long been a fan of Charles Dickens, but starting a new Dickens novel is always intimidating to me, as I know it will be about a six week commitment. That’s why Dombey and Son has been sitting on my shelf since I bought it for $6 at a Borders that was going out of business in 2011. I just started it earlier this week, picking it off of my shelf because I had an urge to read a long novel with lots of characters that wasn’t a recent iteration of the “VLN.” (Also, I figured I should read it before I reread Bleak House, which is something I want to do soon.) I’m only about an eighth of the way through and hoping it doesn’t go too deep into the shipping industry or nautical instruments because then I might have to put it down. As usual, I’m delighted by Dickens’ character names and descriptions, which is making reading Dombey and Son more than worth it so far. (Favorite character names: Miss Lucretia Tox and Polly Toodle; Favorite description: “But the Major, with his complexion like a Stilton cheese, and his eyes like a prawn’s…”)

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Other stuff?

Well, I linked to this above, but here’s something on “The Year of the Very Long Novel.” (Vulture)

I read “An Interview With @SoSadToday” last week and this week found out her identity. (The Awl; Rolling Stone)

This profile on Judy Blume made me nostalgic for my days as an adolescent bookworm and made me feel like I should just write the damn book I’ve been thinking about for so long. (NYT)

Jami Attenberg’s essay on viral fame reminded me that internet fame does not sell books. (BuzzFeed)

Pete Wells made me smile during a brutally boring day with his review of Javelina. (NYT)

This piece on the making of Bob Seger’s “Night Moves” brought back memories of many a summer road trip with my dad, who is very fond of that song. (WSJ)

I will read anything about New York City’s affordable and public housing situations. “The Plan to Save Public Housing” is new and good. (The Awl)

I usually save music for Mondays, but “I Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times)” was officially released this week and I can’t stop listening to it.

On a related note, I read two pieces on Jamie xx and his new album, In Color, this week:

“Taking Shelter in Loud Places” (Pitchfork)

“One Last Rave” (TNY)

And if you read “One Last Rave,” here’s Mark Leckey’s “Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore” (which I had never seen before, so!):

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Friday Reads: Guy Fieri Blah Blah Blah

This week was weird. I don’t even remember it, really. I spent the entirety of Monday night in a state of sleepy wakefulness – or wakeful sleepiness – and since then I’ve felt like I’ve been living in a really boring dream in which things like Excel spreadsheets and laundry have featured prominently. (Incidentally, I was conscious of many of the dreams that I was having between 2:45 and 6 AM on Tuesday. All of them were insane and in two of them I was wearing my sleeping mask.)

Anyway. I’ve decided to start sharing the things I read during the week again. So here are some things I read that you can read if you didn’t already, even though I’m pretty sure that you read at least one of these things:

Pete Wells on Guy’s American Kitchen & Bar (New York Times): Duh. I mean, we all love this kind of stuff, right? (Also, responses to the criticism on Salon and The Awl.)

The Hazards of Growing Up Painlessly (New York Times): Because I love human interest stories.

What Was Your Weirdest Celebrity Sex Dream? (The Awl): Some of these are rather amusing.  Also, I’ll tell mine to anyone who asks.

Comedy Central’s 10 Comics to Watch (Splitsider): Uh, I didn’t read this because it’s a video but definitely do yourself a favor and skip ahead to Kate Berlant because she’s incredible.

– And I haven’t actually read this last thing but I plan on doing so today because Louise Erdich won the National Book Award this week for Round House. It’s her 2010 The Art of Fiction Interview with The Paris Review. (I actually have a copy of this issue in my room because I’m a terrible hoarder.)

Honestly, I don’t have any other worthwhile links to share. I haven’t even been able to keep up with my magazines these last few weeks. Why? Because I’ve been doing the following things:

– Reading and finishing Parisians by Graham Robb

– Watching every Louis C.K. comedy special

– Working at my job

– Trying to write what I think might be a novel but will probably just be something I forget about for a while and remember in a few years when I am deleting things from my hard drive to free up space on my computer

– Planning a large pre-Thanksgiving gathering for Saturday (more on that next week)

And on that note: Have a great weekend, everyone!