Recommended Reading

Have you read anything great recently? I read Far From the Tree (recommended by Ethan Hawke in an AMA) and the parent/child relationship is fascinatingly complicated. I always love reading DFW and caught up with some more popular titles including the book Netflix's Orange Is the New Black was based upon and a thriller that is already in post-production with Ben Affleck as the lead.

Recommended Reading No. 2

Here are snippets from all four:

1. Gone Girl (Gillian Flynn) – "I hovered in the doorway, watching my wife. Her yellow-butter hair was pulled up, the hand of ponytail swinging cheerful as a jump-rope, and she was sucking distractedly on a burnt fingertip, humming around it. She hummed to herself because she was an unrivaled botcher of lyrics. When we were first dating, a Genesis song came on the radio: "She seems to have an invisible touch, yeah." And Amy crooned instead, "She takes my hat and puts it on the top shelf." When I asked her why she'd ever think her lyrics were remotely, possibly, vaguely right, she told me she always thought the woman in the song truly loved the man because she put his hat on the top shelf. I knew I liked her then, really liked her, this girl with an explanation for everything."

2. "Consider the Lobster" (David Foster Wallace) – "Up until sometime in the 1800s, though, lobster was literally low-class food, eaten only by the poor and institutionalized. Even in the harsh penal environment of early America, some colonies had laws against feeding lobster to inmates more than once a week because it was thought to be cruel and unusual, like making people eat rats. One reason for their low status was how plentiful lobsters were in old New England. "Unbelievable abundance" is how one source describes the situation, including accounts of Plymouth Pilgrims wading out and capturing all they wanted by hand, and of early Boston's seashore being littered with lobsters after hard storms–these latter were treated as a smelly nuisance and ground up for fertilizer."

3. Far From the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity (Andrew Solomon) – "My interest in profound differences between parents and children arose from a need to investigate the locus of my regret. While I'd like to blame my parents, I have come to believe that a lot of my pain came from the larger world around me, and some of it came from me. In the heat of an argument, my mother once told me, "Someday you can go to a therapist and tell him all about how your terrible mother ruined your life. But it will be your ruined life you're talking about. So make a life for yourself in which you can feel happy, and in which you can love and be loved, because that's what's actually important." You can love someone but not accept him; you can accept someone but not love him. I wrongly felt the flaws in my parents' acceptance as deficits in their love. Now, I think their primary experience was of having a child who spoke a language they'd never thought of studying."

4. Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison (Piper Kerman) – "There are a dizzying number of official and unofficial rules, schedules, and rituals. Learn them quickly, or suffer the consequences, such as: being thought an idiot, being called an idiot, getting on another prisoner's bad side, getting on a guard's bad side, getting on your counselor's bad side, being forces to clean the bathrooms, eating last in line when everything edible is gone, getting a "shot" (or incident report) put into your record, and getting sent to the Special Housing Unit or SHU (aka Solitary, the Hole, or Seg). Yet the most common response to a query about anything other than an official rule is "Honey, don't you know you don't ask questions in prison?" Everything else—the unofficial rules—you learn by observation, inference, or very cautious questioning of people you hope you can trust."

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