Late again, not that anyone's counting, but I will say it's more difficult to mark the months when I no longer live by the semester. I've been terrible at record-keeping; I have to check my camera roll to remember how I spent half of my days. Mostly the answer is underlining sentences in books and taking pictures of Florida's storybook summer clouds. May's best moments were the day trips I forced upon myself (out of the apartment, into the unrelenting heat): a book on the beach where the Gulf meets the Bay, a miniature key lime pie in a tin foil cup, boba tea and baseball, sea sponges and Greek desserts I will never be able to pronounce.
The best book month in ages! Exclamation point worthy! Standouts: Jenny Offill's unforgettable Dept. of Speculation, of which I now own two copies since I underlined the entire first one (my Goodreads review was simply: "GOD."); Maggie Nelson's Bluets, a stunning melancholia on heartbreak and color; Heidi Julavits' diary in The Folded Clock, clever, absorbing, self-aware; A Sport and a Pastime by James Salter, master of the individual sentence (though I think he shares the title with Lorrie Moore); Station Eleven, all magic and dreaminess; and the graphic novel This One Summer, which distills the fumbling summers of girlhood into a gorgeous, blue story of growing up a season at a time.
"If you are young and you are reading this, perhaps you will understand the gleam in the eye of any woman who is sixty, seventy, eighty, or ninety: they cannot take you seriously (sorry) for you are just a girl to them, despite your babies and shoes and lovemaking and all of that. You are just a girl playing at life."
RIP Mad Men. Emily Nussbaum's take. Jon Hamm's take. RIP Mad Style.
Supernaturally talented Sia, interviewed by Howard Stern.
Georgia O'Keeffe's studio / Plant heaven / Scenes from a Southern childhood / Mattress weekend / Second Life's forgotten wonders / A poem / Looking at Appalachia / 36 hours in Chapel Hill-Carrboro / Split image / Transgender today / Rihanna at the Met Gala / Segregation story / Nat Geo's photo blog.
"I had made a forest of my own beliefs, and lived in it. Here’s how I left: I stripped away the trees." This essay knocked me out.
"...which is another story about the way you can tell your past as a story, but the truth is usually harder to hold than the story you make it into."
"'Women' is kind of a crazy beat... On the planet, women constitute half of the human population, but on the Internet, they’re just one vertical among dozens."
"My hands tremble, relaxing only once everything has been sufficiently documented, each memory in my grasp, as if by putting them down on paper, I can make them last forever. I develop my own form of sacred geometry to find the secret knots among these details and fit them into the rest of my journal." Tavi on the art of journaling.