One of my favourite things to come unexpectedly from this Coronatide we are seemingly stuck in has been the time to read. To read books, magazines, articles, Instagram captions. You name it. I’ve been enjoying more time to read it.
Now that I don’t even have work to occupy me, I have yet more time for reading. In the summer ahead I am excited to spend time enjoying books and digging for literary gold on the internet.
So to aid all my fellow readers out there, I’m going to try and share some of the articles and other things I’ve enjoyed recently. It really is true that this pandemic has provided fuel for many a writer, I hope that in reading these excellent pieces of work, it can inspire you too.
Most of these links are available for free, but a few might be hidden behind a pay wall. I can’t thank all the people who recommended these to me (because I forget), but I am grateful and am always ready to accept recommendations from others. Share away!
The Republican Choice by Clare Malone
A fascinating and in depth examination of ‘how the Republican party became white.’ Five Thirty Eight is my go to place for all my nerdy American political analysis. Their podcast is also excellent.
Consider the Greenland Shark by Katherine Rundell
Who knew that sharks alive at the time of Shakespeare are still living today? A beautiful and brief examination of the strange poetry of these sad sharks. They can’t even reproduce until they’re 150…what are we rushing about for?
Jessie Ware has long been both a musical favourite of mine and a highlight of my podcast listening with her wonderful ‘Table Manners’. I highly recommend looking up her back catalogue and her new album is out on Friday. This profile is both excellently written and has beautiful photography. I can agree wholeheartedly that the power of food is not to be underestimated.
We Need to Talk About Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom… by Saffron Maeve
Little White Lies is another place I look to satisfy by nerdy impulses – this time my inner film buff. This article made me reconsider the ‘black sheep’ of the Indiana Jones trilogy (we’ll ignore the Crystal Skull shall we…) and the broad and racist stereotypes it uses for South Asians, as well as how this fits into Hollywood’s general mistreatment of Indian and South Asian culture.
What Black America Means to Europe by Gary Younge
This fascinating and saddening article bears reading by everyone, especially people who’d consider themselves good European liberals (like me). Also available as a Guardian long read podcast, this article confronted me very bluntly with the hypocrisy of the way Europeans love to empathise with and support the struggle of African Americans while ignoring our own racist history. Not to mention the entrenched racism experienced by our neighbours of colour in Europe. Highly recommended and hopefully a starting point for facing up to some of these things.
Hollywood Cool and Bradford Salt, an essay on David Hockney by Raven Smith
Quite simply one of my favourite writers of the moment who regularly makes me laugh out loud, before hitting my heart up with some truth, Raven Smith writes this human and warm love letter to one of his favourite artists.
Here’s a taste –
“He is the patron saint of salty nonchalance and, like gruel at the workhouse, you just want more.”
Yes I do. I want more.