Tag Archives: We Need to Talk About Kevin

Friday Pix: Recommended Reading For The Weekend

Every Friday I point you towards some recommended reading for the weekend:

1. I have always admired Steve Levitt (of Freakonomics fame) for his contributions to our understanding of economics. But I admire him all the more for this brave and deeply personal video about adopting his daughter from China.

2. And speaking of bravery and admiration, I’m so incredibly proud of Colleen Wainwright for hitting  – and surpassing – her goal of raising $50,000 for the WriteGirl non-profit  in Los Angeles by her 50th birthday. Here’s Colleen’s own video about this amazing journey, recorded on Day 50.

3. Also not to be missed is the plug for Colleen’s project in the Dear Sugar advice column over at The Rumpus.

4. I absolutely cannot wait to see the film version of the UK best-seller, We Need to Talk About Kevin. The wonderful Roger Ebert interviewed the equally wonderful Tilda Swinton about her role in this dark work of art at the Toronto film festival.

5. OK, so after all that, you’re probably weeping now. To cheer you up I give you Voice Recognition in a Scottish elevator. For all those who’ve ever been on the wrong end of a customer service call with a Scot, eat your heart out.

6. I’ve written before here about my fondness for David Sedaris. Here’s an essay he wrote about eating Chinese food (in China), which he read aloud the night I went to see him and is reprinted in The Guardian. I can assure you that it will put you off Chinese food for a good, long time.


Have a great weekend!


Friday Pix: Recommended Reading For The Weekend

This Friday I point you to some recommended reading around the blogosphere:

1. I love the concept (and stamina!) behind the Read All Day blog, where one woman reads a book a day for an entire year and writes about it. Wow! (Hat Tip: Lisa Romeo Writes.)

2. My cousin sent me this link to Will Pearson’s stunning photographs of London. While you’re there, have a look at this piece in The Guardian by Will Self on why British children’s author Roald Dahl – of Fantastic Mr. Fox fame –  is so very, very good.

3. If you’ve ever lost a child, or know someone who has, this Modern Love essay from the New York Times is terrifically hopeful and sad.

4. I’m a huge Lionel Shriver fan (If you haven’t read We Need To Talk About Kevin, we need to talk…) Here are her thoughts on why it can be so tricky to write about your family…even in fiction.

5. I have nothing more to say about the following clip on You Tube other than if you can still remember back when we all used rotary phones, you need to see this. (Hat tip: Formerly Hot.)

6. Finally, my thoughts in PoliticsDaily.com on why the EU may be falling apart…and whether America cares.

Enjoy your weekend!

Oh yes, and please do follow me on Twitter.

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Tips For Adulthood: Five Books That Are Worth Re-Reading

Every Wednesday I offer tips for adulthood. Further to yesterday’s post about the pleasures of re-reading as an adult, I thought I’d make some suggestions about books that I think are worth a second read (or a first if you haven’t gotten to them yet!):

1. I Don’t Know How She Does It by Allison Pearson. Although some see this book as fanning the flames of the Mommy Wars (more on that tomorrow), I thought it was a terrifically funny – and moving – portrait of the over-stressed working mom. See yesterday for more on that one.

2. Disgrace by J. M. Coetzee. This is, in my opinion, a masterpiece and one of the very few novels I’ve read more than once (three times actually). It provides a stark, haunting portrait of a middle-aged man coping with disillusionment (both personal and professional), longing,  fatherhood, and masculinity…all set against the backdrop of a post-apartheid South Africa. Again, not everyone’s cup of tea – many people can’t stand the notoriously aloof Coetzee – but I discovered new layers of meaning with each additional read. I don’t always agree with the choices for Booker Prize, but this time I did (Winner: 1999).

3. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. It’s hard to believe that this is the only book that Lee ever wrote. I wouldn’t necessarily have chosen to re-read it – feeling I’d done my duty back in 9th grade when it was assigned in every freshman English class in the United States – but I re-read it in one of my book groups and was really glad that I did. In addition to all of the usual themes of childhood, race relations and the morality of violence, this book offers a glorious peek into the Depression-era American South.

4. We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver – This one may be more familiar to British readers, even though it is set in America.  It tells the story of a mother coming to terms with her psychopathic son. Like Disgrace, this is a pretty dark tale, so brace yourself before reading. I’ve only read it once but feel like it demands a second read.

5. Anything by Jane Austen.


I am always drawn to the Stuff White People Like website, where the authors make fun of (upscale) white culture. Check out today’s entry on the Vespa Scooter.

Image: Jane Austen’s EMMA by Allie via Flickr under a Creative Commons Website.

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