What’s Been On My Mind This Week

Question Mark

1. The author Joanne Harris wrote a brilliant piece on her blog this week about sexism in the book industry. Read it here.

2. Giovanni’s Room, the oldest LGBT bookshop in America, is closing. There was a very good article exploring the consequences of this in Salon, which you can read here.

3. Amazon editors published a list of ‘100 Books to Read in a Lifetime.’ I’m not sure what I think of these lists as they’re all so personal, but I do appreciate that they’ve started with children’s literature and worked through the classics and genre fiction right up to what they call ‘contemporary fiction’.

4. Lots of book-related news this week, as Penguin Random House launched My Independent Bookshop, a new social network and online bookstore, with proceeds of sales going to independent bookshops. Anyone can set up their own bookshop and recommend their reads to others. You can see my current top twelve reads here.

4. I discovered new online magazine About Time, which offers advice on how to spend your time in the best city in the world: London, of course. Fabulous.

5. Monica Lewinsky is making headlines again as a result of a piece in Vanity Fair. Given that it seems highly likely Hillary Clinton will run for President again in 2016, this has given rise to a lot of debate about whether it will help or hinder a potential Clinton campaign. There are some interesting opinion pieces about this in the Washington Post and the New Republic.

6. I went to the first in a new series of queer spoken word events on Thursday. I couldn’t find many videos of the brilliant work performed by the artists that evening, but I did find this one, Last Poet Standing, by Joelle Taylor. The next Queer’Say event takes place at the Canada Water Culture Space on Friday 4th July.

7. Nintendo came under fire this week for not representing gay relationships in its life-simulator game ‘Tomodachi Life’. In their defence, Nintendo claimed the game was not intended to provide any ‘social commentary’, and that the relationship options in the game represent a ‘playful alternate world’ rather than a ‘real-life situation’.

8. Morito is one of my favourite restaurants in London. It’s a tiny little tapas and mezze bar in Exmouth Market, and the sister restaurant to Moro, which is next door. Run by husband-and-wife team Sam & Sam Clark, it’s wonderful for vegetarians: whatever you do, make sure you order the incredible fried chickpeas. Good news then, that the Clarks have recently published the Morito cookbook, which looks amazing.

9. I’m still working my way through the novels shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction, and currently reading Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Adichie tackles big themes in her third novel, such as race, identity and belonging. I’ll have two more shortlisted novels to read once I’ve finished Americanah, which I am really enjoying, but for the moment my money’s still on The Goldfinch

10. This week I’ve been listening to Chiaroscuro, the new album by Swedish duo I Break Horses. Signed to the Bella Union label – home to many of my favourite artists at the moment, it seems – this second album is, as it’s name implies, a meditation on light and dark and the spaces in between. It’s mysterious, hypnotic electronica, which is doubtless why I like it.

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Categories: On My Mind . . .

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