What’s Been On My Mind This Week

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1. I read this article in the New Yorker about the dangers for women who negotiate. I have yet to read Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In, but I know I need to…

2. The debate over Scottish independence is heating up. There was a good piece by Philip Stephens in the Financial Times, as well as a great deal of coverage of J. K. Rowling’s decision to donate £1 million to the No campaign.

3. A great article on reading in the state of constant distraction that is the modern world by the brilliant Tim Parks (if you haven’t read any of his books yet, do).

4. The New Yorker published a new story by one of my favourite authors, Haruki Murakami. You can read it here.

5. Hillary Clinton’s new memoir, Hard Choices, was published on Thursday and understandably she was all over the news. A couple of interesting articles in the Guardian here and here. For an American view, I read this piece in the New Yorker, this review in the New Republic and this article in Salon about Hillary’s relationship with the media.

6. Faith schools have been in the news a lot recently. There was an interesting leader in the New Statesman on Thursday, and the writer Shelley Silas also blogged eloquently about it here.

7. Andy Murray made headlines recently, not for winning the French Open, unfortunately, but because he appointed the French former winner of Wimbledon, Amelie Mauresmo, as his new coach. Wimbledon is only a week away, and Murray will be aiming to defend his title, so fingers crossed it will prove to be a shrewd decision.

8. My favourite book of last year was Ruth Ozeki‘s Booker-shortlisted novel, A Tale for the Time Being. Ozeki recently had a piece of writing published in the latest issue of Granta magazine (on the theme of Japan), and Granta have also published a podcast with Ozeki on their website, which is well worth listening to. I went to see Ozeki at an event at Dulwich Books last year, and she’s a brilliant reader and speaker as well as writer.

9. I’ve been reading Quiet by Susan Cain, which I think is brilliant. It’s about the need for introverts in a world that prizes extroverts.

10. I’ve been listening to Dry the River‘s debut (and so far only) album, Shallow Bed. Released in 2012, it’s a rock/folk fusion reminiscent of Mumford & Sons. Lyrically, Dry the River know what they’re about, and the best-written tracks on the album have powerful narratives of depression, broken relationships and alcoholism. Cheerful stuff. Although Dry the River aren’t doing anything particularly new, yet, Shallow Bed makes for a good listen and it will be interesting to see what their sophomore album is like, if they produce one.

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