Finding Your Place In The Larger Conversation: Thoughts From This Week’s #ReadingList

📷: Becca Tapert

Every week I do a roundup of some of the best articles/writing/art I’ve stumbled upon, and why it resonated with me. I started doing this simply because in order to be a better writer (and human, really) I need to read. And in my busy life, I don’t always remember what I read or when, so I wanted to catalog everything in one place. I also get asked a lot about my reading list, what inspires me, etc. So for the people that follow me, here’s what I’ve been thinking about this week—and here are previous weeks—and if you have something to say/share/add, feel free to comment!

1. This essay on white women’s literature, and where that fits in the larger conversation.
Some of my favorite quotes:

“There’s this feeling right now, that we all must take to our corners: mothers, women, people of color. We are what we are. We can only write about this. We are what we are and we all read about what we’ve already been. We like books, by consensus, online. Auto-fiction. We write books about people just like us.

There is value to this, surely. I do not know my students’ experience. I will never know it fully. They do not know mine. But looking at it everyday, engaging with and acknowledging our difference, as well as our sameness, feels imperative to accomplishing anything of worth right now.”

“Where might we situate the ‘I,’ to interrogate and celebrate it, while making space for all the other ‘I’s to have their say?”

2. This interesting article on how people may not actually be struggling from depression, but acedia instead.
Acedia: “The demon of acedia — also called the noonday demon — is the one that causes the most serious trouble of all…He makes it seem that the sun barely moves, if at all, and…he instills in the heart of the monk a hatred for the place, a hatred for his very life itself.”
— Kathleen Norris, Acedia & me: A Marriage, Monks, and a Writer’s Life

3. This thinkpiece on gender politics in Hollywood.

“These reboots require women to relive men’s stories instead of fashioning their own. And they’re subtly expected to fix these old films, to neutralize their sexism and infuse them with feminism, to rebuild them into good movies with good politics, too. They have to do everything the men did, except backwards and with ideals.”

The essay argues that women are taking on roles/movies that have already been done by men. Is this a step forward or a step back? I’m welcoming discussion on this one!

4. This powerful essay by Tara Hunt, a survivor, about suicide and the larger conversation about mental illness.

“When I heard about Kate Spade, then Anthony Bourdain…well, I think about it. My first thought was, “What could have led them there?” and then, immediately afterward, I was like, “Oh yeah. I get it. Anything. Everything. Nothing.”

5. Reading this article and watching the video on how bionic arms are changing kids’ lives.