hello everyone!!! my very first newsletter is sending TOMORROW, so if you haven’t yet this is your last chance to sign up via the link in my bio. Going to begin by embracing the collective you: In most books you read there's probably something, small or large, you don't morally agree with. But it's likely you don't feel the need to distance yourself from it or acknowledge it. I've never heard someone say, "read this book, but watch out, they steal something in chapter three and that's uncool." . Typically the things that are uncouth, that don't mesh into polite society or our specific worldview, are described in a sanitized way, and especially when you're talking about affairs, or desire, or sex in general, they're often described from a male perspective. This book is different. It's a little bit shocking, it's supposed to be. But if you are disgusted by it, you're sort of proving her right. . But really, this book is about a lot more than that. it's about women, as people existing in the world. It's about literature and art. It's about marriage and affairs, and it's about desire. It's one of the books that strung together a lot of broken pieces that were already floating around my brain, and I think pretty much everyone should read it. . "This presumes that there's something inherently grotesque, unspeakable, about femaleness, desire. But what I'm going through with you is happening for the first time." . "I want to own everything that happens to me now,' I told you. 'Because if the only material we have to work with in America is our own lives, shouldn't we be making case studies?'" . Rating: 10/10
I opened this expecting very little, but the first story was amazing. It was charming and self-aware and just ridiculous enough that all of a sudden I was expecting everything. But, alas, that's not what I was given. The stories are all good enough, well written and sort of delightfully ordinary, but not compelling enough to stick around for 400 pages. He revisits the characters from the first story in two other stories in the book, which kind of serves to acknowledge that they were his best work. “Being Anna’s boyfriend was like training to be a Navy SEAL while working full-time in an Amazon fulfillment center in the Oklahoma Panhandle in tornado season. Something was going on every moment of every day. My 2:30 naps were a thing of the past.” Rating: 6/10 PS. It’s really hard for me to write less-than-stellar reviews because it feels cruel!! Would you guys rather I post honest reviews of everything I’m reading, or just the books I recommend?
found these little baby essay books in a bookstore in Haarlem for only 1 euro after seeing only books in Dutch for 5 days and spiraling a little. kind of obsessed with them as a way to get a taste of the writers/artists/thinkers you’d like to read but aren’t ready to commit to a full book
@belletrist is 1 year old today! check out their insta story for a special birthday discount code to buy the belle tote! thank you for your continued support #belletristbabes & #belletristbeaus xoxo what’s been your favorite pick? 🤓
In honor of being in Europe this week: Read this after watching the movie (like the rest of the liberal female population aged 17-27.) It reads as Elio’s stream-of-consciousness, the diary of a teenage boy. That’s as painful as you might assume, but two hundred pages of raw emotion is a fair price to pay for the ending, which has the power to erase all doubt you have about the book, the movie, and potentially even yourself. “We’ll speak about two young men who found much happiness for a few weeks and lived the remainder of their lives dipping cotton swabs into that bowl of happiness, fearing they’d use it up, without daring to drink more than a thimbleful on ritual anniversaries.” Rating: 8.5/10
If you are like me you are looking at a millennial pink book with “Buzzfeed” on the cover and thinking, Hm. That just can’t be all that substantial. Unfortunately for us, that reveals our biases. Fortunately for us, we are wrong. This book holds up a magnifying glass to ten women and tells us why we hate them. Anne Helen Petersen shows how, through their actions, looks, or voices, they’ve violated an unwritten behavioral code for women. Each of the chapters is fair, not just a celebration of the women but also not a critique. Petersen shows the ways they’ve been brave in throwing off the yoke of the patriarchy, but also the times they gave in, or the ways they just violated our social codes on accident. “Which is precisely why I wanted to write this book: these unruly women are so magnetic, but that magnetism is countered, at every point, by ideologies that train both men and women to distance themselves from those behaviors in our own lives. Put differently, it’s one thing to admire such abrasiveness and disrespect for the status quo in someone else; it’s quite another to take that risk in one’s own life.To be an unruly woman today is to oscillate between the postures of fearlessness and self-doubt, between listening to the voices that tell a woman she is too much and one’s own, whispering and yelling I am already enough, and always have been.” Rating: 8.5/10
This was the first book Caleb ever bought me and how I confirmed that he was marriage material. It kind of leaves me at a loss; these stories take the lid off a world a lot of us would never see. They left me longing for her voice in everything I've read since. So I don't overstay my welcome, I'll leave you with Lydia Davis's words about this collection. "I have always had faith that the best writers will rise to the top, like cream, sooner or later, and will become exactly as well-known as they should be--their work talked about, quoted, taught, performed, filmed, set to music, anthologized. Perhaps, with the present collection, Lucia Berlin will begin to gain the attention she deserves." . “Whenever Ter read a book, rarely—he would rip each page off and throw it away. I would come home, to where the windows were always open or broken and the whole room would be swirling with pages, like Safeway lot pigeons." Rating 10/10
the first newsletter will send in two fridays! not immediately sending every thought I have to all of you via email is requiring a patience and tenacity that is very unlike me, but John Mayer gave a pep talk on his story about 10,000 hours that helped. it’s looking like we’re going to start with a five part series and all those books are hints!!! do you think Instagram will ever support non-paid clickable links so we don’t always have to say “the link is in my bio?” probably not. the link is in my bio.
I first discovered entire books of essays existed with Sloane Crosley’s “I Was Told There’d Be Cake” during Spring Break my junior year of college (it really took me that long). It felt like a miracle. It was the kind of writing I wanted to do, written by the kind of authors I wanted to befriend. I read nothing but essays for about a year. But the thing about essays is that they have to be Good. They either have to be very informative, very poignant, or very very funny, and either way they have to be so well written that you don’t feel like you’re wasting your time. They have to fight to prove themselves in a way that novels and traditional non-fiction get a pass on. All that to say, this one lost the war. The first essay was electric, about her and her best friend growing up in Florida, and I wanted the rest of them to follow suit, but they were too long, too detailed. They were interesting enough topics, but she couldn’t get back to the humanity of the first essay. And it wasn’t really that much about Florida. I really wanted it to be more about Florida. Rating: 4/10