A slightly glum update (and a links round-up)

Hi everyone. Hi hello. I know I have not been answering your lovely comments or visiting your lovely blogs in the manner to which you have become accustomed. I’m sorry. I have been undergoing some life changes this summer, and although they are good ones, I have now been in flux for the greater part of four months, and I am reaching the end of my ability to cope with change. Or new information. Or new books. Or hobbies I enjoy, such as blogging. I am anxious like my head is full of bees. I am worried about the storm, and the Nazis, and whether the revised version of my life that I have taken some trouble to construct this summer will shortly come crashing down around my stupid, change-courting ears.

Anyway, not that anyone was sitting at home like “huh where is Jenny,” but that is where I have been. Undergoing changes and fretting about them. Not reading very much. I am not at my best, but also (ofc) feeling extremely guilty for not being at my best. Like who am I that I deserve to have days — entire weeks actually! — when I am not at my best? NOBODY, THAT’S WHO.

Oh, you know what’s a book I did read? I read a picture book about a girl who never makes mistakes. I loved it at once and it was #lifegoals but then, can you believe, as the book goes on, the girl makes an enormous, a genuinely mortifying mistake that would scar a real child for life; or if not that, then it would surely create in her a renewed desire to, from there on out, achieve perfection in all things. But in this NONSENSE PICTURE BOOK, do you know what happens? She resigns herself to making mistakes sometimes. HAH. The little girl in the picture book is WEAK and took the COMPLETELY WRONG LESSON away from her awful, humiliating error. What a terrible book.

Whatever. Here are some links.

On the whiteness of craft culture.

Extremist hate groups understood online platforms in a fundamental way long before the New York Times cottoned on, reports New York Times writer who doesn’t listen to black women on Twitter. (I’m being snarky, but this article makes some interesting points about how online platforms function, which is why I’m sharing it.)

Why judging the poor isn’t helping anybody.

Michael Twitty, author of a new book about black heritage and black food in the South, speaks to Hannah Giorgis of The Ringer about his family and his research.

Daniel Heath Justice on the students he teaches and the question of whether they are special snowflakes who don’t live in the real world. And a pairing: Kiese Laymon on people he knew at Vassar and their power and privilege.

MUMSY DO NOT CLICK THIS NEXT LINK. I WANT TO TELL YOU THIS STORY MYSELF. Everyone else, definitely click this next link. Okay Mumsy it is all right, I have now told you this story. Click away.

Watching the YA community doggedly figure out why Angie Thomas’s The Hate U Give got bumped down to number two on the NYT Bestseller List by a book nobody had ever heard of was frankly magical. Here’s a YA literary agent breaking down why this story was so bonkers.

Speaking of scams, here’s an author who has lied about pretty much everything, including I SWEAR TO GOD making up an agent, building that fictional agent a website, and using a picture of Ian Somerhalder for that agent’s face. What is this world.

Wesley Morris on white supremacy in the pop culture of this summer.

“Jenny when will you stop linking to everything Ijeoma Iluo writes?” IDK friends but today is not that day. Here she is making me cry on the subject of talking to your kids about race early and often.

Have an amazing weekend! I will be inside my apartment all weekend trying to reconstruct my fractured ego.

Boys Don’t Like Girls in Promotional Hats: A Links Round-Up

Okay, this is super late and I apologize to everyone. I was on vacation. Some of these links are old! Old but STILL SO GOOD. I love you all, and I hope you have an excellent weekend, though unless yours contains a crawfish boil it won’t be as good as mine.

I’m glad to see We Rate Dogs receiving the credit it deserves for linguistic innovation.

Here’s what happened when one person ate three eggs for breakfast every day of the week.

There are in fact several reasons I’m not watching The Handmaid’s Tale, some personal and some ideological, but I still absolutely loved this piece on whiteness in Gilead. Soraya McDonald is one of my favorite critics now working.

“Boys don’t like girls in promotional hats” is one of my favorite lines I have ever encountered. Scaachi Koul on hating shopping, but wanting nice clothes. I must warn you that this essay is an emotional rollercoaster, and I wish I had known in advance that she doesn’t, in the end, buy the skirt.

A surprisingly touching article about book-banning, in which I OH MY GOD sympathize about not wanting to discuss Brave New World with a bunch of middle-school boys.

Here’s a summer book preview from Buzzfeed, an outlet that reliably brings me exciting, diverse book previews. Thanks, Buzzfeed!

Some excellent advice from Ijeoma Iluo re: interrogating your own beliefs. I’m going to do my very best to bring this into my own life.

If you missed the Appropriation Prize debacle, I am happy for you. If you didn’t Jezebel can catch you up on this idiotic mess. Author Silvia Moreno-Garcia has begun collecting funds for an Emerging Indigenous Voices Award, about which more here.

Vox asked indie booksellers what books they’re excited to read this summer. I am painfully excited for Yuri Herrera’s new book, which I did not know was happening.

My favorite thing about this Atlantic article on the dangers of reading in bed is that an equivalent number of fires were started by cats in the mid-1800s as by people reading in bed. Just, like, this was not a time period well suited to Book Twitter’s favorite pursuits, is all I’m saying.

Such a good article about why Marvel is struggling (spoiler: it’s their own stupid fault).

Have a great weekend! Tip your servers! Nick Spencer is a poophead!

Whatever Else You Do, Read This Rachel Dolezal Piece: A Links Round-Up

We made it to another Friday, friends! I hope you all have restful and pleasant weekends scheduled, with lots of yummy foods and indulgent television. But before you get to that, I implore you to give yourselves the unparalleled gift of my first link, a piece about Rachel Dolezal that crashed The Stranger‘s website and hopefully introduced many new people to the superb work of Ijeoma Iluo. So far everyone I’ve sent it to has said “Damn, DAMN” to me — not once but several times — while quoting back to me relevant sections of the article. Feel free to have that response at me on Twitter; I enjoy it.

“I am beginning to wonder if it isn’t blackness that Dolezal doesn’t understand, but whiteness”: Ijeoma Iluo interviews Rachel Dolezal.

The Guardian carried a really fascinating article about separating the artist from the art (and finding ways to acknowledge both artistic brilliance and personal turpitude).

Hysteria, Hillary Clinton, and “The Yellow Wallpaper,” a sobering read.

Okay I guess I am a credulous lambkin but this Tampa Bay Times article about farmers’ market produce not really being from local farms blew my mind.

Racebending vs. whitewashing (and another reminder why I love Geeks of Color).

Emily Asher-Perrin on being the uneasy girl in horror movies who nobody believes.

I grabbed Deepak Unnikrishnan’s book on a whim at the library last Saturday, and shortly thereafter I discovered this excellent New Yorker article about him and his book about foreign workers in the UAE.

Welp this remark about what fanfic is for is searingly accurate.

I’m furious at 13 Reasons Why, and this post and this post are two (YES I’M DOING THIS) reasons why. My brother-in-law, who teaches high schoolers, reports that all his students are watching and loving it, and I want to protect all those babies from this harmful nonsense. Ugh.

“Write the things that are weird about your culture, for an audience that isn’t like you”: Six authors of color discuss what they are told when submitting speculative fiction stories to agents and publishers.

I quietly enjoy David Foster Wallace’s essays while feeling very confident that I would loathe his fiction and probably end up wanting to beat him over the head with a tennis racket, so this article on men recommending David Foster Wallace until the heat death of the sun really resonated with me. This Sarah McCarry response includes an excellent anecdote.

Why are you still reading this! Go read that Rachel Dolezal piece!