Bitter: A Taste of the World’s Most Dangerous Flavor, With Recipes di Jennifer McLagan (Ten Speed Press) un libro di cucina che celebra quel che sembra la nuova moda in cucin in America, l'amore per quel che è amaro. "But this is a peculiar moment in American culinary life. We no longer flee from the taste of bitter. We fête it: hop-fueled beers, single-origin coffees, intensely dark chocolates, imported amaros, foraged wild greens. These are not peripheral tastes in modern America. They’re the tastes that people who get excited about food and drink are apt to get most excited about. The modern American food movement is bitter at its core". Nicholas Day, slate.


Being Mortal

Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End (Metropolitan), l'ultimo libro Atul Gawande - un medico che scrive per il New Yorker e si occupa di problemi di medicina sempre molto interessanti - qui parla di come in America si affronta la vecchiaia - quella estrema. "Gawande begins by contrasting the final years of his wife’s grandmother in America with those of his own grandfather in India. These two stories illustrate the central paradox that runs throughout “Being Mortal”: Sophisticated medical care does not guarantee and often actually prevents a good end of life. His wife’s grandmother, living in a country where old age is treated as a medical problem and independence is often overvalued, spent a lot of time in hospitals or home alone. Gawande’s grandfather lived on his beloved farm, surrounded by family until his death". Suzanne Koven, bostonglobe.


Fire Shut Up in My Bones

Charles Blow è il visual op-ed columnist del The New York Times. E' stato lui a ideare questa nuova forma di giornalismo. Fire Shut Up in My Bones (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) è la sua autobiografia e sembra molto interessante. Blow ha infatti un background piuttosto complesso.
"Charles Blow was only 24 when he was asked by The New York Times to direct its graphics department — apparently the youngest department head in the paper’s history. His elegant charts, distillations of political and social complexity, jolted readers with their logic, lucidity and sheer beauty. Before long, he ascended yet again, reinventing himself — and configuring a new genre of journalism — as the paper’s “visual Op-Ed columnist.”
Now Blow has written a complex bildungsroman of a memoir. “Fire Shut Up in My Bones” begins with the author’s childhood as the youngest son within a turbulent yet essentially loving household in the small, segregated town of Gibs­land, La". Patricia J. Williams, nytbooks.

(Nella foto: Charles Blow, con la camicia rossa, e i fratelli)


Haruki Murakami's "Sherazade"

Sempre belle - molto - le storie di Haruki Murakami, come l'ultima apparsa sul New Yorker e intitolata "Sherazade". Parla di un uomo - Habara - costretto a stare in casa e di una donna che va a trovarlo, fa l'amore con lui e gli racconta delle storie. Sono le storie della donna che l'uomo attende con particolare piacere. 

Deborah Treisman intervista Murakami: We never learn, in the story, why Habara can’t leave the house. Do you know?
Sorry, but I don’t know the exact circumstances that brought about the situation, either. Of course, I have a few ideas about what might be the cause, but I expect my readers do as well. I’m not trying to make a big secret out of it—in fact, I think if you took their hypotheses and mine and stacked them on top of each other you’d have an important form of author-reader communication. Because what’s important isn’t what caused Habara’s situation but, rather, how we ourselves would act in similar circumstances. newyorker.



I computer riusciranno a scrivere un romanzo? Diventeranno dei computhors? Finalmente una scrittrice che non si piange addosso e non celebra i bei tempi andati.
"Nostalgia, not the internet, is killing literature. Even if the surfing and grazing and browsing we do online have ruined us for anything longer than a blog post – and I’m not convinced that sustained attention is altogether a lost cause – the cure does not lie in longing for some half- invented time when serious people lost themselves in novels.
We need to move beyond the fear that the digital era will destroy the serious business of books". Jennifer Howard, tls.


Intellectual cowardice

Ricomincio con grande ritardo e poca convinzione. I miei post saranno, d'ora in poi, più degli appunti, visto che comunque la stampa estera la devo sfogliare e che comunque - nonostante il panarama generale sia piuttosto piatto - qualcosa di curioso salta sempre fuori. Come quest'articolo sulla vigliaccheria degli accademici.
"Timidity may be especially characteristic of the scholar. As Peter Elbow notes in his essay “Being a writer vs. being an academic: a conflict in goals”, the writer comes to the reader exclaiming, “Listen to me, I have something to tell you!”, while the academic asks meekly, “Is this okay?”. The bespectacled professor citing great thinkers, hedging with “perhapses” and “I would suggests”, and lining the bottom of the page with footnotes to pad against a hard fall: he makes a fine figure of a coward". Chris Walsh (acting director of the College of Arts and Sciences’ writing programme at Boston University), timeshighereducation.