Above: at the recording of the Dance to the Music of Time-themed Backlisted podcast at the LRB Bookshop (thanks Scott for the photo). We (me and the two friends who read all 12 volumes this year… and who met up at the Ritz to talk about it… and who went to see painting at the Wallace Collection on the night the podcast was recorded…) got a shout out, so listen out for that when the episode comes out on Christmas Day.
Lots of other stuff to report his week: Did I mention I finished Hearing Secret Harmonies the 12th volume of A Dance to the Music of Time? Well I did and it was great. I would recommend the series to anyone.
Other things I’ve read this week:
Tom Whitwell writes a list of 52 things he learned every year, and this year’s list is very good. It includes:
- The average age of viewers of Vice Media’s ‘Viceland’ TV channel is 42.
- In New York City, there are around 1,000 crosswalk buttons. In 2018, only 100 are functional, down from 750 functional buttons in 2004.
- Peppa Pig tattoos are big in China.
This article in GQ attempts to describe “the enormous life of Anthony Bourdain, according to those who knew him best,” and it very nearly made me cry. Especially this quote:
“That’s the thing about friendship with Tony. Tony lavishes you with love and friendship and generosity and kindness, and then he disappears in the night and you don’t get to reciprocate. It wasn’t mutual. But it was breathtaking to be loved by him.”
The Countess and the Schoolboy is a short New Yorker essay by Daniel Mendelsohn that was actually published in June of 2017, but someone recommended it to me this week and I’m very glad they did.
Selling Records in Tokyo from Longreads is a lovely insight into one of those compact and almost unknowable universes that is amazing to visit but you might not want to live in.
One of my favourite internet people, Jenny Odell, has created (not just ‘written’) this fascinating article on mysterious and bizarre Amazon sellers, and their connection to Newsweek, a SF startup and a Christian church.
The 2018 ‘best of’ lists are starting to come in. Some of the ones I’ve found most useful so far are: Kottke’s best books of 2018 mega list, AV Club’s best electronic albums, The NY Times 100 notable Books, and Medium’s 100 must-read books (although there’s a few obvious duds in there, so tread carefully).
Every year, David Eldritch creates a 25 Best Films of the Year Video Countdown, and every year it’s a corker:
I watched one of those films this week, and I can tell you that Support the Girls deserves its spot on the list.