More From Gary Kamiya

Love Cool Gray City of Love: 49 Views of San Francisco. Reading the essays in it painstakingly slowly.

Gary Kamiya was one of the founders of Salon.com (still going strong!). An ex-fellow Fellow from Stanford, Jim Paul, used to write for them. As did Chitra Divakaruni. As did Laura Miller. As did Heather Havrilesky.

Self is on Essay # 5, The Harbor at the End of the World:

A 1508 map by Johannes Ruysch depicts South America as the New World, with Asia in the place where North America actually is.

DSCN0032

Private beach access for this homeowner along the Mendocino coast

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Gary Kamiya: The “Tenderloin” District, San Francisco

  • What is remarkable about the Tenderloin is that it has remained physically unchanged for more than 80 years. It is a time capsule. The same progressive forces that have kept out ‘progress’ and inadvertently created a Museum of Depravity, have also created a Museum of the Lost City, a vanished world memorialized in the neighborhood’s extraordinary collection of residential hotels. There are hundreds of these historic SROs in the Tenderloin, the largest number in the world. The SROs are the reason that in 2008, the Uptown Tenderloin was placed on the National Register of Historic Places, the 24th San Francisco neighborhood to be so listed.

— Gary Kamiya, “Adventures in the Skin Trade”

“Girls Gone Wild”: Jenny Allen, Essay # 1 (I’m Awake)

Self will put off My Cousin Rachel for a week or so, just so she can un-knot her nerves after reading Jamaica Inn (Five Stars)

She began reading Would Everybody Please Stop? by Jenny Allen.

Sometimes, when I first go to sleep for the night, I fall asleep to the television. And this is a strange thing: No matter what I have fallen asleep watching, when I wake up, what’s on is Girls Gone Wild. I never turn the channel to Girls Gone Wild, let alone turn up the volume, but the volume is ear-splitting.

If someone had told self that less than 24 hours after bidding farewell to Altarnun, Launceston, and the moors, she would be reading about Girls Gone Wild, she would have said: Shut up!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Quote of the Day: THE ART OF THE AFFAIR (Bloomsbury, 2017)

From the January/February 2017 issue of Poets & Writers:

“Creative people are drawn to each other, as notorious for falling in love as they are for driving each other insane . . .  Seen a certain way, the history of art and literature is a history of all this love.”

— Catherine Lacey in The Art of the Affair: An Illustrated History of Love, Sex, and Artistic Influence

Status Report: the 2018 Reading List

There was a stretch of months where all the authors self was reading or had read were male: That’s because a lot of the books she read the first half of the year were by Philip Pullman, who she read for the first time EVER this year. Shame! Shame! Shame!

Then she read Treasure Island, then Lord of the Flies.

She finally tackled Jean Rhys (another first, despite the fact that she’s been hearing about this author since the year she entered grad school) and ended up wanting to strangle her male character in Wide Sargasso Sea.

She discovered the luminous Norwegian writer Tove Jansson in The Summer Book.

She read an excellent first novel (by Julie Lekstrom Himes), Mikhail and Margarita.

After she’s done with Travels with Charley, she re-reads Michael Faber’s The Crimson Petal and the White. She read this book over a decade ago but Faber’s name came up again when she found an old list (from the time she was a Hawthornden fellow, in June 2012) of book recommendations from her fellow Hawthornden writers.

Her next authors are all women:

  • Elizabeth Strout
  • Tatiana de Rosnay
  • Daphne du Maurier
  • Jenny Allen
  • Magda Szabø
  • Rosemary Sutcliff

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Back Issues Reading: The New Yorker, 6 Nov 2017

Since self began her methodical reading of New Yorker back issues, she realizes that the economic and social forces churning through America (like Trump announcing his interest in the Presidency in 2006) should have been sending off alarm flares. But no, we were all too busy watching TV.

The Talk of the Town piece on actor Shia LaBoeuf and his humiliation by a Nazi group made the hair on the back of her neck stand!

From The Mail:

Pence and the Presidency

  • Jane Mayer’s piece on Vice-President Mike Pence revealed his terrifying personal convictions and his connections to right-wing evangelical donors (“The President Pence Delusion,” 23 October). Pence seems to be content to act as President Trump’s puppet . . .  The puppeteer has only to suggest that it’s fine for Pence to perform, and he rises to the occasion, no matter how embarrassing or how costly to this country.

Covering White Supremacy

  • Andrew Marantz handles the presentation of the white supremacist Mike Enoch’s life story tactfully, but I worry that publishing articles like this will only encourage others to follow in Enoch’s destructive footsteps (“The Birth of a White Supremacist,” 16 October)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

 

Recommended Reading: Women Writing (Comics, Nonfiction, Novellas)

Essay:

Skinning the Rabbit, by Jane Eaton Hamilton (The Sun, July 2017)

The Cone of Uncertainty: Parenting on the Edge of Climate Change, by Sarah Grey (Salvage Quarterly, 28 November 2017)

On Yoga, Diversity Lite, and the Empire of American Wellness, by Namrata Poddar (CounterPunch, 3 November 2017)

The New Bad Girls of Contemporary Literature, by Myriam Gurba (Literary Hub, 1 December 2017)

Why are America’s farmers killing themselves in record numbers? by Debbie Weingarten (The Guardian, 6 December 2017)

Comics:

DC New Talent Showcase 2017

Food-Related:

In Search of Lost Butter Chicken, by Sukhada Tatke (National Geographic Traveler: India, June 2017)

Novella:

Day of All Saints, by Patricia Grace King (Miami University Press, November 2017)

I Don’t Think of You (Until I Do), by Tatiana Ryckman (Future Tense Books, September 2017)

 

 

#amreading Travel Writing: Lawrence Durrell on Alexandria

Going ashore in Alexandria is like walking the plank for instantly you feel, not only the plangently Greek city rising before you, but its backcloth of deserts stretching away into the heart of Africa. It is a place for dramatic partings, irrevocable decisions, last thoughts; everyone feels pushed to the extreme, to the end of his bent. People become monks or nuns or voluptuaries or solitaries without a word of warning. As many people simply disappear as overtly die here. The city does nothing.

— Lawrence Durrell in An Alexandria Anthology: Travel Writing Through the Centuries, edited by Michael Haag (Cairo: The American University in Cairo Press)

Reading Life 2016

October 2016

  1. Ghost Soldiers: The Epic Account of World War II’s Greatest Rescue Mission (history), by Hampton Sides
  2. A Short History of Women (novel) by Kate Walbert

September 2016

  1. The Way to the Spring: Life and Death in Palestine (nonfiction), by Ben Ehrenreich
  2. Brazillionaires (nonfiction), by Alex Cuadros

August 2016

  1. Northanger Abbey (novel), by Jane Austen
  2. Swimming Studies (memoir), by Leann Sharpton
  3. The Course of Love (novel), by Alain de Botton
  4. The Narrow Road to the Deep North and Other Sketches (travel book, poetry), by Matsuo Basho
  5. The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone (essay collection), by Olivia Laing

July 2016

  1. The Green Road (novel), by Anne Enright
  2. Girl Waits With Gun (mystery), by Amy Stewart

June 2016

  1. The Girl on the Train (novel), by Paula Hawkins
  2. My Brilliant Friend (novel), by Elena Ferrante

May 2016 Read the rest of this entry »

Connoisseur of Loneliness

Self is only on p. 12 of The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone but already she’s come across at least 12 passages that she thinks are worth quoting. (Who is Olivia Laing? Writer for The Guardian, The Observer, New Statesman and The New York Times)

The only thing self disagrees with Laing on is her disdain for social media as a tool for getting over the loneliness. Ms. Laing, social media gives self a reason to stay home! Locked up in her room! And feeling happy about it! It does wonders for self’s state of mind! You better believe it!

Self would rather be on social media than out there, on the street, fighting for every possible scrap of attention from salespeople. She’d rather mail-order than go to a store where she’ll waste precious time just hunting for parking or getting shoves from impatient people. She might be a super-slow walker but she’s an absolute Demoness of the Keyboards!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

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