Boo: A Reading List About Ghosts

Longreads

Sara Benincasa is a quadruple threat: she writes, she acts, she’s funny, and she has truly exceptional hair. She also reads, a lot, and joins us to share some of her favorite stories (and some of her friends’ favorites, too). 

Tonight the subject is…ghosts. (Cue “WoooOOOOOOOOOOOooooo” sound effect.) Ghost stories seem to point to a reality beyond our own — or, at the very least, to an expanded understanding of what exactly this plane of existence encompasses. And from a philosophical perspective, I’m half Mulder and half Scully, which means I can find deep spiritual fulfillment from things that I’m 100% sure are total bullshit.

I was raised in rural western New Jersey, right across the Delaware River from the beautiful farmlands and forests of eastern Pennsylvania. Both sides of the river are dotted with 17th and 18th century homes and outbuildings, and many people speak of ghosts as matter…

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Eating Alone

I’m shy, and while I was mildly concerned about what people might think of me when I began dining alone, I was more concerned about what I might think of me if I didn’t try.

Longreads

Stephanie Rosenbloom | Excerpt adapted from Alone Time: Four Seasons, Four Cities, and the Pleasures of Solitude | Viking | June 2018 |14 minutes (3,719 words)

Comptoir Turenne is on the ground floor of a nineteenth-century building with battered shutters in the Haut-Marais, on the less fashionable end of rue de Turenne. On the more fashionable end, Glow on the Go! serves concoctions like the Lolita with organic cherries and “superfoods adaptogens,” Baby Beluga sells bikinis and matching sunglasses for Capri-bound toddlers, and the windows of Delphine Pariente’s jewelry shop (now known as Nouvel Amour) advise: Soyez heureux, be happy.

Comptoir Turenne has no such panache. Its sidewalk views are mainly of a real estate agency and a men’s suit shop. It is not on “must-eat” lists. Visitors are not burdened by the ghosts of Hemingway and Sartre to have an indelible experience. All of  this makes Turenne a…

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The Burden of Happiness

Reblogging this because sometimes you need to acknowledge that you have become a better writer by looking at old posts, and because most of what is written still holds true.

Things that matter [to me]

If I wanted to keep everyone happy, wouldn’t I have to be a large man with a big belly sporting a red suit and white long beard?

Just thinking.

Do you know how many people we meet everyday? I don’t. Although I am sure its a large number. We meet them, talk to them and share our randomest ideas- bonding in the process. That’s nice. No pressure. And then one day you get up to realize that some people are just never going to be happy with you. Whatever you do….whatever you say…..they are simply unimpressed and curse you unrelentingly. What to do in such a situation? Recently I was asked this. I was like hmmmmmm…..

Lets think about it for a second. Lets ponder over what’s really going in here. Mr XYZ is a selfish prick and inconsiderate bastard and somehow he says you are inadequate. Really??? Doesn’t that sound a…

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What does one word matter? Doctoral women on twitter.

via What does one word matter? Doctoral women on twitter.

How To Be a Plain Girl

Longreads

Lolly Bowean | Longreads | May 2018 | 17 minutes (4,414 words)

Prologue

Every black woman has a hair story. This is mine.

Good hair means curls and waves
Bad hair means you look like a slave
— India.Arie, “I Am Not My Hair”

1.

I had never even met John P., but there I was, on a bus in East Knoxville, riding to meet him where he lived in a troubled public housing complex called Lonsdale.

I should have been at school, sitting in homeroom with the rest of the freshmen. But instead, at 13, I had decided to cut class and take a journey across a town I wasn’t even vaguely familiar with, to meet a man I didn’t know.

John P. was my classmate Kayla’s uncle, and in the neighborhood and at our school, he was known to have “gifted hands.”

He didn’t have the proper credentials…

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The Enduring Legacy of the Willie Lynch Hoax

Longreads

Kanye West’s emergence from his self-imposed cocoon of social media silence last week has not been seamless. After proclaiming his support for Donald Trump and the president’s Make America Great Again plank, the musician and fashion designer took to TMZ Live on Tuesday for arguably the most bizarre of what has already been a bizarre fortnight of proclamations:

“When you hear about slavery for 400 years. For 400 years?! That sounds like a choice. You was there for 400 years and it’s all of y’all. It’s like we’re mentally in prison. I like the word ‘prison’ because ‘slavery’ goes too direct to the idea of blacks. Slavery is to blacks as the Holocaust is to Jews. Prison is something that unites as one race, blacks and whites, that we’re the human race.”

Kanye is well aware of the weight his words carry. As someone who has referred to himself as the…

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