(1) Things which I have read and enjoyed.
Catch–22 – Joseph Heller. There’s a reason it’s a classic. This was about my fifth time round, and it is still astonishing.
Fangirl – Rainbow Rowell. Thoroughly delightful story that doesn’t condescend to fan culture and the internet, as it explores the pains and pleasures of growing up and leaving home.
Shotgun Lovesongs – Nikolas Butler. Old friends, rural community, love and music in Wisconsin. Lovely. Best read while listening to a lot of Bon Iver.
Home – Marilynne Robinson. This overlaps with Gilead, and fills out that world. Both Jack and Glory are wonderfully drawn out characters. I sobbed a sob at the end.
Magical Brats – Caitlin Keefe Moran in The Archipelago on only children in literature. As an only child, it struck a chord.
Race, Culture, and Poverty: The Path Forward – Ta Nehisi Coates at The Atlantic, on what he wants to see come out of the kind of debates he has with other writers.
A Piece of the Wall – Teju Cole. This happened in March, but I read it in April. It’s an essay about the wall US – Mexico border, written on Twitter, and genuinely works.
If you like comics – get the first issue of Lumberjanes by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, Brooke Allen. A group of girls having adventures and being amazing on camp.
It was a good month.
(2) Things which I have watched and enjoyed.
Calvary – reflective and beautiful, and blackly bleak.
Locke – completely compelling and satisfyingly unwilling to play heroes and villains.
Game of Thrones – I’m up to the end of that wedding (so, yes, I’m behind, OK), but I am so glad to see the end of that particular cartoonish villain.
Actors performing their favourite bits of Shakespeare for Newsnight
At the theatre (well, ballet):
A Winter’s Tale at the Royal Opera House – lovely, but sadly a little too brief in the final act. I could have used a stronger emotional resolution.
Lest We Forget by the English National Ballet at the Barbican. Phenomenally powerful.
(3) Things which I wrote that I’m fond of…
(4) Most Distracting Thing on the Internet.
The filming of Avengers 2: Age of Ultron, as recounted by Mark Ruffalo (primarily) on twitter and instagram, because apparently Joss Whedon is hanging out just down the river from me…
(5) Something to listen to.
(6) Have a recipe
Sticky Sticks with Chocolate Sauce
Tom Herbert of the Fabulous Baker Brothers made these (without the sauce) in our offices on a camping stove this week – having been out to Laos to make them with some of the people we work with. Skillz.