According to Goodreads, I read 17 books. Of this list, the most influential/helpful for me was What About the Baby by Alice McDermott. Her advice and musings on writing was a true case of practicing what she preached. Many reviewers of this book wrote they enjoyed her writing as a stand-alone, rather than seeking writing tips.
Undoubtedly there are books I’ve read and forgotten to track such as those borrowed from the Philly Free Library and since returned before our one year move to Athens.
Of the below I shelved a few before finishing: Savage Detectives (yawn), The Overstory (initially interesting but later more activist-oriented and less of an enjoyable read), Priestdaddy (the woman is hilarious, but due to this hilarity I feel distant from the characters and it becomes tiresome, unbroken), and To Mythistorima (only because I moved from Philly and no longer attended the class that was reading it).
As evident, I became a (late) Joyce Carol Oates fan, reading her book of short stories with the best evil characters, as well as began her so-called “The Wonderland Quartet” series by reading Garden of Earthly Delights (excellent) and Expensive People (meh). I plan to read Them next.
Books I began in 2022 but am still reading are:
- Arctic Dreams
- Why Don’t You Just Do What You’re Told?
- Short stories of Ernest Hemingway (re-read)
- The Screenwriter’s Bible
- Harlem Shuffle
- Let Me Tell You What I Mean
- The Stories of John Cheever (re-read)
Songs > playlists
My playlist style is quarterly. I add songs I’ve discovered through reading, movies, deaths of said artist, friends, family, and my own searches each quarter. Here are my playlists on Spotify from 2022, about 40 hours of acoustic adventure.
I was a little obsessed with Talib Kweli at the start of last year. I discovered him when he had a concert scheduled in Philly that we ended up not attending due to COVID fears in our hearts. Another fave new *local* artist of this period was Shormey, discovered when we met their bassist at one of our favorite drinking establishments, Dirty Franks. He was absolutely lovely and possibly our son if we had one. Bruno Pernadas is astounding. I cannot recall my means of discovery but it would have been a recommendation from aforementioned bassist.
Added in some previous favorites in the Spring, including Little Simz, the aforementioned Bruno Pernadas and Shormey, as well as the gorgeous Beach House and stumbling lovely Aubrey Key. Also discovered Imam Baldi, a Turkish savory dish but also an Athenian band with a Nigerian rapper reimagining traditional Greek songs. I finally gave Mitski more of a chance — many friends and others adore her — and really enjoyed the songs herein including her new album.
This playlist is still in development. In 2022 I defaulted to adding entire albums on which songs I like appear, which means I need to delete the non-ear friendly ones upon surfacing and clean up the list. This list chronicles a love affair with Holy Fuck and Frankie Cosmos (thanks to friend Bonnie Sequoya for that last rec!), an off-again-on-again like/dislike of the Del Water Gap, a lets-give-them-a-chance-never-really-listened-to Taylor Swift (hit and miss), and a return to old faves Sudan Archives among others.