Happy Monday everyone…Here are a few little newspaper gems that caught my eye this weekend:
Rosie Blau, the books editor of the Financial Times, wrote about what it was like to be a Booker Prize judge with a new baby.
“Reading 138 books over the head of a suckling child felt, at times, like the worst possible way to enjoy or judge literature,” Blau wrote. “I can’t imagine ever not wanting to read a novel but I did occasionally suffer mediocrity overload….
“From the deepening hollow of my sofa, my reading took me cottaging in a Cambridgeshire toilet, into the home of an Indian untouchable, along the path of the down and seriously out.”
She adds: “That we can tell and experience the same stories in an infinite number of ways is, for me, the glory of fiction. The uniqueness of life is repeated – again and again.”
The only thing I remember reading with my newborn daughter was Goodnight Moon. The fact that Blau read 138 novels is, well, amazing. The Booker Prize will be announced tomorrow…can’t wait to see who wins! (Here’s the short list.)
Next up, Jack Spade (husband of Kate.)
The Wall Street Journal caught up with Spade in its
Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co. and his 826 Valencia Pirates Supply Shop in San Francisco. He sells things like invisible paint. In Brooklyn, you have to swear in, and say you’re a superhero and will abide by the rules. In San Francisco, there’s a big pirates’ chest that my daughter loves. If you find a gem, you can redeem it for a gift, but you also have to sing or dance.”
Next, Rachel Donadio spends 36 hours in Rome for the NYT:
Donadio’s most offbeat stop: A cemetery.
“Like Père Lachaise in Paris, the Protestant Cemetery (Via Caio Cestio, 6; 39-06-574-1900; cemeteryrome.it) is one of Rome’s most meditative and overlooked spots,” she writes. “The final resting spot of non-Catholics for centuries, the cemetery counts John Keats among its permanent residents — his tomb reads ‘Here lies one whose name was writ in water.’ Besides romantics, there’s often a steady stream of graying lefties, who pay tribute to Antonio Gramsci, the founder of the Italian Communist Party.”
A name writ in water.