RBR Sunday Salon
Volume 1, Issue 8
Happy Sunday, readers! I hope the early autumn season is treating you well, so far, and that you are finding plenty of time for reading and relaxation. As is typical for me, this Sunday leaves me with far too much to do, and far too little time for relaxation; but that’s what being a procrastinator gets you!
Once again, there was a lot in the news this week on a variety of topics, and even more great reading to be found in the literary and blog spheres. I couldn’t possibly share everything I read, liked, or bookmarked, but here are some I wanted to note. I hope you find something interesting in the links below!
Blog Posts I Loved
- My Untitled Project: Fall. I feel as though all summer I got burnt up, like leaves on a tree, and now I am ready to shed all of these old, dead appendages. I am ready to stand with nothing, to turn inward and hibernate during the cold months, then bloom beautifully in the spring.
- Note to My White Self: In Support of White History Month. Recently, a woman of color asked me, “What do you know about whiteness?” I stumbled through a response, offering some abstract thoughts about white supremacy and privilege. She was not impressed.
- Jess Witkins Happiness Project: What It’s Like to Be a Woman in America. Like so many women right now, this past week has made me feel a full cup’s worth of anxiety and two tablespoons of crushing grief. Then mix that with a blender powered by my rage with the patriarchy, and you have a slight understanding of where I’m at right now.
- Book Riot: Women, Trauma, and Haunted Houses. But what do women do in the haunted house? How does the haunted house function as the terrain on which women work out their fears and anxieties? In this post, I examine three haunted house books written by women to find out.
- Lit Hub: 30 of the Worst Couples in Literature. All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way, Tolstoy wrote. Same goes for couples. That is, the bad ones may be very bad, but they sure make for some great stories—particularly when everyone involved is fictional, so you can indulge your romantic schadenfreude guilt-free.
History & Politics
- Politico: Why Jane Fonda Doesn’t Hate Donald Trump. You want to tell people things they don’t know,” Fonda said on the podcast. “Just like what changed and saved my life was being told things I didn’t know by American soldiers. We have to reach out and listen and then respond in a way that’s meaningful.”
- Lit Hub: William Faulkner was Really Bad at Being a Postman. The inspector goes on to accuse Faulkner of various faults, including failing to deliver letters, mistreating mail of all types, permitting “unauthorized persons” into the office, and writes that he has heard reports of how Faulkner is “indifferent to interest of patrons, unsocial, rarely ever speak[ing] to patrons of the office unless absolutely necessary.
Culture & Society
- The Boston Globe: The Long, Long History–and Bright Future–of the Generless ‘They.’ For the average person, using a gender-neutral term such “firefighter” requires no more mental gymnastics than saying “fireman.” Yet the pronouns we use in English seem more deeply embedded in the structure of our language than these more specific occupational terms.
- JSTOR Daily: When Do We Have Empathy for the Mentally Ill? There’s nothing fair about blaming people for a biological condition they have no control over. That’s one reason why efforts to encourage empathy for people with depression, anxiety, or other mental disorders often focus on the biological basis of the conditions.
Science, Tech., & Nature
- The New York Times: Caffeine May Increase Pain Tolerance. The experiment controlled for sex and race, current tobacco use and alcohol consumption, among other variables that could affect pain sensation. Still, they found that the more caffeine consumed, the greater the tolerance for pain.
- CNET: Facebook Breach Put Data of 50-Million Users At Risk. Facebook also said later Friday that the breach also affected third-party apps that you have linked to your Facebook account, including Instagram. As a precautionary measure, Facebook logged about 90 million people out of their accounts, the company said.
Teaching & Writing
- The Chronicle: On Not Reading. The activity of nonreading is something that scholars rarely discuss. When they — or others whose identities are bound up with books — do so, the discussions tend to have a shamefaced quality. Blame “cultural capital” — the sense of superiority associated with laying claim to books that mark one’s high social status.
- Good News, Bad News. I get so bogged down in the day-to-day that, much of the time, I forget to do what it is I need to do, which is to write. Hearing from publishers who think your work has value and meaning does much to reinvigorate the spirit!
Recent Posts from Roof Beam Reader
- The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
Thank you for stopping by and taking part in another SUNDAY SALON. There was much to choose from this week, and I hope I have presented you with a decent selection. I would love to hear your thoughts on any of these or the other things you’ve read this week! (Tell me what I missed!)
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