I have a good feeling about this year. This is all the cool shit I've already gotten into. Think of it as a catechism for navel-gazing. (Because I do.)
- If you liked the first season of Serial, you'll love Offshore. Brought to us by Honolulu Civil Beat and PRX, season one revolves around the killing of Kollin Elderts by a white mainland cop, and its relationship to an 80-year-old case and police violence today. You'll also learn about the complicated history of race and colonialism in Hawaii. I'm hooked.
- The Hamilton Mixtape, free on Spotify or your streaming service of choice. I don't know what you're doing if you're not listening to this. Everybody's on it—including Nas, Regina Spektor, The Roots and even Ben Folds, but my favourite track so far is Immigrants (We Get the Job Done) by K'Naan. I don't know. It's catchy. Also, it's basically the theme of my whole life right now.
- Monstress by Marjorie Liu and illustrated by Sana Takeda—so gorgeous, violent and compelling I can't stand it:
- Aspects of the Novel by EM Forster. Nuggets include: "Scheherazade avoided her fate because she knew how to wield the weapon of suspense—the only literary tool that has any effect upon tyrants and savages."
- I'm doing the James Patterson writing class on Masterclass.com. One of the best things about it so far has been checking the outline for Honeymoon (included in the workbook) against the final text of the book. I learned so much from that exercise alone.
- I'm a huge Neil Gaiman fan, and he has whole sections of his site devoted to blossoming authors, including how to get published, writing comics, and handling revisions.
- The Penguin Galaxy Series boxed set designed by Alex Trochut (and featuring a series intro by Neil Gaiman). It's low-hanging fruit for sci-fi fans. I've read most of these books, but now that I'm reading primarily on Kindle, I weigh the cost of owning a real book by emotional, iconic or artistic merit. This is a mouth-watering combination of all three.
Looking forward to:
- AMERICAN FUCKING GODS ON STARZ!
- Sometimes being an expat means acting as a crossroads for people en route to elsewhere. You learn to get comfortable with friendship as shifting sand. So I've decided to ask all present and future friends to bring me something when we meet: A translation of The Little Prince, in hopes I can score all 253 translations before I die. More on this later, probably. I don't know how seriously I'm taking it yet ... but a German version is already on the way, along with a new friend!
- I'm reorganising my bookcase (stacked—a first for me!) and am kicking off my first big Mystery Giveaway, in which one or two people get the whole lot of volumes transitioning off my shelf. Remember the mystery funpacks at the comic store, how you knew they were filled with crap but it only took one great discovery to make the cost worth it? That's how I feel about this. Except there's no cost; I'm covering everything, including shipping. (I really should have thought this through.)