My dad snapped this photo from the window of his plane as it departed Minneapolis, en route for a visit to us in Boston. The back-and-forth between MSP and BOS is very familiar to me after over a decade living on the east coast and heading home for holidays. My parents are back in town for the last 3-week stretch of what has been a great year of having them living locally on Massachusetts’ south shore. In reflecting on all we’ve done in the past year, it was a great slice of Charlotte’s life for them to witness as she emerged from her infant years into toddlerhood and now careens towards becoming a three-year-old.
Here’s what I’m eating and reading this week:
Weekly Menu Plan (in case you need ideas and inspiration):
Sunday: Lemongrass Chicken and Ramen bowls
Tuesday: Summer pasta with tomato, corn, and basil and browned butter
Wednesday: Steak quesadillas
Thursday: Steak tips, mashed sweet potatoes, and broccoli
Friday: Spaghetti bolognese with garlic bread and broccoli
Saturday: Summer vegetable salad (spinach & arugula, green beans, tomatoes, corn) and a lemony farfalle pasta with sausage and broccoli
Here’s What I’m Reading and Loving This Week:
Theres’s been a lot of interesting dialogue this week in the intersection between my professional and personal interests and a lot of mainstream projects around eating disorders or body image.
This popular piece on metabolism re-emerged.
There’s a new movie on Netflix called To The Bone; people are wondering whether it’s generating helpful conversations around eating disorders and body image or if it’s triggering and difficult material to process if you’re in recovery. A few responses worth exploring if you’re interested: by Carolyn Costin, Stuart Komen, and Marci Evans.
Roxane Gay’s memoir Hunger has been a big hit and was reviewed by The New York Times today.
Outside of the professional realm, I liked reading this article on Maria P Brain Pickings newsletter.
Books I Read This Week:
Title: New Boy
By: Tracy Chevalier
This is my second book from the Hogarth Shakespeare collection after reading Margaret Atwood‘s Hagseed. The Hogarth project describes itself as retelling Shakespeare’s works in the words and visions of the “acclaimed and bestselling novelists of today,” and at this point, I have mixed emotions about the project. The stories are tight and compact, leading to relatively slim novels. They pull at my familiarity with the original works (which varies quite a bit based on what the play is), so I’m both comfortable and curious throughout. But I’ve been an avid read of both Atwood’s and Chevalier’s work, that it feels like these novels don’t quite live up to what I’m used to seeing from them.
I liked New Boy much more than I liked Hagseed. It’s a retelling of the story of Othello translated to the classrooms and playground of an elementary school in America in the 1970s. I I really liked this take and setting because it lends a little bit of innocence to the action and characters: they’re all sixth graders figuring out friendships, the world, and the power dynamics of the playground. It downplays a lot of the sex and violence of the original play, but there are still strong, poignant elements that capture the viciousness of jealousy, sexism, and racism and continue to paint a bleak picture of how women and people of color pay the cost, even when it’s white boys who are trying to learn the lessons. It’s also somewhat sadder watching little kids learn these lessons than seeing the same action and themes played out among adults.
That said, there were a lot of elements that were underwhelming. While some passages were spot-on, there was a lot that felt meh about the book (and again, perhaps I feel this way about the Hogarth series overall). Because it’s so short, it felt worth my time, but it isn’t one I’d recommend rushing out to get. There are better books by Chevalier.