"The Superlative Horse" Jean Merrill
"A Book of Nonsense" Edward Lear
"The Four Elements" Roz Chast
"Alice in Wonderland" Lewis Carroll
"Italian Folktales" Italo Calvino
"Seeing is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees" Lawrence
"A Good Man is Hard to Find" Flannery O'Conner
"The Martian Chronicles" Ray Bradbury
I have a special place in my heart for writers writing about
cross-cultural experiences (Suketu Mehta, Juno Diaz, Adam
Gopnik...) and all around engrossing novelists like Ian McEwan,
Michael Chabon, Barbara Kingsolver. I am also fascinated by
history, anthropology, linguistics and translation.
Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson. (I know they aren't cool, but
they are like old friends I turn to for comfort).
I would happily spend hours looking at product labels and comparing
the languages and looking at an Atlas for place names I like
without really improving my geography.
Contemporary in-depth journalism (periodicals with tiny
Some favorite movies:
"Wings of Desire" (Il Cielo sopra Berlino) Wim Wenders
"Rear Window" Hitchcock
"Una giornata particolare" Ettore Scola
"Ieri oggi e domani" De Sica
"Pecker" John Waters
"Be Kind Rewind" Gondry
"Singing in the Rain"
"Rosemary's Baby" Polanski
Films about distopias (Brazil, Blade Runner, 12 Monkeys, etc
TV: The Wire, Project Runway...
Old school jazz and blues, (Davis, Coltrane, Cole Porter Songbook),
soul and funk, Caetano Veloso, some country (Dolly Parton, Johnny
Cash) 90s indie and ska (Pixies, Operation Ivy), Old school
rap/hiphop (Public Enemy), silly/soundtracks (surf music, Edith
Piaf), Italian: D'Andrè, Guccini, Gaber, Rino Gaetano....and lots
of other stuff in between, including things from this decade
Puntarelle alla romana, castagnole, espresso con la cremina,
granita siciliana, most things with lemon or fruit or ginger or
anice...and many many more, of course