To read: Creative nonfiction, magical realism, books about hobbies
I will never take up. Letters to a Young Poet, A Death in the
Family, Anna Karenina, A Primate's Memoir, Random Family, Blood
Meridian, A Roomful of Hovings, Under Milk Wood. Anything about
neuroplasticity. Short stories (Eudora Welty, Raymond Carver,
Borges, Junot Diaz).
To listen: Music that's so soulful it makes your bones ache. Otis
Redding. Donny Hathaway. Nina Simone. Jazz. Ahmad Jamal. Bobby
Hutcherson. Abdullah Ibrahim. All those countrified voices I grew
up listening to. Emmylou Harris. Guy Clark. Townes Van Zandt. Found
sound. The Books. Blues. Elmore James. Muddy Waters. Howlin' Wolf.
Sometimes indie hoohaw. Electrelane. Bill Callahan. Albums that are
an entity. Astral Weeks. Darkness on the Edge of Town. Graceland. A
strangely high number of musicians from Lubbock, Texas. Buddy
Holly. Jimmy Dale Gilmore. Delbert McClinton. Terry Allen.
Radiolab, This American Life, and Planet Money on the radio.
To watch: Movies without chipper endings (unless they involve Doris
Day, Carey Grant, or Katherine Hepburn, or unless they are
otherwise truly hilarious). Dancer in the Dark. Cool Hand Luke. All
the Real Girls. Anything Preston Sturges ever made. Allegorical
comedies. The Big Lebowski. Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Well-made
documentaries. Dark Days. Be Here to Love Me. When We Were Kings.
Vernon, Florida. The Wire.
To eat: Biscuits with strawberry jam and black coffee. Runny egg
yolk. All things dark and green and leafy. Oysters. Legumes.
Anything I've never tried before or that someone took great
pleasure in making. Anything baked in a brick or wood-fired oven.