Books       Letters       Me

Books       Letters       Me


Apr 01, 2024


1. a person who has a love of books and especially of reading. 2. a person who is involved in the writing, publishing, or selling of books. Oh, hi that's me!!

New to Me: There are plenty of famously great writers, thinkers, and artists of that past who are completely new to me. Susan Sontag's At the Same Time found me while perusing a bookstore. A slice of this woman's great writing career went home with me. Reading her book of essays is hard to describe, but then I stumbled on NYT's movie critic AO Scott's description of the experience: “The essays are exciting not just because of the ideas they impart but because you feel within them the rhythms and pulsations of a living intelligence; they bring you as close to another person as it is possible to be.” Ya, that. Her writing was piercing, curious, and thoughtful. Her writing dominated culture at a time that pre-dates my ability to understand it. Luckily, books outlive writers. I'm grateful Sontag's body of work still exists to meet this writer at a time when I'm mature enough to appreciate her.


What gets passed down becomes our history.
A few for the canon:
Rabbi Sharon Brous wrote a breathtaking piece in the New York Times about showing up for people's grief, for their heartbreak, for their loss...instead of turning away. Train Yourself to Always Show Up. It gave me solace knowing that this is hard for everyone – that it's a shared response to find people's pain difficult to witness and even harder to sit with, even if we love them. She asks us not to turn away and to instead seek out the amen effect: “sincere, tender encounters that help us forge new spiritual and neural pathways by reminding us that our lives and our destinies are entwined.” This is a truly beautiful read. I hope it touches your heart as much as it touched mine.


Stories are heirlooms.
Here's one of mine:
I've been a pretty consistent listener of the Huberman Lab Podcast for the last few years. Couldn't tell you how I found Stanford Neurologist Andrew Huberman (one of the most popular podcasters in the US) but I can tell you I've sent his episodes to manyyyy people – 2-3 hour deep dives regarding topics like alcohol use, better sleep, or dental hygiene (yes, dental hygiene). There have been a few times I've listened to his quips about interpersonal relationships, and I've thought to myself, this guy would be a nightmare to date, and as it turns out I'm right. A bombshell expose about his toxic infidelity, misleading “science” and other lies came out in The New Yorker by Kerry Howley: Andrew Huberman's Mechanisms of Control.

Read it for yourself – the writing is great (and hilarious). What Howley's reporting finds is not so great. But also not surprising. Famous man. Lots of power. Major ick factor. I don't want to ruin it so read for yourself, but I can tell you that The Huberman Lab is no longer a podcast I listen to.


My words are written just for you.