In keeping with the monthly list tradition, here are my picks of the month:
Best New Discovery: Three discoveries here- 1. The music of Erik Satie (1866- 1925), a French composer. Discovered it on NPR's 'All songs considered' podcast. It was haunting, spare, sad and beautiful. 2. World cat- thanks to 'Iowa-Syr-D.C.girl' 3. I like blogging
Best TV/Movie moment (behold, new category): I'm not going to go the obvious SNL route...I found the Letterman/McCain feud pretty funny. But really, there were no stand outs. What this should be about is how I have successfully cut down on TV watching. I can feel my brain cells growing back slowly but youtube keeps killing them...
Podcast of the month: Slate's cultural gabfest. Experts sit around and come up with surprisingly insightful takes on everything from Sarah Palin to Microsoft ads to whether the economic depression will make for better movies....good stuff.
Blog of the Month: Lulu loves Bombay. 'Lulu' also had previous blogs about Manhattan and London- these are great food blogs with recipes, reviews and nice pictures too. Lulu seems cool too, very cosmopolitan and an inventive cook.
Best Book: I went back to Salman Rushdie's 'Shame' this month, after reading a thought provoking essay on him by Amitava Kumar. I wanted to see again, does Rushdie over write? Are his characters thin metaphors? Is he ultimately just a talented expat writer who exoticizes South Asia? Upon reading Shame, I think not. It's still as powerful to me as it was the first time I read it. That doesn't mean his last few books weren't disappointing but Rushdie at his best is formidable.
Next week I will finally read 'White Tiger' so I'll blog about that hopefully.
Best Song: Rather than a song, I'm liking Ray LaMontagne's album Gossip in the Grain. Great lyrics, interesting textured voice...(I bet you're just happy I didn't make a JM reference. Oh... too late!)
Best Article: This was a great month for articles, so I'll present two: First, Andrew Sullivan's essay on why he blogs. Apart from being of interest to anyone who writes or reads blogs, it's a nice look at the emotions and dynamics of this relatively new (but perhaps no more) but rapidly flourishing medium. http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200811/andrew-sullivan-why-i-blog/2
The second one was a New Yorker piece on Leonard Trilling, the Columbia University professor of English who was a famous literary critic. That's the beauty of the New Yorker, to take something that screams snoozefest and then write about it so you're sad when it ends.
Best Academic Article: "The naming and shaming" article in IO. Scarily close to my dissertation - being 'scooped' is the grad student's ultimate fear but useful over all.
Best meal: 2nd story's Ham, brie, fig jam and onion sandwich...I love it so much I even took a picture of it.
It's the kind of sandwich that makes you understand Joey's love for sandwiches on Friends. It probably means I'll never eat anything else at 2nd story (it's a book store on the second storey, get it?) though the entire menu looks good. It looks fairly easy to make too and even if you're vegetarian- the idea of melted brie and fig jam (or any kind of textured jam that's not too sweet) works very well. Oh god... now I want one.
Best Moment: Realizing that I get an extra hour...starting right now. So this is an hour of my life that I will get back...
Picture of the month: My African Violets are blooming again, for the third year in a row...My name is not Dr. Green Thumb (bonus points to anyone who catches the reference) so this is quite an achievement. Thanks to 'tulip' for the gift, which was a house warming present.
Challenge of the Month: Articulating
Lesson of the month: Good things (papers, ideas, minds, friendships, bonds, art) get better with time... if they don't, they're not good things.