Discover more from Cruel Summer Book Club
Cruel compendium #25 🕺
Hopeful Covid news, disco dancing, and celebrating Black joy
This week’s Girls’ Night In newsletter celebrating Black joy
Remember when I got scammed? I was lucky enough not to lose any money that time, but Americans lost $3.5 billion to scammers in 2019 alone. Reporter Yudhijit Bhattacharjee talks to the FBI, people fighting scammers for fun in their spare time, and some of the scammers themselves.
Public safety by Paul Rousseau. Roxane Gay publishes a shocking essay from an emerging writer about his experience surviving an accidental gunshot to the head by his best friend—who didn’t call for help for two hours.
Don’t settle for scraps by Catherine Andrews in her newsletter, The Sunday Soother. This edition from November is really resonating with me right now.
Life is not a pie. There aren't only a certain amount of slices to go around. We all get to have what we want, what we deserve, what we dream of.
Even you. Especially you.
Dear Polly: I only want to date men who’ve been to therapy by Heather Havrilesky. I found myself screaming in recognition throughout this piece. My dating profile does say “Swipe right if you’ve been to therapy.”
When you’re Doing the Work, exploring past traumas, understanding your own shadow, cultivating an inner life, and excavating your shame, you’re seeking out new mysteries and new layers all the time. Being surprised or embarrassed or alarmed by what you find inside yourself is part of what makes it all so rewarding. It’s part of dare I say the FUN of therapy and of independent self-discovery. So in my opinion, that’s the big question you want to ask when you encounter a prospective mate. More than “Is this man avoidant?” or “Is this man in therapy?” you want to ask, “Is this man curious and open to learning new things — about me, about himself, about his past, about my past, about the world?”
On her own end-of-life plan:
I would love to be outside or by windows. I want to watch the sunset for the last time, and I want to have the people I love around, quietly talking, so that I know they’ve got each other after I leave. I want to have a soft blanket and a pair of socks because I hate it when my feet are cold. I want to smell nag champa incense and amber. And I want to hear the sound of running water, like a creek. I’d love to enjoy all those senses for the last time. And when I die, I want everybody to clap. Like, “Good job. You did it.”
31 tips to stay resilient, hopeful and happy during tough times by Women’s Health. Just a bunch of useful reminders and tools.
Black History Month reads:
A virtual exhibition of 28 works that celebrate Black legacy in the United States, delivered to your inbox
I’m listening to
Reply All: The Test Kitchen, chapter one. Take a four-part deep dive into how things got so messed up (and so white) over at Bon Appétit. Especially interesting for anyone who’s worked in media.
Unfuck Your Brain: Giving Yourself Permission. An important reminder that you are in control of your own choices and how you feel about them.
Questionable self-care advice
I needed this reminder this week.
The inside of my mind looks just like Austin’s Cute Nail Studio.
⚡ I’m loving this productivity tool Slash. You can line up all your tasks, then organize them by week and day and track your time in a simple interface. Please use my invite code, hp0YdCFk-, so I can get 50 free tasks and you can too!
👋 Writers with Faces. Drop into Zoom writing sessions just to have strangers sitting there with you, a silent presence pushing you to stay on task. This really works for me!
🗽 For the young and ambitious, it just might be a great time to move to New York
👩💻 “HR can’t take my identity away.” My friend Sam writes about something we all need to keep in mind: Your coworkers are not your family, and your job will never love you back.
💉 A lot of hopeful Covid news from one of my fave newsletters, Tangle
🕺 The documentary The Bee Gees: How Can You Mend a Broken Heart documentary is as great as everyone says it is. Plus, it’s a great time to learn about how the Disco Sucks movement was racist and homophobic!
👩👩👦 My friend Jenny Gorelick posted on Instagram that she’s interviewing her dad over Zoom once a week. What a wholesome quarantine activity! Get to know your family’s untold stories (and make sure to record the answers) by interviewing your parents with this set of questions. (Or interview any family member or chosen family member you choose!)
🍷 If you love wine tips and puppy pics, check out the newsletter Your Weekly W(h)ine. It’s got all the uplifting dog content (this week: snow day pups!) you need to get you through to Friday happy hour. Subscribe to brighten up your Monday morning inbox.
📺 Are you a journalist interested in writing for TV? Apply for the Susan M. Haas Fellowship, started by Emmy award-winner Cord Jefferson. Two writers will receive a $25,000 stipend, a mentor, and opportunities to meet two industry professionals to help develop their teleplays. Apply by February 21.
Check out the full Cruel Summer Book Club playlist
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