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Cruel Compendium #32 🪴
Pondering motherhood, remembering that nothing matters, and screaming "good 4 u"
I’m Jillian Anthony, and this is Cruel Summer Book Club, a newsletter about change, heartbreak and healing. In the Cruel Compendium I send out links to everything I’m reading, listening to and thinking about.
I’m sending out a Compendium two weeks in a row because I’ve got a lot going on, including driving Minerva and myself to Austin later this week! I’m taking next Tuesday off, so enjoy this week’s reads, and may all you Americans have a fab holiday weekend.
Also, I wrote a personal essay about becoming a plant lady, and the wrenching decision to leave my 25 houseplants behind when I left NYC. Read all about it at Aerate. 🪴🪴🪴
Kacey Musgraves on divorce and her new album by Veronique Hyland. I can’t wait!!!
The people who want to keep masking: “It’s like an invisibility cloak” by Julia Carrie Wong. The freedom of finally not having to smile at people.
“Maybe it’s because I’m a New Yorker or maybe it’s because I always feel like I have to present my best self to the world, but it has been such a relief to feel anonymous,” she said. “It’s like having a force field around me that says ‘don’t see me’.”
The things we don’t discuss by Jill Filipovic
Can we understand how maternal regret, resentment, guilt, and grief can live in tandem with maternal love when the maternity itself was forced and not consented to? Can we comprehend the fact that a woman can nurse a baby she loves on one breast, and a vision of a life stolen from her on the other?
The oldest productivity trick around by Amitava Kumar. Basically, make sure your big dream is a consistent part of your daily life, and track the hell out of it so you can see your progress.
I had recently come across that famous Annie Dillard line: “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” It made me realize that too often I spent my days wanting to write and not writing. Again and again, I would note in my journal, “I did not write today.” The idea that this was how I was going to spend my life filled me with despair.
Click and read the caption too:
I’m listening to
The Cut: How do I know if I want kids?
Tooth & Claw: Grizzly bear attack. Me and mom listened to many episodes of this podcast about animal attacks (hosted by a biologist) while driving around Yellowstone. We saw THIRTEEN bears there!
Questionable self-care advice
🤷♀️ Nothing matters. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately.
🪄 The wonders of therapy
🙂 If you purchase stuff on Amazon, always order through smile.amazon.com so some of your purchase will be donated to a charity of your choice.
🆘 Do you have a self-care emergency kit?
⚰️ Wikipedia list of unusual deaths
Minerva got a new collar 💟
“good 4 u” by Olivia Rodrigo. The angry emo resurgence millennials have been waiting for.
Check out the full CSBC playlist
Thanks to Nicole Zhu for the lovely shoutout in her newsletter, Nicole Donut (which just turned one!)
Pitch advice, calls for stories, and freelancing resources compiled by Erika Hayasaki (via Jillian Anthony’s great newsletter Cruel Summer Book Club)
And thanks to Nisha Chittal for the kind words in her wonderful newsletter:
This week’s recommendation is Jillian Anthony’s Cruel Summer Book Club, which is not actually a book club but is a great newsletter about love, loss, and living well. I love Jillian’s essays and interviews, and almost always find interesting links to read that I haven’t seen elsewhere!
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