Cruel Compendium #39 🍋

Infinite creativity, crying to Kacey Musgraves, and pegging the patriarchy

I’m Jillian Anthony, and this is Cruel Summer Book Club, a newsletter about change and living well. ICYMI, on the podcast I talked with Dr. Susie Bannon about her experience getting sober, going to prison, and the injustices of the prison industrial complex. Give it a listen.

You may have noticed the newsletter is coming less on Tuesdays lately—I’m traveling, moving and working a lot this month. For now, you can expect the newsletter on Thursdays as I release the next four podcast episodes, and regular Tuesday newsletters will return sometime soon. Thanks for being here!

I’m reading

The infinite well of creativity by Susan Orlean. Just keep writing.

Dead white man’s clothes by Linton Besser. This interactive piece with shocking photos shows how fast fashion is turning parts of Ghana into a toxic landfill. I had no idea that we’re buying 60% more clothing than we were 15 years ago, and only keeping them half as long.

Sara Bareilles on the lessons of Pema Chodron and the joy of 10-mile walks by Sarah Bahr. These are a few of my favorite things. Bareilles shares some really actionable tips for mental health here. She’s back on Broadway in Waitress right now!

Texas abortion laws will make patients suffer by Dr. Chavi Eve Karkowsky. It’s been strange grappling with the fact that I now live in a state leading the way in stripping women of their (legally protected) rights to bodily autonomy.

The United States has been heading in this direction for years, or even decades, as small and large legal actions have chipped away at abortion access by requiring ultrasounds that serve no medical need, and inappropriate but legally mandated counseling, and waiting periods that exist purely to add another logistical barrier for people who have already made up their mind to end a pregnancy. Eighty-seven percent of counties in the U.S. already do not have an abortion provider; many of the ones that do have a doctor flown in one day a week, at considerable personal risk. Getting an abortion in most of the United States is already generally the privilege of people who are wealthy or who live in the right jurisdiction, or both.

The New York Times’ “It’s Never Too Late” series tells stories of people who prove you’re never too old to follow your dreams. And Dodai Stewart talks about how reading The Artist’s Way inspired her!

Again and again, the message was that you are not stuck; you can change your mind. You can change your life.

Questionable self-care advice

Support system

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Vision board

My current nail art has been on my vision board for years. Book with @jmoneynails if you’re in New York! 🍋


Minerva moment

Minerva is spending the month in Las Vegas with my parents. I can’t stop smiling at this picture of how happy my dad is to have her with him again.


“Freedom” by Kygo and Zak Abel
I’ve been listening to this song obsessively. I hope you’re feeling free this week.
Check out the full CSBC playlist

PS—who’s been crying to the new Kacey Musgraves album this week? 🙋‍♀️


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