Our Year in Reading 2015

2015 booksIn under the wire, my annual round-up of the books my husband and I read over the year.

My book-loving guy and I read two books in common this year: Jenny Offill’s Dept. of Speculation, which we both loved (a rare event for us), and Alice McDermott’s Someone, which I loved and warned him he wouldn’t. I was right, alas.

The other thing I’ll say about Dan’s list is that he’s shown his usual penchant, both for reading work in translation and for finding an author he loves and reading a lot of their work. Continue reading

Inciting: @Large–Ai Weiwei on Alcatraz

inciting, Ai Weiwei, @Large Ai Weiwei on Alcatraz, Alcatraz, Chinese dragon, dragon kite
Inciting: from With Wind, @Large: Ai Weiwei on Alcatraz exhibit

On Christmas Eve, my mother, my husband, my two sons, and I went to the @Large: Ai Weiwei on Alcatraz exhibit on Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay.

I am not a sophisticated observer of the visual arts. I see stuff, I like it, I don’t, I’m moved, I’m bored, I’m provoked, I’m exhilarated — often for no clear reason that I can articulate. I don’t know much about art history, I’m woefully ignorant about contemporary art, and I rarely go to art museums or exhibits or galleries. And although I’d heard of Ai Weiwei, I didn’t know much about him or his work or about his particular brand of activism. I don’t really write (overtly, anyway) about politics or human rights or social issues. Continue reading