Issue #62: The Problem with "Day in the Life" Posts
And 5 things poet Kate Baer can't live without.
Morning Person is a weekly newsletter packed with obsessively-curated recommendations and ideas—let’s get to it!
📺 Let’s All Go to Italy (…Or Not): In the Netflix miniseries “From Scratch” starring Zoe Saldaña, based on Tembi Locke’s memoir, Amy goes to Italy for a study-abroad program in art and falls in love with a Sicilian chef. What follows is the ups and downs of their love affair (if you like surprises, don’t watch the trailer, which gives away the entire show). It’s much more engaging than I thought it would be! To linger under the Tuscan sun… consider pairing with the second season of “White Lotus,” and the latest season of Stanley Tucci’s “Searching for Italy” and his memoir. Over it? Read the article, “I Am Tired of Watching People Go to Italy.”
📚 The Passenger by Cormac McCarthy: There are characters and scenes that stick with me from Cormac McCarthy books I read years ago, like the persistently dark Chigurh in No Country for Old Men, and the frightening cellar discovery (no spoilers) in The Road. His latest book, The Passenger, out last week, is his first novel in over fifteen years (and the first of a pair that will be released next month, each narrated by a brother/sister, respectively). True to form, it begins with the unforgettable image of the narrator, Bobby Western, coming upon a woman hanging from a tree in a snowy field. The book is… difficult to describe, as McCarthy weaves questions of physics, morality, and ethics around a fidgety, if compelling, plot. I’m glad I read it, though it sometimes felt I was earning a badge for a certain kind of cocktail party where a guest would ask, “Have you read the new McCarthy?” If you aren’t already a fan, it may be worth skipping in honor of the New York Times review which ruminates on the “Janus quality” of the pair of books, and may have been more interesting to me than the book itself... If you’re looking for an alternative, I also finally read and loved Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell, about Shakespeare’s spell-casting wife, and his son’s death from the plague.