Issue #113: How To (Actually) Slow Down and Why It’s So Important
Go ahead and drink the tea.
Morning Person is a weekly newsletter packed with obsessively-curated recommendations and ideas—let’s get to it!
📚 Let Us Descend by Jesmyn Ward: In Ward’s latest novel, out today, Annis comes from an incredible lineage—her grandmother was an Agojie warrior from West Africa and her mother teaches her combat—yet she has been sold into slavery, forced to descend Antebellum circles of hell reminiscent of Dante, through North Carolina and Louisiana. It is a deliberately slow novel, told almost in real-time, of a woman coming of age amid harrowing circumstances.
🎧 “A Life in Lyrics” Podcast: When my ex and I separated, one of the items we both wanted most was the boxed set of coffee table books, in which Paul McCartney goes through most songs he’s written and explains their provenance. (Reader, I bought a new copy.) This podcast is the audio version, with brief conversations between Paul and his collaborator on that book, Paul Muldoon. At around 20 minutes, each episode is the perfect length of a brief walk with Toast and the perfect company—I love listening to Sir Paul talk about songs like “Eleanor Rigby” (more of a poem, as they point out), and the historical and personal contexts behind them. A master class in creativity, whether you’re a Beatles fan or not.
🎥 Killers of the Flower Moon, in theaters: This Scorsese film comes in at almost three and a half hours, but it flies by. Lily Gladstone anchors the film as Mollie Burkhart, whose husband, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, betrays her family with his uncle (Robert DeNiro) in a horrible plot to defraud and murder members of the Osage tribe living on an ocean of oil in 1920s Oklahoma. Beautifully shot, in classic Scorsese style with a gorgeous score suited to the tragic and true tale. The closing scene is breathtakingly original.
One more rec… In the new documentary “Another Body,” in theaters and on Prime, a college student discovers that her face is being used to create deep fake pornography and works with other women to uncover the man creating them. It’s a disgusting and violating, but real, threat that we all need to be aware of.
Immediately on waking up I make a cup of Yorkshire Gold with a chocolate digestive and read in bed for half an hour, or more. Always a book. Never a script or emails. This not only wakes me up, it puts me back in the world we are living in and who we are today. Unless there is an urgent reason I do not look at newspaper headlines, or listen to the news until halfway through the morning.
Here’s the thing: I didn’t write that. Patrick Stewart wrote it in his “By the Book” interview, but I was so inspired by the idea of it that I tore the quote out of the newspaper and placed it above my desk, where it spent two weeks taunting me. But, as you may have guessed, that morning never happened.
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial
Subscribe to morning person to keep reading this post and get 7 days of free access to the full post archives.