Recommended reading / viewing / listening

This week: When coronavirus hits / When couples decorate together / Problematic David Foster Wallace / 250 years after the Boston Massacre / What writers can learn from Richard Pryor

This week: When coronavirus hits / When couples decorate together / Problematic David Foster Wallace / 250 years after the Boston Massacre / What writers can learn from Richard Pryor

Most of these great items come from my social media networks. Follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, LinkedIn, and Facebook for more fascinating videos, photos, articles, essays, and criticism. Learn more about my academic background here.

1. What can Texas do if a coronavirus outbreak hits?
By Edgar Walters | The Texas Tribune | March 2020
“While Texas has not yet seen ‘community spread’ of coronavirus, U.S. health officials have told states to begin considering special measures in case of a COVID-19 outbreak.”
Associated Press: How risky is that virus? Your mind may mislead
Associated Press: Dogs, cats can’t pass on coronavirus, but can test positive

2. How to Write a Perfect Resignation Letter
By Alison Green | Ask a Boss :: The Cut | February 2020
“How do you tell your boss? How do you initiate that meeting? What do you write in your resignation letter? And for that matter, considering that it’s 2020, why are we still marking this important conversation by letter?”

3. Til decor do us part? How couples can decorate together
By Melissa Rayworth | Associated Press | February 2020
“If one partner loves filling every space with mementos and the other is clutter-averse, who gets their way? It can be hard to find good compromises when one loves bold colors and patterns, while the other favors calming shades of gray.”

4. Are Kids Bad for the Planet?
The Politics of Everything :: The New Republic | January 2020
“The fraught decision to have children — or not — in an era of climate crisis”

5. Dead tyrants, foiled dreams and failed states: How Arab literature captures the spirit of the times
By Khalid Hajji | Middle East Eye | February 2020
“Powerful novels provide a spectacle of our weaknesses, failures, foiled dreams, slain tyrants and frustrated reformers”

6. The Fraught Task of Describing Life with David Foster Wallace
By Zan Romanoff | LitHub | February 2020
“The book maps a man’s abusive behavior towards a woman, the external force he exerts on her, almost incidentally; its true interest is in describing what it feels like to be a person having that kind of force enacted on you at time in your life when you don’t know what the rules are yet—when you have to wonder if what’s happening to you is normal, or, if not normal, then no more than what you deserve.”

7. The Boston Massacre: Deadly squabble was not quite as the propaganda portrayed it
By Brian MacQuarrie | The Boston Globe | March 2020
“It was a deadly confrontation between familiar faces. Little would ever be the same again in Boston, a cramped town of 15,000 people packed into a single square mile.”

8. What Richard Pryor’s Stand-Up Can Teach Writers
By Joe Fassler | The Atlantic | May 2018
“The nonfiction author Cutter Wood on how the comedian’s work helped him imbue minor characters with emotional life”

9. A Thin Line
By Christian Wallace | Boomtown :: Texas Monthly | January 2020
“During booms, the Permian Basin sees a rise in prostitution charges. But misperceptions and stereotypes about sex work have led to policies that may actually harm the women involved.”

10. My best friend seems to have no time for me. Am I being too demanding?
By Eleanor Gordon-Smith | The Guardian | January 2020
“The world divides into people. … Those who need plans and people who are constrained by them”

Author: Fernando Ortiz Jr.

Handsome gentleman scholar, Civil War historian, unpretentious intellectual, world traveler, successful writer.

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