Ephemera, 8/20/23

I have a personal interest in the Paris-Brest-Paris ride this year, since my husband is attempting it for the first time. If you’re not familiar with this quadrennial 1200-km ride that attracts thousands of people from all over the world, that’s fine; most Americans aren’t. We always explain it by starting, “Have you seen that America’s Test Kitchen episode about a wheel-shaped pastry called a Paris-Brest …”

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Will 2024 be the year I finally read Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell? Adam Roberts’ piece reheats my desire, which has been cooled off for a while. I’ve attempted it twice, enjoyed what I read immensely, and yet in both cases petered out about halfway, distracted by life. I actually love big books, but there are big books and then there are BIG books. I’ll move it back to the TBR shelves, maybe.

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Phil Christman is always entertaining to read, even when he’s talking about things in which I barely have any interest, but I am always interested in 1980s college-alternative-new-wave-whatever music, and since I came to it fairly late in the decade, I love a good set of historical recommendations.

Perhaps one of these days, like Phil with ’80s alternative and David Bentley Hart with classical, I’ll launch a series based on my own esoteric deep-cut interest, which is in “Christian” new-wave/alt-pop from, say, 1981-1987, which was both better and worse than you think from that description. (If you generally enjoy ’80s post-punk pop, then objectively speaking, this is just a great song.)