My friend Sasha gave me her copy of Diane di Prima’s Memoirs of a Beatnik for my birthday. I think she bought it at a secondhand store during her freshman year in college. There are marks in the margins, which I completely adore, even though they’re not Sasha’s. She’s a relatively new friend who’s recently learned about my little writing projects and it touched me that she came up with, really, the perfect gift. I’m sort of in love with di Prima, having read her poetry, even though I’m not much for memoirs (now called blogs, by the way). With the exception of Katharine Hepburn and Boutros Boutros-Ghali, because duh, they didn’t have blogs and they actually had something interesting to say. But seriously, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers can kiss my ass. (ooh, snap.) Whatever; the kids seem to like it. Of course I like di Prima because she writes amazingly lyrical and lovely things (do your beat poet research), is smart and real and her attitudes about sex and love in this work have a very familiar ring.
Esther Perel’s Mating in Captivity – I’m taking this on the flight to NYC. It came via UPS on Friday thanks to my smarty girlcrush, Rachel Kramer Bussel. Stay tuned. Update: So I read it (mostly). And I think I’ll keep it, because while it’s about defining boudaries in relationships and keeping sex exciting and satisfying in long term relationships, it’s mostly fun to read Perel’s accounts of her patients’ sex lives.
Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamond. It’s a totally fascinating book about the spread of human populations around the world and how cultures develop in response to invention, biology and industry. Diamond is a professor of geography, which makes me sigh, because I think it’s hot. Like, geothermal.