“You can get more done being anonymous. I know how people can get famous, but they have to want to do that … It has to tickle the G-spot of their minds, because being anonymous is so much more powerful. You can get so much more done if you’re not worried about fame and fortune. You can get a lot done.”
The Best American Travel Writing, which highlights the best travel stories from the previous full year, arrives in bookstores and on tablets this week. The 2014 edition is edited by Paul Theroux, who has selected some outstanding reads from a variety of print and online publications. Here are few that you can read online right now:
- Poisoned Land by Elif Batuman, The New Yorker
- America the Marvelous by A.A. Gill, Vanity Fair
- Clear Eyed in Calcutta by Andrew McCarthy, World Hum
- Excuse Us While We Kiss the Sky by Matthew Power, GQ
- A Moving Experience by Thomas Swick, The Morning News
- Born on the 9th of July by Patrick Symmes, Outside Magazine*
- Maximum Bombay by Gary Shteyngart, Travel & Leisure*
Some honorable mentions include Thanksgiving in Mongolia, Ariel Levy’s devastating personal essay; The Fallout by Frank Bures; A Sort of Happy Ending by David Farley (yay, Farley!); Go Your Own Way by Douglas Mack (yay, Doug!); and How Hipsters Ruined Paris by Thomas Chatteron Williams.
*These are the print magazine titles of these articles. The online titles are slightly different.
Dog Day Afternoon is one of the coolest, rawest films I’ve ever seen. In it, Al Pacino gives such a heartfelt performance as John Wojtowicz, the man who masterminded – and botched – the robbery of a Brooklyn bank in August 1972. Now there’s a documentary about the life of Wojtowicz called “The Dog” and it looks just as wild as you can imagine.
Writers’ residencies are becoming all the rage it seems. So here’s one where the wifi will probably work.
TinyLetter, the newsletter company, is putting up five writers for ten days at the Ace Hotel and Swim Club in Palm Springs, California. The timings for the TinyLetter Writing Residency are:
- Application deadline: September 26
- Residency: November 30 – December 9
They claim it will be a great environment to get things done, but I guess that depends on who the other four writers are.
Disclosure: I write tiny letters sometimes.
If you have a friend that you talk to on a regular basis, either over coffee or gchat, you’ll start to notice certain words that she uses. You have your own signature words, too, even though you may not even realize it.
Matthew J.X. Malady explores fingerprint words this week in Slate. How do we adopt them? How should we feel when “our” words get picked up by the masses?
“There is a lot of ambivalence there,” he says. “On the one hand we like that people admire or respect our choices. And to some extent we like being a leader. But there’s something also uncomfortable about people mimicking us. We want people to say, ‘Oh, that’s great,’ but not to start imitating us.”