For his new bookshop installation, One Grand, editor Aaron Hicklin asked people to name the 10 books they’d take with them if they were marooned on a desert island (our favorite game to play!)
The next installment in the series comes from Erica Jong, the writer and feminist icon whose 11th novel, Fear of Dying, is out this week.
“The Golden Notebook,” Doris Lessing
One woman’s struggle to write a notebook that contains all the compartmentalized facets of her life — her childhood, her politics and her lovers. Unlike the popular books of the 1960s, which featured “mad housewives” jumping out of windows, what Lessing tried to do was to bring together a woman’s brain and a woman’s body, to show the delight in physicality. Womanhood is exuberant — and wonderful.
“Memories of a Catholic Girlhood,” Mary McCarthy
The nonfictional account of Mary McCarthy’s idyllic childhood, cut short by the death of her parents. McCarthy was orphaned by the influenza epidemic that followed WWI; both of her parents died in a flash. She was then raised by her grandparents in Seattle. The wonderful thing she does in the book is to tell what happened, and then to write about what might have happened. It takes “memoir” to a whole other level. It gives you a shot of adrenaline; it makes you ask yourself, “What was the transformational moment in my life when my story really begins?”
“The Country Girls Trilogy,” Edna O’Brien
A coming-of-age story of two young Catholic girls in Ireland. This is a writer who is a woman, a lover, a daughter, a mother, and she tries to bring all that together in her work. So few women writers were doing that in the 1960s. Instead, they were writing through a male persona, because they knew that otherwise they wouldn’t be taken seriously. But as O’Brien says, “I am the mother of sons; my sons have given me joy. I am a lover of men, and men have broken my heart — but they’ve also given me joy.”
“The Bell Jar,” Sylvia Plath
A young woman suffers a breakdown while pursuing her dream of being a magazine editor. Plath made it possible for women to confront our anger and make literature out of it. She made it acceptable to declare our rage.
“The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. One: 1931-1934,” Anaïs Nin
In Nin, you see a woman owning up to her sexuality. She was a great feminist, a great lover.
“Jane Eyre,” Charlotte Brontë
A younger woman comes to serve as governess in an English country manor — and falls for the mysterious owner of the house. There is so much about this book that was revolutionary. You have a heroine who is plain, but she’s clever. Also, Jane is a woman who speaks her mind — she doesn’t lie to please the establishment, or to please men.
“Home Before Dark,” Susan Cheever
A wonderful biography of a father by a daughter who is just discovering who her father was.
“Cheri and the Last of Cheri,” Colette
A beautifully written story of a tragic love affair.
“A Tale of Love and Darkness,” Amos Oz
A marvelous autobiography of a writer.
“To the End of the Land,” David Grossman
A novel that explores the Israeli-Arab problem better than any I have read.
This week on GOOP, style maven Taylor Tomasi Hill writes about villa hopping through St. Bart’s. While the island is both insanely expensive and crowded over the holidays, it turns out that August is the perfect time to go. Low rates, cool people, and uncrowded beaches.
Tomasi Hill writes about where to stay, where to eat, and what to pack...including our special limited-edition Ivory Row x Goop Cashmere Tee.
Shop the rest of the Ivory Row x Goop collaboration here!
We're very proud to announce the launch of an exclusive capsule sweater collection in collaboration with Gwyneth Paltrow and her website goop.com.
The GOOP x IVORY ROW COLLECTION comprises four sweater styles inspired by the vintage look and feel of classic American sweatshirts, recreated in luxuriously soft cashmere. Each style – from a classic cashmere knit tee, to a varsity elbow-patch sweater – embodies just the right mix of style, ease and indulgence.
Available exclusively at goop.com, the Ivory Row collection joins the ranks of other prestigious Goop collaborations, such as those created by Michael Kors, Rag & Bone, and Stella McCartney.
Shop the exclusive IVORY ROW x GOOP collection now for a limited time only. xx
WHAT TO SEE: Love & Mercy
Love & Mercy presents an unconventional portrait of Brian Wilson, the mercurial singer, songwriter and leader of The Beach Boys. Set against the era-defining catalog of Wilson’s music, the film intimately examines the personal voyage and ultimate salvation of the legendary icon whose success came at extraordinary cost. With Paul Dano playing Wilson during the Beach Boys’ 1960s heyday and John Cusack as an older version of Wilson in the 1980s, the movie toggles back and forth, exploring the creating of that signature sound Wilson was haring in his head. Elizabeth Banks plays a woman who meets the older Wilson/Cusack and tries to help him through the pill-generated fog of his life. Both Cusack and Wilson give possibly the the best performances of their careers in this terrific and deeply fascinating film about one of the most complex virtuosos in music history.
WHAT TO READ: The Knockoff by Lucy Sykes + Jo Piazza
The only thing better than lying on the beach with a great summer book is lying on the beach with a great summer written by one of your favorite people. Our dear friend Lucy Sykes is the co-writer of The Knockoff, an outrageously stylish, wickedly funny novel of fashion in the digital age. The book tells the story of Imogen Tate, editor in chief ofGlossy magazine, who finds her 20-something former assistant plotting to knock Imogen off her pedestal, take over her job, and reduce the magazine into an app. A modern take on All About Eve, the book is a hilariously fun tale of digital-age upheaval in the fashion world and already a worldwide hit. As one of our favorite reviews put it, “the book makes The Devil Wears Prada look like My Little Pony.” Bravo, Lucy!
Available now on Amazon
WHAT TO HEAR: How Big How Blue How Beautiful by Florence and the Machine
Florence Welch rocketed to prominence and fame because of her brilliant penchant for the grandiose. Her band’s biggest hits, like the swelling “Dog Days Are Over” and the “Shake It Off” were full of sweeping gestures and poetic imagery. However, on her third album, the singer is scaling back a bit, with more intimate acoustics and lyrics focused on retrenching in the wake of a failed relationship. But what she sings about matters less than how she sings it. A captivating vocalist, Welch’s vibrato shakes with such force and passion, it could set off the San Andreas fault. This might be the only break-up album that makes you want to rock and roll.
How Big How Blue How Beautiful is available on iTunes.
WHAT TO WATCH: Bloodline
With the success of House of Cards and Orange is the New Black, Netflix’s original programming has been . However,Bloodlines might be their best show yet. At first glance, the show looks ominously like a poignant family drama about a close-knit Southern clan. But appearances can be deceiving. The show isn’t a sensitive portrait of the richness of family ties. It’s a deadly film noir of a sneaky dissembling family. The story of a prodigal son’s return is sheathed in layers of duplicity, mistrust, and personal demons. Despite an incredible ensemble cast of Kyle Chandler, Sissy Spacek, and Sam Shepherd, the star of the show is Ben Mendelsohn, whose chilling portrayal of the black sheep bent on pushing his siblings to the limits of family loyalty is one of the most terrifying characters on television.
Bloodline now streaming on Netflix.
While she's used to taking celebrity portraits like those of actress Keira Knightley, chef Jamie Oliver or the rock band Beastie Boys, photographer Jenny Lewis shows that she's just as skilled at capturing beautiful portraits of mother and child. One Day Young is a touching photo project that shows mothers with their babies within 24 hours of their birth. Lewis didn't know any of the mothers beforehand, rather, she called out for participants in the London borough of Hackney with this message:
"My aim is to capture the extraordinary bonding, warmth and strength between mother and infant. In fact the whole range of amazing emotions felt at that time, as the mothering instinct kicks in. Having had a home birth, I am particularly interested in catching this moment of intimacy in the home, where the outside world has not burst the bubble..."
Look through the photographs and you'll see a wide range of emotions displayed on each woman's face. However, there's one feeling that runs throughout...pride. “Motherhood really brings people together, it doesn’t matter how much money you’ve got, or what your job is, you’ve just done this amazing thing so everyone feels joyous and proud,” Lewis said.
We couldn't agree more. Happy Mother's Day to all you moms out there!
See more of Jenny Lewis' photos here.