It’s fitting that art historian Ann Reynolds is an expert in archival research of 21st century art and visual culture, as she sends this Shelf Life list, adding to this record of our cultural consumption at this moment.
+ Dennis Washburn’s 2015 translation of Marasaki Shikibu’s The Tale of Genji. I started reading this book after my first trip to Japan in December. Because of its length, it has provided continuity across the past five months, but, more important, its delicate, Buddhist-inflected narrative of mortality has been providing a welcome alternative universe every evening.
+ Shtisel, an Israeli television series about the Haredi sect of Orthodox Jews, shot mostly in Jerusalem. This show is so excellent because of the quality of the writing and the psychological depth given to all of the characters. I finished watching the two seasons on Netflix a few weeks ago, but I still miss it and some of the characters in particular.
+ Anna Coyne, co-owner of The Cube, Durham, NC for online Pilates and strength-based work outs. She has tremendous energy and sweetness that drive you to stay with her through relentlessly rigorous workouts.
+ David Tanis’s Market Cooking: Recipes and Revelations, Ingredient by Ingredient. We have been working our way through this cookbook over the past four months, along with several friends who also own the book. The recipes are relatively simple, but the results suggest otherwise.
+ Listening to Ivan Moravec’s recordings of Chopin’s 24 Préludes Opus 28 while working and fantasizing about having the time and patience to learn to play just one of them passably well.
+ Vernon Lee, The Spirit of Rome (1910) and with Beauty and Ugliness: And Other Studies in Psychological Aesthetics (1912), which Lee wrote with Clementina Anstruther-Thomson. I am reading both in relation to a book manuscript that I am finishing about, in part, embodied spectatorship. I also recommend Lee’s The Psychology of an Art Writer, which was recently reissued by David Zwirner Books.