I tease my boyfriend relentlessly about his Hobby Graveyard. The boxing gloves, used for one summer. The rock climbing shoes and chalk bag, used religiously for about two weeks. The woodworking table, now our barbecue stand. But I'm a total hypocrite, because the space between my bed and nightstand is the Valley of Unread Books, all in various stages of incompletion. This is why, even though I've wanted to start a book club since my mom informed me that it's really a euphemism for Pinot Noir and Husband Dismissal, I'm holding off until I can prove to myself that I can actually finish a book within a given (non-infinite) window. In the meantime, this is my article club. I am the only member, which means I get to pick them all. These are all the things I spent my work hours reading (and then promptly complaining about how I don't have enough hours to do my work) this week.
1. The Tragic Darkness Behind Dr. Brandt's Extreme Façade, via Vanity Fair
Inside what happened to celebrity dermatologist Frederic Brandt, who committed suicide shortly after an unflattering caricature (a plasticized Martin Short as "Dr. Franff") appeared on the Netflix show Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. While the writer is clear it wasn't just the parody that made "gentle, unoffending" Fred kill himself, she explains why it may have been the coup de grace—and the fine line between comedy and senseless bullying ("Dear Fat People", anyone?).
2. TOMS Founder Blake Mycoskie's Los Angeles Home, via Architectural Digest
A certain founder of a certain polarizing espadrille has stolen my dream life w/o permission, curly dogs and all. They even live in a place called Topanga. Highlight: giant framed photo of Mycoskie and his wife peeing at their wedding in the entryway.
3. 14 Psychological Tricks Everyone Should Know, via Esquire
I despise generalist success tips (Step One: Be Better!), but this list's dead-simple and super-specific pointers actually felt like things I could use day-to-day. For some reason, it's so, so hard for me to maintain eye contact without feeling like Ashley S. on The Bachelor, so the point about making note of a person's eye colour during an introduction has actually been a game-changer.
4. The Story Behind the Spotlight Movie, via Boston Globe
TIFF just ended in Toronto, and Spotlight was by far the best movie I saw this, or any, year. Not only did it combine my personal best-picture trifecta of journalism, crime and Rachel McAdams, but hearing the IRL Boston Globe reporters who worked on the 2001 exposé of 90 Boston-area pedophile priests and the Catholic church's systematic cover-up speak about the investigation was so fascinating. My spine still tingles when I think about that four-minute standing O.
5. Mindy Kaling's Guide to Killer Confidence, via Glamour
Alright, so recent pieces haven't really pointed in favour of gleaning life advice from Glamour Magazine. But this since Kaling wrote this, I feel like it doesn't count. The pages I dog-eared in her first book were the ones on which she spoke about starting out in the writer's room for The Office (basically my paramount dream and worst nightmare rolled into one) and having to very quickly get really, really confident about her work. This excerpt made me want to push all 16 quarter-finished books even further under my bed and start Why Not Me? (or at the very least binge my way through six episodes of The Mindy Project).
6. My Fiancé's Mother Threatened Suicide if We Got Married, via Nylon
Don't let the clickbait-y head dissuade you—this story is a beautifully written timeline of a relationship crumbling under the weight of the Indian caste system. I'll leave it at that because I'll probably accidentally say something racist due to knowing next to nothing about class structure in India, but read it.