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Check out a surrealist oil painting by Dr. Seuss

We’ve officially entered the stretch of summer where it’s no longer fun to be outside and all you want to do is cuddle up to the nearest air conditioner. To keep you occupied while you escape the heat, here is the best the internet has to offer on books and related topics for the week of July 11, 2016.

To young literateurs I want to give three bits of advice: First, don’t write poetry; second ditto; third ditto. You may be surprised to hear me say so, but there is no particular need of poetic expression. We are utilitarian, and the current cannot be stopped.

Indirectly, it was writing, too, which gave me the means and the confidence to study literature at university, something I would not have considered before; to train as a teacher; to move from my hometown, which I had never lived away from, to the other end of England. For a long time I didn’t even write; instead, I read hundreds of other people’s books — and writing, too, was what gave me permission to do that. At times, I wondered if I would ever return to writing. Weren’t all these other books in the world enough?

Every morning since she found out she was pregnant, she’d been drinking hot lemon water. ‘It corrects your pH levels,’ she’d explained to Peter. She used the hot water to wash down all her prenatal vitamins, big dun-colored pills that smelled like fish food, pills that promised to soak the baby in minerals and proteins. It was strange for Peter to imagine their baby’s fingernails hardening inside her, its muscles uncoiling. The unbelievable lozenge of its heart.

Happy reading!

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