This book can change your life

Every so often, I try to clear a little space on my already overstuffed bookshelves. Today I’m leaving two books on my porch, one of which had a big effect on me when I first read it–and possibly on two people who didn’t.

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Not quite white

I was making my way back to work after lunch with a friend at La Loteria, one of the few Mexican restaurants I like in Manhattan.

I don’t like to walk around in Greenwich Village because I always get lost, but I do it because, as anyone will tell you, it’s rare to find good Mexican food in New York. I also like that place because most of the people working there seem to be Hispanic. I’m sorry to be so judgey, but I hate Mexican restaurants that only employ white waitstaff.

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Dance like nobody’s watching

It won’t come as a surprise to learn that I’m not comfortable dancing. That’s exactly why last year, for my wife’s birthday, I signed us up for dance classes. The gift was not me learning to dance, it was my willingness to put up with the humiliation of taking dance classes.

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Worst movie ever

There I was, in a crowded 4 train on my commute to work in the Financial District, reading another horrifying story about the ravages of neoliberalism, when something caught my eye.

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A glitch in the matrix

As I do most nights (and as she described in this lovely article), I was reading to my wife in bed. This time, it was a very strange story about a community of people who believe a ’90s children’s movie starring Sinbad has disappeared, possibly due to a crossover with other dimensions, a glitch in the computer simulation we’re all living in, or simply a conspiracy (read it yourself, it’s amazing). Then the doorbell rang.

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Party talk

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Disappointing primitives

I was recently reading Hugh Honour’s Neo-Classicism (part of Penguin’s excellent Style and Civilization series from the ’60s and ’70s) and not enjoying it very much. The book is fine, but the topic was less than scintillating. I guess it depends on your tolerance for sentimental art about civic duty. Then I was jolted awake by a short passage in the epilogue:

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