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Things I've written about reading

That was January 2023

January flew, flew by, I tell you. We started with “wow, 2023 already, let’s have a chill time this year, hey what’s on Netflix?” and at the time of writing everything is different:

  • Things are not chill, because we’re preparing ourselves, our lives, and our house for our first-ever puppy
  • Both our work lives are unexpectedly bustling and busy
  • We cancelled Netflix

I’ve been saying for years that I’d be willing to pay 100 euros a month for a single, all-encompassing international streaming platform. I suppose it’s never going to happen, but, hey, at least we’ll have that puppy, right?

The puppy!

Like I said, we kicked off the year very quietly, thinking “meh, someone asked us if we wanted a puppy, but we’re not really sure just yet.” This all changed ones we learned that eight healthy puppies were born and we were allowed to pick first. We went for a visit mid-January, and fell deeply in love with little Lemonade, who’s coming home at the end of February.

I went from a serious dog-free advocate to an expecting dog parent in two months’ time, and I suppose it’s safe to say I’ve gone a bit mad. I’m designing a birth announcement card, and the puppy may or may not already have a website. Help me.


I picked up a few great titles at the library this month. One that was helpful to get through was, Loose Cannons Back on Track, about managing gifted neurodivergence in the workplace. At the moment, I’m thoroughly enjoying One Continuous Mistake: Four Noble Truths for Writers by Gail Sher.


Musically, the year is off to a great start. I’ve made a new Brian Eno discovery that’s hard not to love, found a Mitski gem that has been on repeat, and added a great track to my work playlist: Tieduprightnow by Parcels. As always, I’ve compiled a playlist of all of these and more. Feel free to check it out.


I saw Triangle of Sadness again this month, and loved it more than I did the first time. I appreciate how well this movie understands the finality of our social roles, and how, at the same time, they can be transformed in the blink of an eye. In addition, I am secretly a 13-year-old boy who likes to look at people drowning in their own vomit and excrement.

Anja and I also began watching Shrinking, which is surprisingly fun. ‘Men’s liberation movement’ like Ted Lasso, but ever so slightly more depressing and realistic.

Something else

I find myself looking for great influencers focused on gifted neurodivergence. Like those many awesome YouTubers sharing tips and tricks on how to live with ADHD, but for giftedness, and not in some Mensa kind of way, but just something that’s honest about the challenges one may encounter. Most of what I find is written by pedagogues for parents of gifted children. If you know of anything, feel free to let me know.

Week 44: Coat

The weather has officially reached a temperature that requires me to buy a new coat. I dread it. Unlike most other types of clothing, coats and jackets never seem to suit me, regardless of the style. To soften the blow of having to order several coats on the Internet hoping one will work for me, I granted myself three sets of retro socks.

I finished reading The Midnight Library, which I had borrowed from Annelie. It sure has been a long time since I last read a book that was both so entertaining and easygoing. It feels borderline young adult, and entirely unpretentious.

A believable truth

I never get much reading done unless I’m sleeping elsewhere. Most often, I associate sleeping elsewhere with having time off, and having time off means I’m away from a computer screen. This frees up time for reading.

Anja had booked a suite for my birthday at Okura, and six months after I turn 33, Covid measures are finally so mild that we actually get to do it. It’s on the sixteenth floor, overlooking the Amsterdam Centre and West Side. We eat like royalty, and fall asleep watching the sunset from our California King. I’m feeling like a million bucks.

Whenever we sleep elsewhere, I get overwhelmed with the endless possibilities of the things I can read. Usually, I manage to sneak five books into a suitcase, but for this weekend, I’ve limited myself to one: Mary Magdalene Revealed.

It’s a remarkable read, particularly given that the author Meggan Watterson got an MDiv and not an MFA in writing. Her words flow like a river, entirely sure of where she’s going. Every now and then, I’ll read a portion aloud to A, to share the joy of reading a theological work that is as inclusive and self-aware as it is unreserved and educational.

As I share snippets of insights, revelations in sweat lodges as well as things I never knew about the beauty of early Christianity, A asks me: “Don’t you find this book a bit… The Da Vinci Code-esque? I mean, all this talk of Mary Magdalene’s special relationship with Jesus, alternative plot lines… It’s like it’s all one big conspiracy theory, wouldn’t you say?”

A’s not the only woman who has made such remarks about this book. Isn’t it peculiar that feminists would rather deem femininity-inclusive gospels closer to possibly the worst book in the English language that has emerged in the past decade than to a perspective on Christ that could cure our heartaches?

Sunday seeds

  • If you ever happen to find yourself in the sleepy fishing town of IJmuiden: the fish, service, atmosphere, and cheesecake in the fish restaurant De Meerplaats are all very pleasant.
  • For my birthday, Erica Bouma gave me Jesus by rebel theologian Hans Küng. It’s a great and easy read — a recommendation for anybody interested in the history of Christianity.
  • The Son and the Stranger is a beautiful Dutch-language documentary about Daan, a man who, after studying Hebrew in university, converted to the ultra orthodox Jewish faith. Filmmaker Thomas Vroege attempts to understand his motives.
  • Ghost Shark, in which the translucent, bright blue ghost of a murdered shark jumps up from the smallest water surfaces to eat innocent holiday goers, is the worst worst Syfy-film of 2013. With a comeback from 7th Heaven‘s youngest daughter. Totally worth the choke by laughter, though.
  • I think Noah Kalina’s photo series Internet/Sex (2007-2009) is something very special.
  • My poet friend Jelmer van Lenteren runs a very nice Tumblr, where he shares his beautiful work and many great music tips.