Friday, February 3, 2023

First first friday


Every first Friday of the month here at clerkmanifesto I like to update you on what I'm reading, watching, and listening to. Like, for instance, last month I told you about...



Let me check.

You're right.

I've never done this before!!!!!!

But it's such a good idea!

3,695 published blog posts and I have never...

Well, it's never too late to do the right thing. 

I learned that from Robert DeNiro in The Intern, my "Movie" pick from the "First Friday" post here at clerkmanifesto, in December in 2015.

Or, I mean, it would have been if we... did that.

So here's our first First Friday arts round up for precisely this moment of February, 2023!

Reading aloud book:

The brilliant Deadly Education by Naomi Novak, about prophecies and a dangerous school for young magicians. This is the best fantasy trilogy since, well, Lord of the Rings, and I can't say enough good things about it. 

Though you might want to keep an eye out for me trying to do so in some future post because, seriously, this is a masterpiece.

Book I am listening to on my phone at work:

Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin. This is very good book I sometimes love and sometimes just, maybe, like? It's about two friends and their long friendship and making video games and, I don't know, life? I doubt you will find me writing more about here in the future.

Visual Arts:

Grant Woods landscape painting. I love this stuff and have been looking around for it and might try and figure out why I love it so much sometime soon. With a post Impressionism and truly American distinctiveness I think the echoes of the influence of these paintings by Grantie are still running through our visual landscape, like a million capillaries, almost a hundred years later.

Book I'm reading:

Windswept by Margaret Preus. This is pretty good, like a fable, fairytale story crashed up against a far future dystopia story in a conscious way. I have a few books on my shelf that I am eager to get to and so I keep thinking of moving on and not finishing this book, but I can't, quite.

TV series:

Lockwood and Co., which is a terrific adaptation of one of my favorite book series by Jonathan Stroud. I've read the Lockwood and Co. books so often that an assortment of these five books have featured in my "First Friday" blog posts eleven times already!

Sorry, yes, I made this joke once before, and I know that I have never done a First Friday before, but if I had

Anyway, this Lockwood and Co. is about a dreary sort of eighties England in the grip of something like a ghost plague. The show is surprisingly well done, on Netflix, and I recommend it, but feverishly urge you, like as one obsessed, to read the books first.


This Orchestral Bjork on YouTube:

YouTube Essays:

I watch an awful lot of YouTube essays, so, to be as current as I can, I will go with my latest "discovery": Baumgarten Restoration. These are videos where an accomplished painting restorer takes us through various fine art restorations. They are extremely soothing. Here is a link if it interests you:


  1. Good morning, or whenever. Your influence continues, resulting in two books requested at "my" library and a considerable stretch of time devoted to watching the rehabilitation of a piece of art. Thank you.

    1. I'm so glad! You're watching the Baumgarten Restoration? It's so soothing I think.


If you were wondering, yes, you should comment. Not only does it remind me that I must write in intelligible English because someone is actually reading what I write, but it is also a pleasure for me since I am interested in anything you have to say.

I respond to pretty much every comment. It's like a free personalized blog post!

One last detail: If you are commenting on a post more than two weeks old I have to go in and approve it. It's sort of a spam protection device. Also, rarely, a comment will go to spam on its own. Give either of those a day or two and your comment will show up on the blog.