Continuing our newsletter series, Granta Best of Young American Novelist Akhil Sharma, author of the much-anticipated new novel Family Life, shares five links of what he’s reading, watching, thinking about and loving right now.


1. I love Frank Delaney’s brilliant and insanely detailed exegesis on James Joyce’s Ulysses. Delaney does very short podcasts, some only three or four minutes long and covering just a paragraph of Ulysses. What I like about his analysis is both the intelligence behind it and the happiness I feel when I see somebody doing something out of love and admiration. It makes the world a bigger place.

2. I like to read about finance. Doing this forces me to think about things which I don’t have any practical reason to consider. For my general financial news I go to Bloomberg. For my interest in funds and market volatility I like Zero Hedge. This latter has a bit more melodrama to it.

3. I also follow OED on Twitter for stuff like this:

Tired of the word ‘awesome’? Alternatives include eximious, braw, topgallant, prestantious, supernacular, or snodger.

— The OED (@OED) April 14, 2014

4. I love to imagine myself in different locations and I spend an inordinate amount of time looking at and then comparing the hotels there to hotels mentioned on the hotel review site Trip Advisor. Researching hotels in particular cities is a nice way to learn about cities in general. It is also a great way to daydream and waste time.

5. Recently I have been listening to recordings of writers giving talks at and reading interviews of writers on the Paris Review website. There is nothing eerier than hearing the voice of a long-dead writer whom you admire. There is also in the polish of the Paris Review interviews (for which writers can revise their answers) a feeling of listening to smarter and better people than one can ever meet in real life.


Cover image  © SportsSuburban, TravelLodge Las Vegas, 2015

The Bees that Disappeared
The Casualties