What has surprised and delighted you lately?

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The news is fuller of awfulness by the day—last week was especially grim—and don’t you feel like it’s getting to everyone? So I thought it might be nice to pause for a moment to focus on those people, places, and things that have unexpectedly done our hearts good. Like for instance, Saturday night I went to a Mets game, and when the kiss-cam came on the big Jumbotron screen, cameras zoomed in on two separate male couples, and the crowd went wild both times they kissed. This acceptance (and even celebration) of same-sex love at an event as macho as a professional baseball game felt like progress to me—even though I know that New York is a pretty cosmopolitan place and that the same reaction might not have happened at stadiums in some parts of this country. OK, now it’s your turn: what has made you feel like the world’s not so awful after all recently?

What bad habit would you like to kick to the curb?

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I hate to admit this, but Reader, I vape. Which is just so embarrassing. I mean, could anything be less cool? I’m currently transitioning to the gum, though, so there’s that, and I’m curious about you. What behavior are you looking to modify?

What are you reading/watching/etc?

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I am halfway though Fleishman is in Trouble, a hysterically funny and smart book about being single in middle age that gets so many details right that it truly makes the mind reel. It’s by Taffy Brodesser-Akner, whose byline you might recognize from some of the best profiles the New York Times publishes (she did this killer one on Gwyneth a while back). It’s getting all sorts of hype and it deserves every ounce of it.

Another book that’s getting a decent amount of attention—and is next on my list—is Darcey Steinke’s Flash Count Diary: Menopause and the Vindication of Natural LifeThe book takes a pretty radical stance on The Change—that we can be empowered by plummeting estrogen instead of diminished—and I find that intriguing. You can read an excerpt here.

I haven’t seen Olivia Wilde’s directing debut Booksmart, but I keep hearing it’s fantastic.

And I adored season two of Fleabag, and implore all of you who are not Phoebe Waller-Bridge fans to jump on the bandwagon. Nobody creates more complicated and fascinating, flawed but lovable female characters (see also: Killing Eve, which I also enjoyed but not as much).

Finally, I loved the Garry Winogrand: Color exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum. Winogrand has long been one of my favorite photographers, but I always thought he only worked in black and white. Turns out that he did a whole lot of shooting in color, and the work is overwhelmingly affecting, unsentimental, and bold. I don’t think anyone has captured America quite like him. Go to this show—you won’t regret it. Now tell me what culture you’ve been consuming, please.

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About

Kim France

I was born in Houston, Texas in 1964 and have lived in New York City since 1988. I had a long career in magazines, working at Sassy, Elle, New York, and Spin, and in 2000, I founded Lucky magazine, which I edited for ten years.

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