Articles by Janet Potter

September 20, 2013

Zen and the Art of Pie Making 0

A great pie is a product of both skill and wisdom; as, I believe, is a great life.

May 28, 2013

Video Games Are a Metaphor for Life: Austin Grossman’s You 4

I like listening to people talk about video games. Not those conversations about who scored a sick no-scope head shot, or which character’s passive ability allows them to farm the most efficiently, mind you, but about why video games can be meaningful and why they matter.

May 16, 2013

The Museum of Unhappy Women: Z by Therese Anne Fowler 2

Paradoxically, this is the reason to write and read about Zelda, because she deserved a life much more interesting than the one that she got. Interesting to her, that is, a life she could have given her energy and talents to, not just a life made interesting by famous friends and European capitals.

April 24, 2013

What Should I Read on Vacation?: A Question I Never Took Lightly Again 1

This theory of vacation books, which I subscribe to so heartily, all began with a vacation I took, to London, which was one of the worst decisions I ever made, and the book I took along, Banvard’s Folly, which was one of the best.

March 28, 2013

Men Handling Things: On Stuart Nadler’s Wise Men 0

I can’t say whether I was enjoying the book itself or just the true American, grand tradition of it all. Surely I’m reading a great book, I thought, a rich man with a diamond watch is staring at the ocean while his son looks on and doubts it all!

February 28, 2013

What We Talk about When We Talk about Crying: John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars 11

When we talk about The Fault in Our Stars, we go straight to the unspeakable sadness, out of all the emotions evoked, because we want to convey the incredible emotional resonance of the book. What we’re trying to say is: this book mattered deeply to me, I think it could matter deeply to you too.

February 27, 2013

Love in the Bottom Rung: Ludmilla Petrushevskaya’s There Once Lived a Girl Who Seduced Her Sister’s Husband and He Hanged Himself 0

The characters have nothing to hope for but love, the one resource that can’t be rationed. The most depressing love affairs — emotionless, unrequited, exploitative — shine with promise in these settings.

December 9, 2012

A Year in Reading: Janet Potter 9

The 2012 Janet Potter Awards for Literary Achievement…

November 7, 2012

Election Night in Chicago 0

I was lucky enough to attend President Obama’s Election Night rally in Chicago, and wrote a diary of the evening for The Awl. “Let’s Stay Together” played, Vivica A. Fox walked by.

November 6, 2012

Addicted to Weird: An Interview with Jon Ronson 2

Everybody in the book feels in some way as if they’re lost at sea, and are grasping for something to get them through. And the thing that they often grasp for is something that’s kind of irrational, makes no sense, is ridiculous. And it becomes almost a celebration of irrationality as a human character trait to be cherished.