literary food blog, for readers with good taste.

Bookmarked: The Leonard Bernstein Letters

Welcome back to Bookmarked. In this weekly series, I bookmark things I covet while sharing alternatives I can actually attain in the meantime. This is the Leonard Bernstein letters edition.


All of the greatest authors have a sense of musicality, whether they know it or not. From Hemingway’s staccato works to Junot Diaz’s wandering slurs, we respond to rhythm when we read. 

That’s why I’m so interested to check out a collection of letters from Leonard Bernstein, one of the great American musicians. Not only was his life fascinating, and his slew of correspondents vast and star-studded, but I’m sure that his writing style will be magical and fascinating. He was self-reflective in all his compositions (musical or prose), and critics rave about this window into Bernstein’s psyche. 

In the meantime, we can always count on his music. He’s famous for his popular musicals like West Side Story, but I’m actually the biggest fan of his orchestral and chamber music — check out his Sonata for Clarinet and Piano (1942); it may make you tingle.

What do you think?  Can we count on musicians for giving us beautiful words — or should we let them stick to tunes?

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Donna Tartt's "The Goldfinch" & Lemon-Orzo Soup