Five Star's 287th Great Blog Roundup Is Brought to You By Zoë Heller

This week's Five Star great blog roundup is brought to you by the newfound release of gardening, cultural kindness, a mother in love with her children, a hermit co-conspirator, fighting for body positivity against the odds, a horrifically long-lived chunk of meat, being a woman, and Zoë Heller:

 by David Shankbone (own work) [ GFDL ,  CC-BY-SA-3.0  or  CC-BY-SA-2.5-2.0-1.0 ],  via Wikimedia Commons

by David Shankbone (own work) [GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0 or CC-BY-SA-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons

I don't write books for people to be friends with the characters. If you want to find friends, go to a cocktail party.

— Zoë Heller —

Happy Tuesday! And now for the blogs, ranked in no particular order:

"Tending" by Leah Reich at Medium:

Perhaps it is a garden of my own that does the trick. Or perhaps I am just now ready to exist in that quiet space, methodically ripping out that which does not belong, returning again and again to be vigilant. Perhaps I have only arrived at the place where I can tend to what I want to see grow, the place where patience lives, the place where I will protect the tender shoots and hardened surfaces just the same.

"On Awkward Acts of Generosity In Japan" by Eryk Salvaggio at This Japanese Life:

Americans are inherently selfish, some drunk Japanese people tell me. “Not you,” they say. “The culture.” I used to argue that our ideas of selfishness and social good were just more centered to individual freedoms, but this makes no sense here. The American Dream, this notion of “liberty,” isn’t a global dream.

"Love On the Edge of Eternity" by Maggie May Ethridge at Flux Capacitor:

[In] the dusk she wakes from time to time, her fat fingers moving slowly over my chest, looking for a nipple to pinch. [It's] milky dark and i am only awake in the humming furnace of my consciousness, the slow awareness that is just enough to recognize danger, sex, love. [I] feel her fingers and the annoyance is infused with love. [This] is the truth of my heart for my children that is not the truth of my heart for any other person on this planet, not even my human self…

"Weed" by Paula at Paula's House of Toast:

I am a hermit in a world that despises hermits. What drew me to religion was monastery and hermitage, what I found was congregation, congregation and more congregation. Interpersonal relationship the ultimate good, man (usually literally)  the measure of all things and the one with dominion over it all.

"All the Things They Said" by Alexandria Durrell at I Don't Blog:

It feels like a full time job ninja-fighting off the world of negativity, but I’ll never give up this fight. I want to instil in my children the confidence that they are exactly as they ought to be, as is every other body.

"The Scary Ham" by Ellen Klages at

In the early ‘90s, my father’s brother gave him a Christmas present, a ham. Not the kind in a can, but a full-sized southern-style ham. A Smithfield ham. They are supposed to be aged a bit before serving, hanging for six months or a year in a dry Virginia smokehouse.

My father hung his in a damp Ohio basement.

For twenty years.

"The Things We Carry: Rape + Late-Life Feminism" by Felicia C. Sullivan at

[I am a] woman who knows a lot of insanely brilliant and beautiful women who DM me on Twitter because they’re afraid of being outspoken, they’re frightened {sadly, and rightly, so} of the consequences they’d face, personally and professionally, if they speak out against everyday sexism. If they talk about their everyday assaults. If they report their rapes…

Make no mistake, we are not equal.

Please come back and share good writing with us over the coming week to be featured on the next Five StarSubmit it by Tuesday at midnight CST to nominate it for inclusion in the next roundup.

And because you are a fan of finding good, new writing on the internet: