In 2017 we’re bringing back Amusements & Distractions, a selection of links and miscellanea that have amused, enlightened and generally distracted us this week. If you’ve got amusing links you think we need to see, tweet us at @kyd_magazine!

As Barack Obama prepares to leave the Oval Office for the final time, he spoke to the New York Times’ Michiko Kakutani on the books that helped him navigate his 8 years in office. (A followup piece, with further comments on the books that meant the most to him, is also worth a read.)

Meanwhile, at the other end of the political spectrum, the so called ‘alt-right’ is having something of an existential crisis.

‘A scant twenty years ago, the entitled went online. Today, we go dark. A true privilege. Oh? You get to stop checking email for a few days? Lucky you!’ How did our attention spans become commodities, and how can we claw back ownership?

A thought-provoking piece by Chad Parkhill on Footscray’s ‘hipster problem’ and the complexities of gentrification.

Do you have a nonfiction #StellaSpark? Help show your support for writing by Australian women by sharing your favourite reads on social media, or donating to the campaign. Our friends at Readings have compiled a list of their favourites.

‘I have an – admittedly irrational, but real nonetheless – fear that one screwed-up customer interaction will cause the entire community to turn against the bookstore.’ Bookselling in the 21st century – why even shop local?

And finally, just in case you doubted for a second how cool sharks are – in Townsville, a local shark that couldn’t find a mate has taken matters into its own hands (fins?) and become the first known animal to switch itself to asexual reproduction.