Tag Archives: books

mid-week round-up

As I mentioned in my post yesterday, we ended up spending last week at home instead of in Louisiana. Boo! However, I did manage to get in some solid beach-time, do a little retail therapy, and devour the book Big Little Lies. (Have you watched the HBO adaptation yet? So good!!!) I’ve also been a busy little craftin’ bee! I made a few wreaths for a friend’s upcoming wedding, along with some Easter decor for the apartment. So I guess our cancelled trip wasn’t a total wash! What have y’all been up to? I hope you have a wonderful Wednesday, and here are some links for you to enjoy today (or bookmark for later)…

Equal pay is widely understood to be a feminist issue. So why isn’t the Fight for $15?

Related: The 78 Cents Project is a pro-bono resume consultancy
aimed at eradicating the gender wage gap.

The Pope Francis Laundry for homeless opens at the Vatican.

Stories from the almshouse records — women’s lives in in 1790’s NYC.

Stickers for every season. #obsessed

The place of food security in the battle over healthcare.

Budget freezer meals for the slow-cooker and oven!

Solid April line-up from Book of the Month.

Face massages are like pilates for your cheeks. (I’ve gotta start doing this! I feel like I carry a lot of tension in my face. Is that a thing?)

Related: How to make a baking soda face mask.

17 Spring looks with 12 clothing items you probably already have in your closet.

9 podcast episodes worth discussing.

Related: 8 podcasts to check out on your next road trip.

Curfews, sports, and understanding kids’ brain chemistry have all helped dramatically curb substance abuse in Iceland.

P.S. 2 Finding Delight posts you may have missed — 6 True-Crime Documentaries for Your Inner Detective and For the love of DOWNTON!

Advertisements

mid-week round-up

closeup on flowers

What are you up to this week? My very favorite guilty pleasure, MTV’s The Challenge, started up again with a new season! I don’t have cable but I’m super stoked to watch it online today. I’m probably the last person in the world of my advanced age who still watches this show. (BUT I WILL NOT APOLOGIZE!) This weekend we have plans to check out a new brunch spot and maybe take the drone out for a flight. Hope you have a great day, and here’s some reading material…

I’ll be making these chocolate crescent rolls as soon as humanly possible. (Although I may cheat and use this.)

A checklist for staying in vs. going out on Valentine’s Day.

Would you wear navy pants with tiny dinosaurs on them?

A young Wikipedia editor withstood a decade of online abuse. Now she’s fighting back. “When people get forced off the web, their voices disappear from the internet’s public squares. The ideas and memes that dominate skew even further toward a white male perspective. The web becomes less interesting, less representative, less valuable. We all lose.

A shortage of incubators and a hunch about marsupials inspired a Colombian doctor to try something radical to save premature babies’ lives.

Mysteriously, a large number of Americans believe that the inventor of the cotton gin, Eli Whitney, was black. (Could this be an example of the Mandela effect?)

Mystery of deadly outbreaks in India is solved.

The real Bowling Green Massacre wasn’t even in Kentucky.

I can’t get over how cute these classroom valentines are. Which would you choose?

Modern Etiquette: Handling difficult conversations online.

What is Steve Bannon reading?
“Mr. Bannon was carrying a book, and when an incoming president’s guru is reading a book, you should find out what it is. I walked by and peeked. It was “The Best and the Brightest,” David Halberstam’s 1972 history of the strategic errors and human foibles that birthed the disastrous American involvement in the Vietnam War. It begins with John F. Kennedy’s transition to the White House, in December 1960. Now I really knew it was him.”

How to avoid being psychologically destroyed by your newsfeed.

P.S. A few Finding Delight posts you may have missed — 6 Ways to Find More Free Time and Reading Nostalgia.

Mastering habits based on your personality.

gretchen rubin quote

Yesterday, I was listening to a podcast that aired about a year ago. The host was interviewing Gretchen Rubin about her book Better Than Before: What I Learned About Making and Breaking Habits–to Sleep More, Quit Sugar, Procrastinate Less, and Generally Build a Happier Life. The book delves into the methods that help us set habits and stick to them. Sounds like a lot of other books on such subjects, yes? Well, the difference is Ms. Rubin breaks us human-folks down into four distinct habit tendencies–Upholder, Questioner, Obliger, and Rebel. She then discusses how these personalities relate to habits and how to set up your habits in a way that works for you and your personality. 

As I listened to the interview and discussion of Gretchen’s theories about the four types, I tried to self-select which category I would fall into.

Here’s a break-down of the four types from GretchenRubin.com

Upholders respond readily to outer and inner expectations.

Questioners question all expectations; they’ll meet an expectation if they think it makes sense.

Rebels resist all expectations, outer and inner alike.

Obligers meet outer expectations, but struggle to meet expectations they impose on themselves. 

At times I’m extremely intrinsically motivated. At times I rank outer expectations super high on my to-do list….but sometimes I don’t. I couldn’t quite figure out where I fell in this framework.

So, I poked around on Gretchen’s website…AND took the QUIZ.

The more I read, the more I realized I’m a Questioner (and the quiz agreed). *light-bulb moment* Suddenly my intrinsic motivation to meet some external expectations made a lot more sense. I question everything and am able to self-motivate and form habits around what has answered as important. *ding, ding, ding*

Of course now that I’ve sorted this out I can’t wait to read Better Than Before so I can figure out ways to more effectively and efficiently set up habits in my every day life.

I also think this book could be a fascinating (and helpful) read for understanding the people we live and work with. Being a great educator, coach, manager, parent is all about helping people develop habits in the classroom, field, workplace, home. It might be nice to be able to speak to all four tendencies instead of simply relying on your experience from one.

Check out The Lively Show Ep. 82 and Gretchen Rubin’s website if this stuff tickles your fancy! I also highly recommend taking The Four Tendencies Quiz. And let me know–Which tendency are you??? 

P.S. I’ve read Rubin’s book, The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun  and would very much recommend it as well! (I’m totally outing my secret love of self-help books but c’est la vie!) 

Tracking My Reading: An Update

how i track my reading

As I mentioned in this post, I’m tracking my reading in 2016 in order to illuminate trends and identify potential holes in my reading habits. Since a quarter of the year has now passed (WHAT?!?!), I thought I’d pop on and do a quick update of my selections from the year thus far. Already I’m getting a clearer picture of the type of voices I’m missing out on as well as honing in on the subjects I find most fascinating. Here’s a breakdown of my first few months…

  • I have read 10 books so far in 2016.
  • The oldest was published in 1998, the most recent in 2015.
  • These 10 books were comprised of 3,137 pages.

Author Info

  • 6 authors were female and 4 were male. (Better than I thought!)
  • All authors were white; 1 Jewish born of immigrant parents. (YIKES! Definitely something I need to work on!!!)
  • 6 authors were American, 3 were British, and 1 was Canadian.
  • Only one identifies as LGBTQ. (Another area for improvement.)

Genre Info

  • I read 3 memoirs, 3 works of fiction (1 thriller, 1 historical), and 4 works of non-fiction.
  • A few themes that were encountered throughout several books included; travel, stories of financial struggle/low-wage work, the effects of oppression/patriarchy on women, and mental illness. (Uplifting, eh?)
  • 5 of the books took place in America.
  • The historical fiction novel I read took place from 1791-1810.
  • These books expanded my knowledge in environmental science, cultural anthropology, nutrition, Southern history, Indian politics, ethnography, mental health, and religion.

Fiction Info

  • Of the fiction books I read, all 3 utilized a female narrator.
  • All 3 passed the Bechdel Test (although one BARELY passed).
  • While only 1 had characters who were identified as POC.

With that information in mind, here are the 10 books I’ve read so far in 2016:

A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail by Bill Bryson

Tales of a Female Nomad: Living at Large in the World by Rita Golden Gelman

The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Deliciously Ella by Ella Woodward

Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity by Katherine Boo

How to Be Good by Nick Hornby

The Working Poor: Invisible in America by David K. Shipler

January First by Michael Schofield

Uncovered: How I Left Hasidic Life and Finally Came Home by Leah Lax

Now, over to y’all…what have YOU read in 2016? Have you noticed any trends in your reading selections over the years? And finally, can you recommend some books for me to start filling in the gaps of missing voices in my reading lists? I’d love suggestions and recommendations! Thanks in advance. 

For the love of DOWNTON!

downton insta 1

downton insta 2

I recently plowed through 5 seasons of Downton Abbey and am still feeling the after-effects of the obsession. I’d seen the first few seasons before but once Chet agreed to watching it, I was all in for the long haul. Now I’m just trying to decide if I should go ahead and spring for the DVD set of season 6 or save it for a rainy day! Anyways, if you’re feeling similarly Downton-Obsessed with nowhere to turn, I’ve rounded up a few items you may want to add to your To Do list (especially if you’ve just watched the series finale and don’t want to say goodbye so soon!)…

Start talking like the Dowager Countess by studying these 39 Best Quotes.

Throw a Downton Abbey themed party complete with tea party printables  and Lady Mary Cocktails.

There are plenty of books out there to fill the Downton Abbey-size hole in your heart. Check out 14 Books to Read If You Love Downton Abbey and Ten Books To Survive Downton Abbey Withdrawal if you need a few ideas.

Finally, bring some upstairs and downstairs fare to your kitchen table by cooking up a few recipes from The Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbook.

Ok, now you have some ideas to help you follow this great advice…

stop whining and find something to do

As for me…the final season awaits! And whenever I decide to watch it, you best believe I’m gonna display one of these on the door.

mid-week round-up

pink blooms

How’s your week going, friends? I can’t believe it’s February! I’m sure all you folks further North were pleased as punch that Punxatawney Phil didn’t see his shadow. Early Spring! Hope you all have a most wonderful day, and here are a few links in case you’re in a web-wandering mood…

In an interview with Tori Spelling, Lena Dunham captures the essence of my love for so many reality TV notables.

Discover the world through the eyes of some of the most well-traveled and talented photographers out there.

A reaction to the liberal backlash against Hillary.

Mid-Century Modern swoon.

Looking forward to this new documentary about the counter-culture icon Janis Joplin.

The 20 minute surgery that cured a prince’s deafness.

I would love if someone design-inclined gifted me a Matrimonial Map for my wedding.

A new series offering an insider’s peek into the last taboo facing modern working women–money.

Short answers to hard questions about Zika Virus.

Wedding inspo.

A book by my favorite MTV VJ!

The science of “Little House on the Prairie” aka “hi, I’m switching career paths immediately because this is all I want to do with my life now kthanxbaiiii.”

mid-week round-up

motorcycle

What are you up to this week, loves? I’m trying to pace my viewing of House of Cards…but it’s HARD! Haha! How many have you watched? I loved hearing how many episodes my various co-workers got through over the weekend. Who says binge watching eliminates water cooler chats!? Also, I’ve been working on knitting projects and it’s a little bit addictive. Have a wonderful week, and enjoy these links I found just for YOU…

Where were you when you first saw #TheDress, lol!

Congrats to Haddy on this award-winning piece.

My granola gurus.

Genius ad campaign.

A little girls strong bond with birds.

Great longform piece, if you’re in the mood.

Candidly Nicole.

Boys buying tampons for their ladies.

Reason #49029 why I need a food processor.

Aspiring space colonist wishes to give birth on Mars.

Wouldn’t it be fun to start a travel themed book club?

The world works in mysterious ways. #bawling

 

The Reading Habits Tag

the reading habits tag

I definitely found reading to take first prize in “happy places” for the month of January. I’m always an avid reader but recently I’ve just found nuzzling up with my cat and a book to be a brilliant evening occurrence. So, when I stumbled upon this reading tag which I bookmarked AGES ago, I thought I’d finally fill it out.

1. Do you have a certain place at home for reading?

My bed. I have one of those pillows with arms (boyfriend pillows?) that’s been going strong since my freshman year of college and it’s usually what I’m propped up on. I also weirdly prefer to read on the side of the bed that I don’t sleep on. I’m sure that’s not what all those articles that encourage you to only SLEEP in your bed if you want to have restful slumber actually mean but hey! Sometimes I read on the couch but I’ll get distracted easily. And I love, love, LOVE reading at the kitchen table while something cooks (or someone is cooking FOR me).

2. Bookmark or random pieces of paper?

I’m currently using a Christmas-y bookmark my mom tucked into our stockings. However, the ribbon that was on the end of it is long gone after the bookmark became an impromptu cat toy.

3. Can you stop reading or do you have to stop after a chapter or certain amount of pages?

I can stop at the end of a paragraph though the end of a chapter is preferable. I also like setting a timer when I read so that I don’t have to keep looking at my phone or a clock to check and see if I should be moving on to the next activity. This allows me to unwind and just enjoy as much of the book as I can get through in that time and then I stop wherever that is.

4. Do you eat or drink whilst reading?

Yes, nibbling on a snack is great while reading and of course drinking anything I can get at a coffee shop. I don’t like to eat a full meal while reading.

5. Do you watch TV or listen to music whilst reading?

No, not by choice. If someone else has something on and I want to read, I can tune it out. Chet listens to some very calming instrumental music while he works which I don’t mind but really anything else wouldn’t be my preference. I would love to be the type of person who reads during commercial breaks but let’s be real…I don’t have cable! And Hulu commercials are pretty short.

6. One book at a time or several at once?

One book at a time. I’ve dabbled in multiples–usually going for a diversity of genres, but I had a lot less on my plate in those days. Now I prefer to tuck in to one at a time and get fully immersed before moving on to the next!

7. Reading at home or everywhere?

Either. I’ll read anywhere! Some of my favorite places to read include: airports, cars, Starbucks, parks, and any sort of waiting situation.

8. Reading out loud or silently in your head?

Silently in my head…MOSTLY. My sister will be quick to tell you, I love the sound of my own voice…I didn’t do ELEVEN years of competitive speaking for nothing, ya know? So yes, I like reading out loud to other people. If I’m by myself and a passage is especially poignant or packed with a lot of information that I want to retain, I’ll stop and read it out loud. I’ve also volunteered at a radio reading service and loved every reading-out-loud SECOND of it. Sorry not sorry.

9. Do you ever read ahead or skip pages?

Not on purpose. Unless the book has pictures! Some of those memoirs with glossy photos smack-dab in the middle of the book should really come with spoiler alerts. Any lengthy acknowledgment section is also fair game for flipping to after the first chapter or so.

10. Breaking the spine or keeping it like new?

I like my books to look well-loved. And sometimes they’re not even brand new in the first place. Haven’t you people heard of a library?

11. Do you write in your books?

Sure. I don’t usually have much cause to but I’m certainly not against it. I loved writing in books in college. Cracking open a book you wrote in years later is such a meaningful time capsule.

12. What are you currently reading?

Yes Please by Amy Poehler. Before that, Lost Girls: An Unsolved American Mystery by Robert Kolker. Up next, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt.

What are you reading these days? Have any go-to book recommendations? Please share in the comments below! ❤ 

mid-week round-up

sneakers on the pier

Hey friends! What are you up to this week? If you’re on the East Coast I hope you’re ensconced in covers and have plenty of wine tucked in your cupboards! I recently checked out a new dinner spot that I would highly recommend if you’re around these parts, and Monday was free Chipotle day! Did your Chipotle run out of free sofritas, too? It sounds like they weren’t prepared for such a positive response. Never under-estimate the power of free burritos, people! I’ve also downloaded a new app that I’m excited to tell you guys about at some point. : ) Hope you have a good week, stay safe out there, and providing you’re weathering the storm with an Internet connection…

Urban renewal in Lexington begets some hip establishments.

You can learn a lot about a nation by taking a peak at their soldiers’ ration kits.

Stumbling upon an abandoned town in the Smokies.

Dogs of the world! 

It’s NEVER not a good idea to live tweet idiots being idiots.

Amazon’s 100 books to read in a lifetime.

Book deal differences.

Supernormal stimuli.

Text convo with Euclid Kroger.

A new musical. (!!!)

Finland’s famous baby boxes.

Turning 9 pieces into 9 outfits.

P.S. Apartment inspiration and a thrilling page-turner.