summerreading_1

the circle | the vacationers | the fever | tiny beautiful things

up until a few years ago, i was one of those semi snooty people who deemed kindles irrelevant and unnecessary. i’d see people reading them on the beach, or toting them around on the train, and i’d feel like a bit of a literary savant as i lifted my giant 500-page hardcover library book out of my bag.

now, i look back at that girl, and i think, GIRL, WERE YOU SMOKING CRACK i scold myself for being a snot, and for thinking i was above an e-reader, because let me tell you, e-readers are the SHIT. there is something incredibly magical about being able to carry around HUNDREDS of books in the palm of your hand. i mean really, that’s some harry potter style stuff right there, is it not?

do i miss the scent of real books? of course. my kindle smells nothing like a library book (i’ve sniffed it). but the whole i don’t have to carry a heavy hardcover version of the goldfinch around each day thing? it’s kind of wonderful. as a girl who participates in not one but two book clubs, i’m constantly reading – i go through a  book or two a week, depending on length – so i love that my kindle allows me to tote my reads wherever i go, whether it’s sitting on a bench on west broadway while the sun sets or crammed into some guy’s smelly armpit on the 1 train.

as a somewhat unpopular child, i spent many an hour reading by myself in my room (it’s what all the cool kids do, trust), but these days, i’m lucky if i get an hour in bed before lights out to catch up on whatever i’m currently obsessed with. part of the reason i love beach vacations so much is because they’re the perfect excuse to do what my mother calls “gorking out” – aka, sitting on your butt while drinking a cocktail and reading ’til the cows come home. while in nicaragua last december, i made it through three whole novels that had been on my list for far too long. this summer, i’ve already made a hefty dent in my list, and i’ve happily got a beach getaway planned for every single weekend of august. you know what that means: kindle here i come!

above are four of my favorites from what i’ve read over the past 6 months. each book is different, but all have one thing in common: you won’t be able to put them down.

the circle is dave eggers latest, and it caused a whole lot of conflict in my book club. some of us loved it, others hated it, but all of us agreed on one thing: it hit just a little too close to home, especially for those of us who check our instagram feed more often than we’d like to admit. it’s the story of a girl who gets swallowed by social media. say no more.

the vacationers is the perfect beach read. it’s not too lofty, not too fancy, not even too literary – but it’s well-written, funny, and interesting; the story of a somewhat broken family who takes a two week trip to mallorca (you know, as families do when the shit’s hitting the fan). i loved it.

the fever is my latest book; i just finished it the other day. i read megan abbott’s dare me - a darker look at the world of high school cheerleading – a few years ago (WHEN is someone going to pounce on that ish and make it a movie? the PLL crowd would be all up in that grill) and loved it, and was psyched to see that she was the one who’d be taking on the challenge of fictionalizing the tale of the girls of le roy.

tiny beautiful things deserves a special spot on this list, because it’s not just one of my favorite recent reads. it’s one of my favorite things i’ve read, well, ever. cheryl strayed is an emotional genius, an advice giving machine, the sort of woman that every woman should strive to be. i’m kind of obsessed with her, if you can’t tell. this collection of columns, curated from her time spent as advice columnist “sugar” at the rumpus will make you laugh, cry, scream, and smile – maybe all at once.

and, just for fun, a few of my favorite books from last summer:

the love affairs of nathaniel p

where’d you go, bernadette?

gone girl (DUH)

the yonahlossee riding camp for girls

the fault in our stars (double duh)

beautiful ruins

wild (triple duh)

tell the wolves i’m home

the interestings

the paris wife

i could go on and on…

what-to-pack-mexico-beach-vacation

mar y sol beach tote | j. crew studded gladiator flats | illesteva mirrored sunglasses | one truffle travel pouch | fouta turkish towel | revlon lipstain | straw fedora | sandcastle maxi | madewell embroidered tunic | beach tee | cuyana weekender (sold out, fingers crossed it comes back in stock!) | bobbi brown beach body oil | kindle paperwhite |

in mid october, a few friends and i are headed down to tulum for a long weekend, and i kid you not when i say i am counting down the days. every time i want to lose my shit on the subway, or get cranky at work, i take a few deep breaths and picture myself sitting on the beach with a fruity drink (possibly one that’s actually inside a coconut) in hand and i feel a bit better. over the past few years, i’ve come to realize the value of vacations where you’re not really doing anything, except maybe tanning and eating and reading all the books you’ve been meaning to read over the past year.

that’s exactly what i plan to do in tulum, with a swim or a massage and a whole lot of sleeping peppered in.

ahhh, bliss. just for fun, i put together a packing list of what i’m planning on bringing on my upcoming trip. i’m hoping to pack super light, and to put everything in a weekender bag that will qualify as a carryon. that means whisper thin white gauzy pieces that can double as beach coverups and dinner attire, a singular pair of gladiator sandals (i got these on sale at j.crew recently and love them!), some body oil that can double as perfume, a lip crayon for a pop of color, a fouta towel for beachside lounging, and a whole lot of sunscreen. what more does a girl need?

beyond a cracked open coconut from which to drink, not much.


inferiority_eleanorroosevelt

 

on friday afternoon, as i walked home from on a sunshine high (seriously, how good was the weather on friday?), i had one of those, god, i love new york moments. the sky was a crisp, clear blue. the humidity was low. it was 3pm and i’d already finished work, eaten mexican food outside in the sun, done a bit of shopping, and walked home from soho. the rest of the afternoon and evening stretched in front of me, sweet freedom with not a care in the world.

for a moment, i really loved my life. not because anything wonderful had happened, but just because for those few minutes, i was blissfully happy.

until i wasn’t.

see, new york city has a way of never letting you get too close to bliss. the city will let you teeter precariously on the edge of happiness. it’ll let you stand on precipice of perfection, but it’ll never quite let you get there.

and just as i was feeling like the world was my oyster, like someone had poured glitter into my veins, i encountered your garden variety crazy person, screaming on the sidewalk at lord knows who.

“you’re not a real american!” he shouted. “you think you’re a fucking american? i’ll tell you who’s a fucking american. you’re not a REAL AMERICAN.”

now, i’ve lived here long enough to know that the best method in these situations is to keep your head down, continue walking, and not draw any attention to yourself. and most importantly, not to make eye contact. so, i kept pace about a hundred feet back, as he ranted and raved in front of me.

until he stopped directly in front of the CVS i needed to enter, and i had no choice but to walk right by him. at first, i paused, held back a bit. something told me to brace myself, that maybe i should cross the street.

don’t be stupid, i counseled my inner voices. he’s not even talking to you. he doesn’t even see you. he doesn’t even know you’re here.

so i kept walking.

and guess what? he saw me. because as soon as i came into his line of vision, he started shouting.

“FAT AND BLONDE. YOU’RE JUST FAT AND BLONDE. THAT’S ALL YOU ARE. YOU THINK ANYONE CARES ABOUT YOU? FAT AND BLONDE. YOU’RE JUST FAT AND BLONDE.”

for the record, folks, there were no other fat and blonde people in the area. nope, he was talking to me. screaming at me. immediately, my cheeks caught fire, and i ducked into CVS and headed straight for the back corner, where i could take a few deep breaths and regain my calm.

before i knew it, i was willing myself to hold back tears in the snack food aisle. if my life were a movie, this would have been the moment where little scary cartoon devil people had popped up all around me screaming, fat and blonde! fat and blonde! fat and blonde!

i wanted to simultaneously smack myself for letting a mentally ill person get to me and burst into tears right in front of the fruit snacks.

as soon as i checked out, i did what any sane 28 year old person would do (not): i called my mother. who proceeded to tell me, in the most rational voice possible, that i couldn’t let a random homeless person get to me. in the background, my sister called out, “you don’t even know that he was talking to you!”

but i did. i did know he was talking to me. i’m sure of it. but whether he was or he wasn’t is somewhat irrelevant, isn’t it? because the reality of the situation was that he only had power over me, and over my feelings, if i let him. if i allowed those sorts of statements to seep into my bones and vibrate throughout my body, i was sure as hell going to feel like a big fat pile of UGLY.

if, instead, i chose to try and shake it off – to buy myself a bouquet of sunflowers at the bodega and remind myself that it was beautiful outside and i was happy – then he didn’t win.

so i gave myself about 10 minutes to feel sad about it, and then i straightened myself up again, bought myself not one but two bouquets of flowers, and told myself it was okay. and you know what? after about an hour, it was. just like that! just by telling myself i wasn’t going to let that negativity affect the rest of my day, it didn’t.

and that, my friends, is the power of positive thinking.

or maybe the power of sunflowers.

or maybe (most likely), the power of saying to myself, over and over again, i’m not as fat as i used to be, you motherfucker.

happyweekendguess what, you guys?! i’m baaack! i didn’t really mean to disappear for a month, but life got in the way. summer, and all. but i recently purchased a spiralizer, and have been making some reallly good food that deserves a place to shine. and i’ve got some fun trips coming up that deserve documentation. so, here i am, back in the habit.

this past week was one of the rougher ones, work-wise. i had a few moments where i was pretty sure i was going to throw my computer out the window and/or throw myself out the window. but now it’s friday, and i have summer fridays, otherwise known as the best invention ever, so this gal will be leaving the office around 2pm today. WOOHOO.

tomorrow, i’m headed out on the water for my friend nick’s annual birthday fishing trip, which requires that we get up at the crack of dawn and get our butts out to sheepshead bay, brooklyn. i’m not big on the actual fishing, per se (it makes me a bit sad, to be honest), but it’s always fun to be out on the water, and the weather is supposed to be absolutely perfect tomorrow.

i’m hoping to spend part of this weekend putting together some new posts for my (few but proud) readers, but in the meantime, here are some fun things i liked this week:

instagram vs. real life . so much truth in this little piece. and kind of also a lot of sadness, because social media has taken over our lives and it’s ever so slightly pathetic (i include myself here).

vogue asks blake lively 73 questions. you know, when blake lively’s new venture, preserve, launched this week, i read lots of hilarious articles about it. and i made fun of her in my head, and thought to myself, god, blake lively is sooo annoying and pretentious, i can’t believe i ever sort of liked her! and then i watched this video interview with vogue, and i was all, GOD, blake lively is AWESOME and actually quite cultured and hilarious, and interesting to boot. nice one, vogue.

a beachfront hotel in tulum. my bar method friends and i booked a trip to tulum in october, and i literally could not be more excited. it’s what’s getting me through my days, let’s be honest. we haven’t yet booked our hotel, so i’ve been spending lots of my free time at work looking at places to stay, and this one is high on my list.

i’ve been making a lot of this ice cream lately, and it is the best thing i’ve ever tasted.

i think the whole basic bitch meme (is it a meme?) is hilarious, so i got a HUGE kick out of lauren conrad calling allure magazine out on labeling her as a basic bitch.

i’m still obsessed with jessica golds’ pretty little liars recaps on vulture.

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ONE | TWO | THREE | FOUR | FIVE | SIX | SEVEN | EIGHT | NINE | TEN | ELEVEN | TWELVE | THIRTEEN 

is it just me, or has this been the LONGEST week ever? i don’t know what it is about coming back to work after a vacation (apparently, even 2 days out of the city sours me on it), but on tuesday, i already wanted it to be friday. and now that it’s thursday, well, let’s just say i realllly want it to be friday. thankfully, my new job offers summer fridays, otherwise known as the world’s greatest summer invention. i’m pretty summer fridays are unique to new yorkers, offering a chance for the rich folk to get a head start on the trek out to their hamptons home each weekend. i don’t have a hamptons home and likely never will, but you can bet i still love getting out at 1pm every friday. though actually, i’ve had so much work to do that i’ve been leaving closer to 4pm. but STILL, there is a difference between leaving at 4 and leaving at 7 or 8, and that difference smells like sunshine and feels like heaven.

since this week has been a rather stressful one, i’ve been doing a whole lot of imaginary online shopping (and i may or may not have actually ordered that bobbi brown beach body oil, because, well, sometimes a girl needs body oil). you  might notice i switched up the font a bit for this week’s shopping list. how do we like the script? it’s kind of pretty, right? feels a bit more summery, i think.

i’ve got a biiig crush on these smokin’ hot kate spade studs – how cute are they?! – and also on these ear cuffs from baublebar. and let’s talk about that mara hoffman jumpsuit, which is only as good as the somewhat-matching mara hoffman beach towel (from madewell, oddly). mara always does the coolest prints, and these two pieces are no exception.

happy shopping, folks! ps: just 2 days ’til it’s officially summer.

b0616bee75419d571d68aa5d0e3bdd91can we talk about the weather this week? it was the worst, no? thank god for keratin treatments – without it, i would have grown a second head of hair based on frizz alone in the rain these past few days. thankfully, the sun is FINALLY coming out, ever to slightly, or at least, trying to (valiant effort, sun), and i couldn’t be happier. two friends and i are headed down the jersey shore to a tiny little beach known as wildwood, just north of cape may, and i can’t wait to spend a weekend in the sunshine (the weather has promised to behave) reading YA books on my kindle and eating lots of ice cream.

in other news, there have been lots of things i’ve loved on the internetz lately.

i’m a huge fan of lennon and maisy, the sister duo from nashville. their latest, a cover of edward sharpe’s “that’s what’s up” is oh so good. on repeat.

traditional jewish dishes are experiencing a renaissance. chosen people, chosen food. i couldn’t be happier. knishes FTW! 

not all men. a must read from slate. this is from a few weeks back, but it’s still a worthy read for today.

i can’t wait to attend a pop up shabbat dinner. jewish people!! maybe even SINGLE JEWISH PEOPLE. and good food. i’m sorry, what could be better?

when did we all get so busy? oh god, i am 100% guilty of overbooking, and for bad reasons. note to self: CHILL THE EFF OUT.

taking vacation might make you better at your job. second note to self: plan that tulum trip.

making flights better, one smart solution at a time. ahh, if only flying was a more enjoyable experience.

tavi forever. tavi gevinson, whose blog i started reading when she was thirteen, is EIGHTEEN years old. 18! this piece on her is wonderful, and so well-written.

cheryl strayed’s tiny beautiful things is one of the best books i’ve read this year. nay, one of the best books i’ve read, ever. i loved this piece about it on the cut.

what do you have planned for this weekend?

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