Summer Reading: Short Stories

My favorite summer pastime is laying on a beach/dock/boat/hammock and reading a good book for an afternoon. That's pretty much my goal for this upcoming weekend. Lately I've been into short stories, Alice Munro in particular.

A really good short story will fully captivate you, immediately suck you into the moment. Sometimes it takes a chapter (or seven) to fully get into a novel. Short stories don't have the luxury of extra pages, they either grab you right away, or they don't.

Here's a list of some of my favorite compilations...I'm including Amazon links so you can read descriptions and reviews and of course purchase online if that's your thing, but since these are all older, I bet you could easily pick these up at a used bookstore.

JD Salinger's Nine Stories and well, all of the rest of his short stories. My favorite from the collection is "For Esme -With Love and Squalor". Wes Anderson credits the Glass family, which appear in many of Salinger's stories, as part of the inspiration for The Royal Tenenbaums

Alice Munro's Dear Life I can't quite explain why I like Alice Munro as much as I do, it's like she writes what you know people are really thinking, the things that they're afraid to admit even to themselves and her characters are so very real in that way.

F. Scott Fitzgerald's Basil and Josephine Stories These were quite possibly the first short stories I ever read. WAY back in middle school. The 1920's have always fascinated me. This collection is also great in that it follows two characters as they grow up, so it also reads a bit like a novel.

Jhumpa Lahiri's Interpreter of Maladies Lahiri is also one of Mindy Kaling's favorite authors and the namesake for Mindy Lahiri, on the Mindy Project, so you know she has to be good!

Also, you can give some stories a try w/o committing to a full book of them. Here are a few available for free from The New Yorker...perfect if you find yourself with your iPhone and a little free time.

Alice Munro's "Admudsen"

Zadie Smith's "The Embassy of Cambodia"

Haruki Murakami's "Town of Cats"

Lorrie Moore "Referential"

Just a fun wedding idea...

Because it isn't true until you declare it on a napkin! I thought these were a cheeky twist on the traditional monogramed napkins. Perfect to personalize cocktail hour. 

Watch This: Twinsters

I'm a little behind on this one, it's been out for awhile, but incase you missed it like I did, check out Twinsters! 

It's the real life, separated at birth story of two girls, adopted from Korea. One grew up in the US, the other in France. They would have lived their entire lives without knowing of the other one's existence except for a chance YouTube viewing. Crazy.

Twinsters is currently available to stream on Netflix.

Friday Roundup

Happy Pride Weekend! For so many reasons, it's been a weird, tough few weeks, I feel like both the news and things I'm hearing from friends are all sad. Today and everyday when Teresa and I blog our goal is to share the things that bring us joy, but sometimes, you can't ignore the rest of what's going on. Sending love to you all.

If you're in Seattle, here's a list of Pride events happening around the city. 

I've been meaning to watch this forever and my sister just told me it's on Netflix and really good! Yay!

Book recommendations from Mindy Kaling's Instagram.

Ellen on voicing Dory

Creative way to get a baby tooth out.

Drugstore beauty finds that celebrities swear by.

If camping always looked like this, I'd totally be into it.

I really respect Aziz Ansari for sharing a bit of his own story in the NY Times this week.

Cute animals of Instagram

Image above from "22 Photos of the World Standing With the LGBT Community in the Wake of Orlando"


Learn more at Global Citizen. 

Listen Here: "What It Takes" Podcast

I'm finding myself on quite a few long car rides, train rides and flights lately, I guess it's summer and time to travel. I've been getting back into listening to podcasts on these long journeys and just stumbled upon "What It Takes". Each episode is a recored interview that plays more like a personal conversation with a wide variety of interesting people, all compiled by the Academy of Achievement.

I listened to the Lauryn Hill and Benazir Bhutto episodes on a flight to New York and and am looking forward to listening to the Oprah, Desmond Tutu and Johnny Cash episodes on my flight home.

PS. Another podcast I love...


The Things I Do When I'm Not Blogging

So, I didn't blog this week. A couple of work projects took over my life. And the hard part is, apart from being slammed and not having any free time, sometimes what we're working on takes everything out of me creatively too and I get to a point where I can't think of ONE. SINGLE. THING. that would be interesting to blog about.

Here's a list of some of the things I did do this week:

I wore the same thing for three days and hardly slept.

I stood infront of store windows (pictured above) for test shots for one of the projects.

I went to bed after the sun came up three times, but not for cool, I was out at a party type of reasons.

I got a few strange looks pushing a shopping cart around Seattle.

I listened to Enya, because she calms me.

I didn't leave my house for 4 days.

When I finally did venture outside, I wore my pajamas to Trader Joes.

This is the trade off with my work. Some weeks are incredibly free. So far this year, on a whim I surprised my sister in Korea for her birthday and flew across the country to be with a friend in need. And then other times all of the things are due at once and you don't sleep and you just keep working.