What I'm Into (January 2017 Edition)
Books and Reading:
The Lost Art of Dress: The Women Who Once Made America Stylish by Linda Przybyszewski
I first heard about this title on an episode of the Diane Rehm Show with the author. The topic of "the Dress Doctors" sparked my interest and I made a mental note to read it at some point. Several years passed before I finally read it, but I'm glad I did. Przybyszewski tells the story of the educated, sophisticated, and talented women who were the Dress Doctors of the first half of the 20th century. They wrote, ran university departments, and trained countless women on creating a wardrobe that combined function, style, elegance, and economy. The book lays out their aesthetic principles and recounts the rules that governed their style. I enjoyed reading the stories of these women and their work and gleaned quite a bit of useful knowledge for my own style and wardrobe development.
Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging by Sebastian Junger
Modern Mrs. Darcy selected this as one of the auxiliary books for her book club in January and I downloaded it to my iPad when it was one super sale for Kindle. Junger explores the ways modern society has made us less contented and increased our rates of anxiety and depression. He analyzed lives of tribal peoples and identified several characteristics he believes explains their higher level of contentment. More primitive cultures have to work together for a common purpose just to survive. There is very little wealth disparity, and society is generally more egalitarian. Also, everyone in the society tends to have a deep sense of purpose. Junger also looked at more modern communities during great times of danger and distress, such as London during the blitz. These communities had far lower rates of depression during the times of acute stress than during regular periods. Many of his examples and conclusions seem counterintuitive at first, but opened my mind to new ideas and started my wheels turning about some ideas of ways I could try to instill a greater sense of purpose and shared goals in my youth group.
Read Bottom Up by Neel Shah and Skye Chatham
This is another book that I bought on a whim during a Kindle sale and let sit on my iPad for a little while. Late one night, I wanted to read something before I went to sleep, after just finishing my previous book. I ended up staying up quite late to read this book from start to finish. Despite my rapid reading pace, this wasn't one of my favorites. It's an epistolary novel that consists of emails and texts among two newly dating people and each of their best friends. It felt real and was very humorous at times, but I just didn't feel connected to the story.
Here Comes the Sun by Nicole Dennis-Benn
This was my first read of the year and came from the Global Citizens reading list. I shared my thoughts on this novel in the post about the Global Citizens reading.
Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum
I believe I first heard about this YA novel on Modern Mrs. Darcy's podcast, and yet again, picked it up when it was super cheap on Kindle. By the time I opened it up on my iPad while I was waiting for my lunch one day, I had completely forgotten what it was about. A few pages in, I remembered Anne Bogel's description and why I found it intriguing. The novel is about a teenager who is moved across the country and starts the school year at an elite Los Angeles prep school and feels completely out of place and alone. Until, that is, she receives anonymous emails from someone promising to be her guide to the school. She is skeptical, but accepts the help. I loved this book and finished it the very same day I started it.
Girls in the Moon by Janet McNally
Girls in the Moon was one of my Book of the Month pick for January. I was drawn by the description and the delicious purple cover. It's another YA book about the teenage daughter (Phoebe) of two rock stars (one former and one still hanging on). I am fascinated by the everyday details of ordinary life for celebrities and their families, so this one was pretty easy to pick. I'm not so much interested in the lives of actual celebrities (most of the time), but I'm interested in the way their lives are normal, and in the specific ways they are not because of fame. Girls in the Moon covered the fame aspects of Phoebe's life in thought-provoking ways.
Young House Love Has a Podcast with John and Sherry Petersik
I was an avid reader of their blog and was delighted when they reemerged with a podcast! It's a fun, light listen with lots of good information and ideas about home life and decorating. The Petersiks always put a smile on my face.
The Hilarious World of Depression with John Moe
I've only listened to the first episode with Peter Segal, but I can't recommend it highly enough. If you have ever struggled with depression or another mental illness, I think you will find a lot that resonates in this episode. But don't think it's very dark. There are lots of laughs, and it left me feeling quite hopeful about the state of the world.
In the years and years I have listened to this podcast (well, really it's a radio show, but I listen as a podcast), I don't believe I have ever been disappointed by an episode. There are sometimes topics or people I don't think I will enjoy or be interested in, but if I listen to the episode, I am always drawn in by Krista's wonderful interviewing and feel better for having listened. I often listen to the unedited version to get a bit of behind the scenes and just more conversation between two fascinating thinkers.
Sorta Awesome has been a staple in my podcast list for almost two years now. This show is always upbeat, tackles a variety of intriguing topics and is just so fun! I enjoy all the tips and tricks they share and the spirit of friendship that surrounds every episode. They also have a great Facebook group, Sorta Awesome Hangout, and probably dozens of spin-off Facebook groups. I am a part of Sorta Literary, Sorta Fashion, Sorta Political, and Sorta Domestic. I think that's it. These ladies are super fun and always supportive and helpful.
I'm still watching the same things as last month. Gilmore Girls with Seth and The Crown on my own. That actually makes me happy though, because we've been spending a lot more time in the evenings reading or being productive than watching TV lately, and that can only be good for us!
What have you been into lately?
Joining in with Leigh Kramer for What I'm Into.