To celebrate (or palliate, depending on your take) the first Monday of the new month, here are some excellent reads around the internet. Happy August!

- A high school graduation speech with powerful reflections on "the unprotected life": "Trust that your fears will sometimes tell you about your desires."
- The cutest place ever?
Margaret Atwood's frightening essay on climate change.
- And speaking of climate, heatwaves call for watermelon and Greek quinoa salad.
- The heartwarming story of how meeting the French chef Jacques Pépin saved this author's life.
Notable books to read and anticipate in the second half of 2015.
- Things to keep in mind while re-reading books
- The familiar feeling of spending too much at the makeup counter. 
- A must-read classic short story: "The Veldt" by Ray Bradbury, read by Stephen Colbert on the public radio program "Selected Shorts." (By some coincidence, I keep falling down internet rabbit holes and finding Colbert in them. I'm not complaining.)

What have you been reading lately?


From my bookmarks folder to you: some recent favorite reads around the web. Have a good weekend, and to all my stateside friends, have a safe and happy fourth! 

- This mini-documentary on the Aibo, Sony's discontinued robotic dog, begs the question: can you love a machine like you love a living being? 
- On Taylor Swift's perfectly passive-aggressive lyrics
- Now's the time for summer reading lists galore: TED recommendations, an infographic on what to read by where you're vacationing, and a few more picks on Amaris's blog.
- Be a better altruist
- New research suggests that there are at least four types of introversion, and you may have all four in varying strengths. (I scored highest on "thinking" introvert, and apparently so would Luna Lovegood...)
Seven myths of Silicon Valley, busted.
- Why should we read literature that offends us?
- Christoph Niemann turns everyday objects into clever mixed media art
- It's easy to feel cynical when you click 'View All Comments'. However, on rare occasions, I get as much from the comments section as from the article itself. 

What have you been reading lately?


Happy March! I spent the last day of February writing greetings for a certain holiday that occurred two weeks ago. Better late than never, right? The cards in the photo are by the lovely and talented Laura Uy. I discovered Laura through social media and finally made a purchase from her Etsy shop Art + Soul: the two cards above, plus this one for my Valentine. Laura's cards feature adorable illustrations and witty puns; there are even Lord of the Rings cards for your loved ones, featuring Gollum ("You are my precious") and Gimli ("Gimli all your love"), among other characters. To see more of Laura's art, follow her on Instagram @artandsoulcreativeco

If you love Rome and Italian food, you will enjoy the blog Parla Food. Katie shares her knowledge of Roman history, food, and culture through well-researched posts and videos. I'm eagerly awaiting the release of her book Really Roman and wishing in the meantime that I could teleport to Rome for a steaming bowl of Cacio e Pepe. (And che coincidenza, I heard Katie Parla on NPR this morning!) While we're on the subject of food blogs, in case you haven't already, you should go get inspired by the beautiful photography of Local Milk and Artful Desperado

In February I started doing the ballet-inspired workout Ballet Beautiful, which I refer to as the "Black Swan workout" because Mary Helen Bowers was Natalie Portman's trainer for the film. I danced on and off for years, and although I consider myself to be in fairly good shape, this gets my muscles burning. 

Renee Engeln's TED Talk on "beauty sickness" resonated with me. She's a good speaker, and what she has to say is so important. 

And for posterity's sake, I have to include the social media controversy you've all seen by now: is it blue and black or white and gold? I saw white and gold at first glance; then I looked away, looked back, and saw blue and black, unmistakably. I don't even understand how I saw white and gold before. What do you see? 


Have you listened to the sensational podcast "Serial"? I am totally addicted; this week I marathoned all 8 episodes within 24 hours. "Serial" investigates a case from the 90s in which high school student Adnan Syed was charged with the murder of his classmate and ex-girlfriend. The podcast's co-creator and narrator Sarah Koenig examines the ambiguous evidence that led to Syed's eventual conviction, interviewing Syed himself and many other individuals involved in the case. It's so captivating that I find myself deliberating the events at random points throughout the day. Luckily I'm not the only one: there's an entire Reddit forum dedicated to the case (spoiler alert).

I've added some of these nonfiction books to my reading list.

Persimmons are one of those foods you probably either love or loathe. They're in season right now, so if you're a fan like me, now's the time to get your fix. This year I learned the hard way that there are two main varieties of persimmons, Fuyu and Hachiya; do not eat a Hachiya until it's soft and pulpy! Here's how to tell them apart.

If you've always wanted to learn calligraphy, I highly recommend Molly Jacques' course on Skillshare. I've been following along and practicing sporadically, and it's so therapeutic! As per Molly's recommendation, I ordered my supplies from Paper & Ink Arts

Two dogs, one ice cream cone

Happy weekend!



From my bookmarks folder to you: some of the links that have inspired and enlightened me over the past couple of weeks. There's a quotation by Shelby Foote that sums up exactly how I feel as I compile a list like this: "I can't begin to tell you the things I discovered while I was looking for something else." (Also applicable in grocery stores, travels, searching for my favorite nude lipstick.)

Painter Lily Stockman's blog Big Bang, which I want to read from metaphorical cover to cover.
Faking cultural literacy in the age of social media.
A collection of Sunday routines
Akiko's coconut chia pudding.
David Macaulay on the long process of drafting a book.
For fellow bloggers: the frustrations of monetization and traffic.
Tamsin's review of The Wind Rises, which I've added to my long list of movies to watch.
Coming soon to HBO.
"Holla, you clown!" and other Shakespearean hip-hop lines.
I took the Jungian/Briggs-Myers personality test... I'm INFJ! What's yours?
And, 100 more good reads

Links to share? Send them my way!