Things I Love Lately

One – That my friend Pam’s musings on the first month of her husband’s year-long deployment made me nod so vigorously is a testament to her power as a writer.  In many ways our lives look utterly different.  In the ways that matter, we are walking down a parallel path, and I’m hugely grateful for her companionship, her wisdom, and her candor.

 10 Things No One Tells Women about Turning 40 – Holly Seymour’s piece made me laugh and it reassured me that there are joys and unforseen delights ahead as I pitch headfirst into 40 next month.  I want to be able to say all of these things about myself in my 40s.  Here’s hoping I can.

Shonda Rimes’ Dartmouth commencement speech – I really love everything about this.  Hard work, not dreams.  Don’t be an asshole.  Having daughters and working motherhood and not being able to do it all.  Letting your heart beat so, so fast.  It made me cry.  Thank you to my dear friend Sarah for pointing me to this speech.

I’ve been reading some fantastic books lately.

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr has joined the very small pantheon of My Favorite Books of All Time.  It is stunning, breathtaking, spectacular.  Doerr’s lyrical, evocative, powerful writing reminds of my favorite fiction writer, Ondaatje.  Read it.  You won’t regret it.

I could not put down Lily King’s Euphoria.  I described it on Twitter as “evocative, thought-provoking…Identity, feminism, love, power, subjectivity. Beautiful.”

I absolutely loved 10% Happier by Dan Harris and it is one of the very few books that both Matt and I devoured.  Dan’s compulsively readable story is relatable and honest, not to mention incredibly convincing.  I related to so much of what he shared and came away ever-more committed to a meditation practice that has been spotty for years.

This past weekend I read Eleanor & Parkby Rainbow Rowell, which I’d heard such wonderful things about.  I loved it as much as I hoped I would.  I couldn’t put down the funny/sad story about belonging and connection and adolescence.  I highly recommend!

What are you reading, thinking about, and loving lately?

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30 thoughts on “Things I Love Lately”

  1. I loved Euphoria! yes, so beautifully written. And obvs, loved 10% Happier…. and I just bought Eleanor and Park the other day! You’re pretty much my go-to for book recommendations. Thanks for a great list!!

  2. I loved Anthony Doerr’s book, as I love all his books. In the past two weeks I’ve read two great books: Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walker and Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloane. I think you’d like them! Eleanor and Park is our August pick for bookclub.

  3. I’m so glad you liked Eleanor and Park. Such a wonderful story of young love.
    I’ve added the others to my list! I just finished The Gravity of Birds by Tracy Guzeman and am heading into Still Life with Bread Crumbs by Anna Quindlen.

  4. I absolutely loved Eleanor & Park. I devoured it in a single afternoon and was so sad when I turned the last page. I’ve been on a Jane Green kick lately for my summer reading, going back to read some of her older books that I missed, and I have been adoring all of them.

  5. I am listening to All the Light right now as my first foray into and it is fabulous! Beautiful story. As always, great recommendations.

  6. I’ve heard such great things about Euphoria, this definitely solidifies that I need to read it! During the summer, I always tend to find my way back to Joan Didion. I’m always a fan of Slouching Towards Bethlehem and The White Album, but I’ve recently added Blue Nights to my rotation. It’s such a great read about mothers and daughters and memory, I highly recommend it!

  7. Doerr’s book is all over the place with great reviews–making it inevitable that I will pick it up whether or not my newly forming tiny book group decides to read it (other contender for 1st book is Rob Lowe’s latest). I started Andre Dubus III’s Dirty Love yesterday and it’s taking all of my willpower to focus on work instead of picking that up today (first day I’ve been alone for more than two consecutive hours in two weeks). It’s really pulled me in–the story, and his writing (my first of his). Just finished After the Sour Lemon Moon by Denise Parsons (loved) and David Sedaris’ Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls (some essays really funny, others mezzo-mezzo). Might have to add Euphoria to my summer list if I keep cranking through what I’ve already put aside–thanks for the list!

  8. Those look like great recs! I have the Anthony Doerr on my list from your wonderful review. I also wanted to read Euphoria, as well as Thunderstruck by Elizabeth McCracken and All the birds singing by evie wyld, plus a ton more 🙂

  9. I gotta say – I didn’t like Shonda Rhimes’ speech. She sounded like a mom justifying her own choices and judging other moms for making theirs. I thought we are moving towards mutual respect and support for all decisions. I think she needs to take her own advice and not be “an asshole!”
    I thought the language was very in appropriate for such an important event.
    Work hard absolutely, but don’t judge.

  10. Interesting – I find your read compelling and it’s making me rethink. Agreed the language felt too informal and inappropriate. I guess I liked the confession/assertion that her life (TIME) is a zero sum game, and something always suffers … I feel that way too. I’ve also gotten hung up on the concept of dreams before, so I welcomed that comment (be a doer, not a dreamer). But I think what you say is really persuasive and I’m rethinking. Thank you for commenting!!

  11. Bravo on the book club! I just joined my first one too … I can’t wait to read Dirty Love. Totally on my list. And I’ll check out the others too.

  12. I loved Blue Nights. It was hard to read, though, at least for me. But so, so powerful. I want to reread Slouching Towards Bethlehem.

  13. Oh, I can’t wait to hear what you think about Eleanor and Park. I haven’t read either Beautiful Ruins or Mr. Penumbra’s … will check them out.

  14. Lindsey, it is thrilling to be part of your favorites – my very own Oprah moment! Thank you!!

    You are definitely my go-to book guru and I am going to read the 10% book. I’ve seen it everywhere.

    I agree on Anthony Doerr. Love him! I also recommend Beautiful Ruins and I can’t say enough good things about Maggie Shipstead’s two books, “Astonish Me” and “Seating Arrangements.”

    Thank you again!!!!

  15. Ha ha HA on the Oprah moment! I really enjoyed both of Maggie Shipstead’s novels too. I must read Beautiful Ruins!

  16. Heading over to read Shonda’s speech now – thanks for pointing me to it.

    Loved 10% Happier! I just finished listening to Bittersweet by Shauna Niequist. It’s absolutely beautiful.

  17. I’m so happy you loved Elenaor and Park!!! My review goes up next week at GNB.

    Thanks for the link to that speech. It’s bookmarked now for later!

  18. Love adding your book recs to my list- they are always among my favorites! I hadn’t heard of Euphoria yet. Can’t wait to read it now!

  19. I just recently read Eleanor and Park, too – loved it! I also wanted to tell you I finally read the Gift of an Ordinary Day and I really, really enjoyed it. Ironically I was traveling through New Hampshire on our road trip when I read it. I’m off to read the post about 40 and the Dartmouth speech!

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