As most people are these days, I’m a little Instagram obsessed. Lately, I noticed that a few of my favorite accounts have something in common – color. They seem bright, light, and happy. Here are a few that I like most.
The xx finally released a new album last week – their first in almost five years – and I can’t stop listening to it. (One member, Jamie xx, released his own album during that time which is also worth listening to). The first single, On Hold, reminded me of why I fell in love with the xx in the first place. It’s one of my favorites, along with Brave For You, Performance, and Say Something Loving.
I’m a bit late to the party on this one. I bought Sweetbitter last summer after it popped up on just about every reading list I came across. The author, Stephanie Danler, wrote the book about her experience as a server in New York and the restaurant is based on one of my personal favorites, Union Square Cafe. I finally got around to reading it last week. I wasn’t expecting to be blown away – I knew there were mixed reviews – but I was surprised to find that I really enjoyed it.
While I’ll admit there were portions of the book I didn’t love, I found that I loved the way she wrote about things, more than the story itself. Many times I read something and immediately thought to myself that I had felt the same way at one point. Her descriptions, less of New York, more of the way it feels to live there, dovetailed with my own experiences. She moved to the city two years before I did, two years older. That part of her experience felt personal to me.
There’s one moment where she describes how she feels about living in New York: “It is ludicrous for anyone to live here and I can never leave.” It so perfectly sums up my own feelings, and the internal conflict I felt when I finally made the choice to leave. Read this book, and don’t rush it. Also, have a glass of wine handy. The descriptions will make you thirsty.
Life After Life is one of my favorite books that I’ve read in the past few years. I’ve been recommending it to friends and family since I first read it, and last week I decided it was time to read it for a second time. If possible, I loved it even more.
Without going into too much detail, Life After Life is the story of a woman born in England in 1910 who, every time she dies, comes back to life. Each time she is reborn, so to speak, there are nuanced differences in the story – small changes that have just enough of an effect to lead her down a different path.
The one caveat I always give with my recommendation – to enjoy the book, you need to not question why she keeps being reborn and just accept that it happens. It’s not about why this happens to her. It’s about what happens to her.
And, if you read it and love it, Atkinson wrote a companion novel of sorts about another member of the family called A God in Ruins. It’s a completely different story but if you enjoy Atkinson’s writing, I’d highly recommend it.