When summer vacation began around here, my oldest daughter took up her station in the corner of our couch, pretty much reading all day (punctuated by meals, exploring breaks outside, and some antics with her siblings).
With a two-year-old and five-year-old, not to mention a myriad of other adult & business responsibilities, I am not quite at that life space of blissful, lazy reading all summer (and I try to keep the envious glances to a minimum). But, for many of us, summer provides a respite from the year of run-around busyness, and AT LAST a chance to dig in to a good book.
Looking for a quick read, easy to pick up & put down while you’re often interrupted? Try essays from funny ladies Tina Fey (Bossypants) or Mindy Kaling (Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns), Why Not Me?). For light, easy novels, there’s Where’d You Go, Bernadette? (Maria Semple) or the Rosie series (Graeme Simsion), The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society (Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows) or Beautiful Ruins (Jess Walter).
Simply looking for solid fiction for the summer?
My mother’s book club is tackling A Suitable Boy (Vikram Seth) over the summer – it comes in at a whopping, nearly 1500 pages! If summer is the time that you want to tackle an epic, then I’m sure you have one or two that have been on the bookshelf or bedside table waiting for you. But, if not:
Roots (Alex Haley) or The Brothers Karamazov (Fyodor Dostoyevsky) might be satisfying choices. The must-read A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry) deals with Indian caste system, like A Suitable Boy, but weighs much less. Or there is the more recent, Pulitzer prize-winning The Goldfinch(Donna Tartt). Though, I personally wouldn’t recommend that unless you want to journey through a major character study all summer (read: it’s depressing). In my opinion, if what you’re looking for is depressing (yet incredibly compelling), then the book you’re looking for is We Need to Talk About Kevin(Lionel Shriver).
Maybe instead, you're out for a little brain expansion or self-improvement this summer? Give these a try:
In ANY case, pick up a book & enjoy your summer!!!
This post was written with gratitude for the input of two of the most voracious readers I know: my mom & Caroline. It's taken me a while not to take it personally when someone doesn't like my book reco, but now I'm a grown-up, so I think I'm ok now. That said, all suggestions are utterly subjective, and if you start a book and don't want to finish it, no worries. :)
Every month, we need to put a category in our personal budget for gifts. There is always an event or occasion that is calling for a gift: Christmas, anniversary, birthdays, retirements, graduation, sympathy, gratitude, and on. And, like most people, we want to make the gifts that we give count! So how do we choose a gift that will be meaningful to the recipient?
Giving a gift is, of course, a subjective exercise; there is no perfect formula that will help you reach the “perfect gift”. However, there are certain questions you can ask that will help you choose a meaningful gift for your gift recipient:
Let’s look at these questions, some common gift-giving mistakes, and, finally, some meaningful gift ideas!
Our production partner, Basha, began in one little office in Dhaka, Bangladesh — the most densely populated city in the world. Over the many years they have been in business, creating kantha textiles & jewelry, they have expanded: both in number of staff, and also locations.
It was helpful for some women to leave the norm of their old life environment, to get away, to start fresh in a new city. So, Basha created different offices in varied locations. They established a girls' home to safely house daughters & other vulnerable young women as they come of age.
As Basha has continued to identify the great need of women in Bangladesh, there is another area they have expanded: actively seeking women in brothels & whispering the potential of a new life.
As I was packing for our first family international flight (to London UK), I wanted to make sure that we had everything we needed to make our overnight journey the most comfortable. As you know, those flights can be a little chilly - so I wanted to bring blankets for all of us. Naturally, I wondered...
Can I bring a blanket onto a plane?
In short: YES! According to the TSA you are allowed to both check a blanket in your luggage and to bring a blanket on a plane within a carry-on (and this also includes electric blankets). You can even bring your own blanket in your arms as you would a jacket or hat, without it counting towards your carry-on or personal item limits or paying any extra fees.