What Are You Reading (offline, that is)?

what are you reading

We love to hear what our friends are reading when they step away from the computer. Drop us a line and let us know what’s blowing your mind. Robyn Virball, Jackalope Brewery I'm a person who always has to be reading something. I cannot go to sleep without reading for about 20 minutes first. This constant need for material sometimes means I pick some really terrible books, but luckily I've had a string of good ones lately.

The Journal of Popular Culture---People Magazine This publication has to top the list; I read it every week. Now before you start putting your judgey pants on, People is very different then US Weekly (not that there's anything wrong with US Weekly). They're pretty reliable with their celebrity gossip and they have inspiring stories like about people who teach homeless children to play soccer and dogs that save their owners from being hit by on-coming trains. Other magazines that are must reads, Martha Stewart Living and Garden and Gun (seriously, go buy one, it's one of the most beautiful magazines you've seen, and there aren't really any guns).

The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach I bought this book in the airport in London a few weeks ago, I picked it because Jonathan Franzen had a quote on the front saying that is was amazing.  It follows a mid-western kid who's a baseball phenom as he goes to college, along with five other central characters whose lives he directly impacts.  All the characters so far are interesting and well rounded.  As far as I can tell, Franzen hasn't led me astray.

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me by Mindy Kaling Do yourself a favor and read this book.  Kalin's memoir---following her from growing up in Cambridge to Dartmouth to Off Broadway to The Office---is hilarious and left me thinking we should be best friends. It was another airport purchase for me and I ended up being that awkward person on the plane that was laughing out loud for the entire flight.  Mindy is smart, witty, and honest and I promise that you will not regret reading this, unless you hate fun and laughter.

All The Presidents Men by Robert Penn Warren I read this in high school and loved it and now my book club just picked it so I'm reading it again.   It follows a southern politician in the 1930s, watching as he goes from an idealistic politician to a dirty one.  It's just an impressive, really fantastic book, and reading it during an election season is particularly enlightening... and depressing.

What I want to read next---Seating Arrangements by Maggie Shipstead Full disclosure, my friend wrote this.  It comes out on June 12th and I while I haven't read it yet, I highly recommend that you buy it.  It's a social satire set on an island similar to Nantucket, where a family is preparing for the daughter's wedding.  Richard Russo calls it "by turns hilarious and deeply moving". Now you know what you're reading June 12th!

Zoe Rooney, Web Developer Like most people I know, I don't have a lot of time for reading actual books, but I have a couple I'm particularly excited about lined up right now.

Distance, Issue 01 I jumped on this journal series when I first heard about it via their Kickstarter project - it's a series of long, for-serious essays about design. It's text-heavy and theoretical and amazing.

Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self by Danielle Evans My mom just bought this for me from my Amazon wish list, which I thought was a fascinating choice on her part. It's a collection of short stories told in the first person that explore the experiences of young non-white people, which I can totally identify with. I'm pretty sure my mom didn't pick it because of the cover, but that is pretty awesome as well.

Heaven to Betsy by Maud Hart Lovelace Sometimes when I just need a mental break I like to reread books from my childhood, and the Betsy Tacy series is one of my absolute favorites. This particular book in the series introduces the archetypically dreamy character of Tony Markham and also makes me feel like I should probably throw a fudge party one of these days.

Javascript: The Good Parts by Douglas Crockford And because I'm at heart a humongous nerd, I've started reading Javascript: The Good Parts to try and expand my knowledge of that particular programming language.

Jora Vess, Domestic Reflections Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne I recently re-read Simplicity Parenting, which is becoming my go-to parenting book (I have read so many over the past 7 years it is somewhat embarrassing).  I love the less is more approach with most things in life, but it can by challenging for me when it comes to parenting.  This book helps keep me on track.

Bloom by Kelle Hampton I also just pored through Bloom in about a night and a half.  I have always felt so uplifted and inspired by Kelle's blog after I read her (now famous) birth story of her daughter Nella a couple of years ago.  Her book really delivered . . . lots of raw emotion and insight into how she sees the world.  Highly recommend (stock up on tissues and plan to not see your family for awhile since you won't be able to put it down).

This Life Is in Your Hands by Melissa Coleman I am about halfway through This Life Is in Your Hands.  I read an excerpt of it awhile back and knew I had to read the book.  It is a memoir by a woman whose family bought a piece of rural property in Maine in the 1970s and went "off the grid" (which is almost an understatement).  It reminds me very much of the upbringing my parents gave me (at least in my first few years).  It is also a great read for anyone interested in homesteading or rural farm life.