Reading and Reviewing, July: Part 2

Books AND watermelon? What more could a girl want?
Books AND watermelon? What more could a girl want? Image via Make Life Easier.

I was absolutely speeding through books last month, so I decided to make a part 2 to my original July post…now let’s just see if I can keep this reading streak going in the fall!

Spinster, by Kate Bolick: I saw this book on the shelf at my local library and had remembered hearing about it at some point. I brought it home and was really enjoying it (this is another book that was made for a former soc major!), when I came across a part where Kate mentioned her small, liberal arts college in Maine. I immediately took to Google and realized that she had graduated from Colby in 1995, and our alumni magazine had done a profile on the book a few years back. Such a small world, and an interesting take on being a single woman in today’s era mixed with factoids about some of the “spinsters” that inspired Kate herself. I have to admit I skimmed through many of the more historical chapters, but that was just because I was so fascinated with Kate’s own life that I preferred to read the more autobiographical pieces.

Meternity, by Meghann Foye: Speaking of Colby authors, the writer of this book is also an alumna of my college! I had the opportunity to meet Meghann a couple of times when I worked in magazines in NYC, and I love her take on the industry (I’ll have to say as a 22-year-old, I was pretty oblivious to some of the dynamics she describes with regard to working mothers!). This book tells the story of Liz, a single, 31-year-old editor who has had enough with her coworkers dashing out of the office to deal with kid-related responsibilities and decides to take matters into her own hands (yes, this means wearing a bump under her outfits each day) to get the “me-time” off she believes she deserves. This book has received a substantial amount of criticism with regard to its subject matter, but I greatly enjoyed reading it (it’s a light, quick read that I can totally see being made into a rom-com). I kept waiting for Liz to get “caught” but the big “reveal” went over more smoothly than I had expected!

After You, by Jojo Moyes: I jumped on the whole Me Before You bandwagon back in January, and I couldn’t wait to pick up the sequel this summer (actually, I did wait a bit and found it on sale for 50 cents at a thrift shop—score!). I had read reviews that said the second book wasn’t as good as the first, but I disagree—I loved hearing the rest of Louisa’s story and laughed along as I read about her new employment journey (working at an airport bar), romantic escapades, and membership in a grief support group. Some of the humor actually reminded me of Sophie Kinsella’s Shopaholic series (gotta love those British writers!). This book definitely raised a bunch of stronger emotions for me as well, and on a deeper note I could relate to a lot of Moyes’ (or Louisa’s) observations about grief, which made this a thought-provoking read.

Never Have I Ever: My Life (So Far) Without a Date, by Katie Heaney: Wow, ok, this book round-up really has a whole single/girl power/soul-searching theme to it. BUT let’s get to this next one. I had heard about this book when it first came out a couple of years ago and was always curious about it but never got around to picking it up. Plus, the back flap of the book compares Katie to Mindy Kaling and Sloane Crosley (both of whom I find hilarious), so I figured I couldn’t go wrong reading it, and I was right!

20 Something 20 Everything, by Christine Hassler: This book was exactly what I needed to read after being in a bit of a funk. Christine Hassler hit the nail on the head within the first few pages of the book as she listed the “symptoms of a twenty-something crisis” and I nodded along in agreement with quite a few of them (while also realizing, ‘Oh, other people feel this way, too!’). This is definitely a must read for those of you in the same boat! It’s also an easy read to skim…I jumped around and read through a few sections and will make a mental note that the others are there, should I want to flip back in the future!

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Weekend Recap


What a weekend! It started off as so, so calm (I pretty much slept all day Saturday when I wasn’t DIY-ing), but I managed to do a TON on Sunday. I would rather be go, go, go on the weekends–at least one of the days–so that when I’m sitting at my desk during the week I can feel that I made the most of my time off! This weekend, I managed to check a ton off of my DC/summer to-do list:

On Saturday, I got right to work on my DIY project! After a quick trip to the hardware store, I spray painted both the bar cart I purchased from my friend last fall (I decided to turn it silver, which will match my gray furniture) and then started on one of my bamboo pieces. Rather than using chalk paint, I ended up going with a blue spray paint that also contains a primer, and it looks good so far! The weather was super hot and humid which doesn’t make for the best painting conditions, so I’ll have to wrap everything up after work one day this week.

On Sunday, I took a photography class through the Capital Photography Center. The class was mainly for work but also for fun–since it was dedicated to iPhone photography, it’ll be super helpful no matter what I’m doing! I’m signed up for a DSLR class this fall and I’m looking forward to that one.

After the class, which was held in the National Portrait Gallery, I strolled around DC for a bit and finally tried Momufuku Milk Bar. I had been meaning to go for ages, but I never managed to do so in New York and thought the DC location would likely be less chaotic anyway. I got a classic “cereal milk” flavored cone which was HUGE (seriously, the portions are much bigger than they look on Instagram, haha). I then met up with my family for an early birthday dinner at Farmers Fishers Bakers! The restaurant was awesome and reminded me of the one I worked at in Philly (also sustainable and organic).

Ooooh, and this weekend I also watched the Grey’s musical episode (FINALLY) and finished my latest read (a book post is coming to the blog tomorrow!), because #priorities. Seriously, such a fun-filled weekend (even if it got off to a slow start!).

What did you all do? Oh, and happy birthday, Harry Potter–anyone try out the Snapchat filter? Ha!

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