Lazy Sunday Links

– by Lindsey and Kelsey

Instead of a straight up link list today, we thought we’d share a couple of things off our reading lists. I was born first, so I’ll kick things off…

Lindsey’s Picks

My most recent read was Fifty Shades of Gray, which I found to be poorly written and repetitive. If I had to read another sentence with “hitching” breath, boring attempts at plot, or the word mercurial, I think I might throw my Kindle out the window. Hopefully the two titles below will give my brain some much needed nourishment.

The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry by Jon Ronson

A fan of This American Life, I’ve heard Jon Ronson‘s lilting, soothing, very British voice a couple of times. The episode that prompted my purchase of this book, also called The Psychopath Test, featured Jon’s story about (possible psychopath?) CEO Al Dunlap. His discussion prompts questions about the correlation between success and psychopathy. I can’t wait to dig into more of his research about the actual test that, by some accounts, has been taken to the extreme. (Bonus: If you prefer the visual, Ronson’s TED Talk is pretty great, too.)

Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay

I first came to know Roxane Gay through her excellent Twitter feed. Anyone who live tweets Ina Garten is okay in my book, you know? Anyway, her latest book has come to my attention through countless media outlets. Seriously. Google her, and you’ll find all sorts of positive press. What got me to buy the book, though, are the snippets I’ve read, like “How to be Friends with Another Woman” and her manifesto on bad feminism. I have a feeling I’m going to relate, possibly because her book arrived the same day my order of Brazil Butt Lift (don’t ask) came in the mail. Baby steps, right?

Kelsey’s Picks

In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto by Michael Pollan

This book is only one in a pantheon of books by the Nicholas Sparks of food writing: Michael Pollan. (This is a reference to quantity, not quality, Michael. No hate.) In a last desperate effort to cut down on my Cap’n Crunch consumption, this kitten is one of the next titles on my to-read list. The proclaimed manifesto of this book: “Eat Food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” In a demoralizing era of diets and fads and GMOs, Michael advocates for a simpler and significantly more satisfying relationship to food.

All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel by Anthony Doerr

There is nary a book recommendation list that I’ve seen this summer without All the Light We Cannot See. And at 4 1/2 stars on Amazon with over 1500 reviews, I’m beginning to understand why. From The New Yorker

“The dual protagonists of this gripping novel, set during the Second World War, are the blind daughter of a Parisian locksmith who builds an intricate model of the streets to help her navigate her world and a German orphan whose uncanny aptitude for mechanics makes him valuable to the Nazi war effort…As the strands of the plot converge, the book becomes a meditation on fate, free will, and the way that, in wartime, small choices can have vast consequences.”

I’m all in.

This Is Where I Leave You: A Novel by  Jonathan Tropper

My goal is to read this novel before the movie (of the same title) is released this fall (September 19th), starring standouts Tina Fey, Jason Bateman, and Adam Driver. The four Foxman siblings return home after the death of their father, forced to spend seven days in the same household. I normally don’t enjoy reading/watching (what I’m anticipating will be) a show of dysfunctional degeneration, but I’m excited about this one.

What are you reading, friends? Let us know in the comments, if you’re so inclined.

WWU: Are You Afraid of the Dark? – “The Tale of the Laughing in the Dark”

– by Kelsey and Lindsey

So, it’s Friday night, and you want to watch something new whilst reading sarcastic comments from your friendly, neighborhood bloggers? Oh man, you guys. This Watch With Us (WWU) post is dedicated to one of our very favorite shows from childhood: Are You Afraid of the Dark? (AYAOTD). By favorite, I mean a show we tried to watch to prove to ourselves that we weren’t tiny baby scaredy cats. (Yay cats!)

This episode is on Amazon Prime, because we’re (un)professional instant video watchers and subscribe to everything. If you want to watch along, join us after the jump! (Yes, we realize these posts might not be that fun if you aren’t watching along, but they’re really fun for us. Sorry. Sort of.)


WWU: Goosebumps – “Calling All Creeps!”

By Kelsey and Lindsey

Welcome to the inaugural post in our Watch With Us series! We’re trying a kind of Mystery Science Theater 3000 premise in written form. Basically, this is going to be a series smack-talking through shows/movies.

We’re starting with Goosebumps, because why not? Get your Netflix account fired up, press play and read along with our banter, if you’re so inclined. (more…)

Good Reads: An Ode to Graphic Novels

By Kelsey

I used to regard graphic novels similarly to how I regard Pokemon. Not interested. (But adolescent boys/girls are wayyyy into those little guys.)

That is no longer the case. It was only my (incorrect) assumption that graphic novels are for children. Most of these volumes contain tough, mature content, so I would highly recommend these for an adult audience only.

Maus: A Survivor’s Tale.

It all started with this book. Bear in mind that I still haven’t finished this novel, but it’s one that I like to mull over from time to time, instead of devouring in a few days. This became the first graphic novel (by Art Spiegelman) to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1992. It details the author’s interviews with his aging father regarding the family’s struggle for survival during the Holocaust, where they lived in Poland during WWII. To describe the illustrative approach of the novel, Jews are depicted as mice, while the Nazis are portrayed as cats (non-Jewish Poles are sketched as pigs).

Maus is a novel executed with grace. This book will make your heart hurt.

Blue is the Warmest Color

You may be familiar with this title due to the buzz surrounding the film of the same namesake. Please, please, read this book, and ignore the movie that alters the storyline/ending, largely pandering to cheap shock value throughout. This novel is a typical “coming of age” story, albeit one dealing with the additional hardship of struggling with one’s sexuality and the resulting reception by family/friends. Above all, it is a love story. This book is gorgeously illustrated and thoughtfully crafted.


I won’t go into detail here, but this cult classic is next on my to-read graphic novel list. (Lindsey says it’s pretty great.)

Through the Woods

The only thing better than a graphic novel is A SCARY graphic novel. This one is still on my Amazon Wishlist, but one of the short horror stories in Into the Woods is featured on author Emily Carroll’s website: His Face All Red. This is going to give me nightmares tonight, and I don’t even care. Worth it.

Honorable Mentions

I have not read The Sandman Volume 1: Preludes and Nocturnes or Persepolis, but they both come very highly acclaimed.

I love the rich mixture of written word and often meticulously detailed illustrations on each page. It is a new experience,  absorbing both mediums simultaneously. Get to reading, friends.


Good Reads: The New Yorker’s Archives

By Kelsey

My heart is aflutter with the magic of Tuesday, everyone.

To make your Tuesday a little less Tuesday, The Verge heralds news that The New Yorker has opened its Disney Vault to allow free reading access to articles from 2007 onward in promotion of a modified layout, which is more aesthetically pleasing and more conducive to multiple reading platforms. Included in The Verge’s article is a link to Longform’s “25 Favorite Unlocked New Yorker Articles.” These archived gems will be available until some point later in the fall.

Happy reading, everyone!

Lazy Sunday Links

By Kelsey

Happy Lazy Sunday, friends.

Today’s theme is vlogging, so listed below are some of my (Kelsey’s) favorite Youtube channels:

HowStuffWorks – Stuff Mom Never Told You

A funny and informative feminist resource: “Cristen gets down to the business of being a woman and all the Stuff Mom Never Told You about bodies, boys and the female brain.” New videos are posted multiple times throughout the week.

John and Hank Green – VlogBrothers   

You’ve likely heard of John and Hank Green at this point, and their weekly postings (John – Tuesday and Hank – Friday) aren’t set to a particular theme. Their fans/followers are collectively known as “nerdfighters,” so clearly, their varying informative topics very much appeal this lady. For more John and Hank, also check out CrashCourse and Mental Floss.

Natalie Tran – communitychannel

Nat Tran is a vlogger from Sydney, New South Wales, and her videos actually make me laugh out loud, alone in my bedroom, with my cat. Her videos (uploaded every Tuesday/Wednesday for those in the APR region), “are a combination of monologue and sketches that focus on the humourous aspects of everyday life.” I may have spent most of this weekend eating gummy words and watching her videos. Also, the end of every video features “porno music/comment time.”

Ashley Skidmore and Lyle Friedman – hotmessmoves

Anyone who appreciates Lena Dunham’s Girls will likely appreciate this channel that “is a series of  webisodes that chronicle two typical 20-something single girls in the city.” Short and to-the-point hilarious.

Rose Ellen Dix and Rosie Spaughton – RoseEllenDix

Rose and Rosie are an adorable couple that vlog/live in Worcester (accents!). Their videos are sometimes themed, sometimes about nothing, but honestly, whatever they’re doing, I typically find myself laughing hysterically. New videos every Friday.

Happy watching!

Lazy Sunday Links

By Lindsey and Kelsey

I don’t know about you, but we Solomon sisters live for lazy Sunday afternoons. Want to watch Netflix until you fall into a blissful nap? Go for it. Want to spend time trying new recipes for the week ahead? Yum. Want to brunch? ALWAYS. Most of all, Sunday afternoons just perfect for gearing up for the day-that-shall-not-be-named.

On that note, if you want to fill your Sunday with fun web surfing, we’ve got you covered. Most blogs seem to do (great) link round-ups on Fridays, but we’re going to try to spice up your end-of-weekend reading.

  • Fast Company Design posted this gorgeous, calming flower video. It’s on repeat.
  • Want to read that new Harry Potter short story, but don’t want to join Pottermore? Check it out here. (If you do join Pottermore, you should know that Lindsey is a Hufflepuff, while Kelsey landed in Slytherin.)
  • If you enjoy good, old-fashioned journalism, Longform is your website. From a Vanity Fair article on murder to Buzzfeed (I know, surprise!) story about a very tall woman, there’s something for everyone here.
  • How would you describe your creative process? Check out Fast Company’s Daily Routines of History’s Most Creative Minds (in chart form!) to compare. (And I thought that my sleep habits were irregular.)
  • Stream Zach Braff’s ‘Wish I Was Here’ Soundtrack at EW. I haven’t listened to it in entirety, but my initial impression brings to mind a Garden State  level of phenomenal.
  • Speaking of music, check out The New Yorker’s Best Music of 2014 List (with Spotify player).

Enjoy! More lazy links next week, friends.



Binge-Worthy: Teen Dramas

by Lindsey

When consuming media, I try to pursue a balance in my subject matter. For example, I’ve been reading lots of true crime and murder mystery books lately (I’m nice, I swear), which has led me in search of lighter fare from my Netflix queue. Enter the perfect complement to my scary reading habits: the teen drama.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer - Netflix

I’m really glad I didn’t see this episode before my 7th grade egg baby assignment. Yikes.

I find this genre appealing because the high school settings provide a kind of weird nostalgia, while offering that tasty drama that is better viewed than experienced (says the formerly nerdy teen/now happy-to-be-boring adult). I was born in 1986, so I managed to miss some of the quintessential teen dramas of the early 1990s. If you’re interested in playing catch up with me, here are my top picks playing on Netflix now.

Dawson’s Creek: I recently watched Dawson and friends for the first time. Much cheese. So sexy. Very crying. Wow. (I enjoyed it immensely.)

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: I’m currently on season two. It’s snappy, fun and it feeds my feminist side. Plus, it gets extra points for adding real monsters to the high school experience.

Gossip Girl: Basically, I watch it for the clothes. No other reason is necessary. Right? Right.

The Wonder YearsThis show was a favorite of mine during the Nick at Nite heyday. I plan to start back through with fresh eyes soon.

Next in my queue are Roswell and Freaks and Geeks, because I like aliens and critically acclaimed dramas cut down in their prime.

Honorable (a.k.a. not on Netflix) mentions: Boy Meets World (always and forever), Felicity (basically the girl version of Dawson), Gilmore Girls (fast talking fun) and Sabrina the Teenage Witch (currently playing on Hulu and Amazon Prime).

Oh, you don’t like any of the above teen dramas? 1. Who are you? 2. Here are some July 1 additions to Netflix that might tickle your fancy. I recommend 12 Angry Men and Mean Girls played back-to-back, because I’m all for equal opportunity ugliness from the sexes.