About Time

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I don’t know what it is about Rachel McAdams and time travel movies, but girlfriend totally nails it. Am I right? The Time Traveler’s Wife is maybe my favorite book – maybe – and the movie was superb enough to satisfy me even though, of course, having read the book about 5 times, I didn’t think the screen version quite did it justice. Though the gloriousness that is Eric Bana helped reconcile that a bit.

While the leading man in About Time might not seem as scrumptious, I promise you: he’s the perfect recipe of funny, clumsy goof + adoring brother and son + and doting husband/father, providing a real love story that is charmingly sincere and beautiful and heart-achingly romantic. Thus, I proclaim that you have to see this movie. I’d heard absolutely nothing about it before I recorded it while sick and watched it on the couch surrounded by balled up tissues, covered in blankets with Baxter sleeping on my icy toes. I’ll warn you in advance that it’s not just the love story that’ll get you — the relationship of the main character, Tim, with his affable father (played by the phenomenal Bill Nighy), is sure to have you in tears. Ugly tears. The kind that make you reach for the Kleenex because you need to blow your nose, flu or not. I’m telling you, friends. It’ll happen. But it’s good.

Here’s the trailer:

Have you seen anything spectacular lately? 

More movie recommendations here and here.

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What I’m Reading: Tiny, Beautiful Things

Have you ever read Dear Sugar articles? I love them. A lot of women do. Which is probably why women love gifting this book to other women.  I picked up a copy for myself and also gifted one to my boss for her birthday. I’m not sure it’s a totally boss appropriate gift, unless your boss really gets you and is okay with really sensitive issues and cursing. So it’s not quite a great option for the white elephant exchange at your holiday party unless you’re fine with everyone knowing you’ve got waaaay too many feeeeelings.  (hey, don’t we all? exactly.)

I was super excited to hear last week that Dear Sugar is back in a new way. Cheryl Strayed (you may know her as the author of the bestseller Wild, which is now a movie made uber popular by starlet Reese Witherspoon) announced that she collaborated with the original Sugar (think advice column meets hippie aunt who always made you feel really proud of yourself like the human incarnate of Mother Earth and Goddess Divine slash a voice of reason with a little sass mixed in for good measure), Steve Almond, on a podcast called Dear Sugar Radio. They’ll answer letters, discuss problems and inspire and comfort you in ways you didn’t know you needed. Here’s a snippet and you can check out the details on how to write in and listen to the pilot episode on WBUR 90.9 FM.

Here are some of my favorite Dear Sugar passages:

“The useless days will add up to something. The shitty waitressing jobs. The hours writing in your journal. The long meandering walks. The hours reading poetry and story collections and novels and dead people’s diaries and wondering about sex and God and whether you should shave under your arms or not. These things are your becoming.”

“Don’t surrender all your joy for an idea you used to have about yourself that isn’t true anymore.”

“I can’t tell you what to do. No one can. But as the mother of two children, I can tell you what most moms will: that mothering is absurdly hard and profoundly sweet. Like the best thing you ever did. Like if you think you want to have a baby, you probably should. I say this in spite of the fact that children are giant endless suck machines. They don’t give a whit if you need to sleep or eat or pee or get your work done or go out to a party naked and oiled up in a homemade Alice B. Toklas mask. They take everything. They will bring you the furthest edge of your personality and abso-fucking-lutely to your knees.  They will also give you everything back. Not just all they take, but many of the things you lost before they came along as well.”

“When you meet a man in the doorway of a Mexican restaurant who later kisses you while explaining that this kiss doesn’t “mean anything” because, much as he likes you, he is not interested in having a relationship with you or anyone right now, just laugh and kiss him back. Your daughter will have his sense of humor. Your son will have his eyes.”

“You have to pay your own electric bill. You have to be kind. You have to give it all you got. You have to find people who love you truly and love them back with the same truth. But that’s all.”

 

Gah, there’s so many good ones. Have you read Tiny, Beautiful Things or the Dear Sugar columns? Any favorites? 

Bookshelves

Did you know that the number of bookshelves in your home can predict your kid’s success at school?

A study by a team of Stanford and University of Munich researchers shows that parents who own two bookshelves raise kids who do better in school. Whoa.

And with that, here’s why you should absolutely read books out loud to babies.

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Do you still read paperbacks and hardcovers or do you rely on tablets and e-readers?

 

 

What I’m Reading: An Interview with Sophia Amoruso

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Need some motivation on this fine Monday?  Check out this interview with the founder (and “chief troublemaker”) of Nasty Gal Vintage, Sophia Amoruso. This quote really caught my attention:

My dad said at dinner the other night something that I really loved — he said, ‘Hope is not a strategy,’ which is so true. The best things happen with not only hope, but ingenuity, self-awareness, and a lot of elbow grease. That’s when the real magic happens.

Her book #GIRLBOSS comes out tomorrow. Looks like a fun read!

Have you read anything inspiring lately? 

 

What I’m Reading: Vampire Academy

Since I’m spending a large chunk of my work day in a drab basement room (with no cell reception) pumping, I decided I needed an easy book to read to help pass the time down there. Where better to look than the top of the bestseller list for tweens? Enter: Vampire Academy. Set to be a movie here soon, it’s the first of a six-book series.  I’ll be honest, I’m not sure I’ll actually read all six, but the first one is entertaining enough and it’s one of those books I don’t mind putting down and picking up – it keeps my attention and interest for the short spurts I need it to.  Luckily, the movie appears to take a light-hearted approach because I really wasn’t going to be able to stand it if they took it all very seriously (a la the Twilight drama disasters).

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Have you read it? Any recommendations for what I should read next?

P.S. Do you recognize the lead actress, Zoey Deutch, from the cancelled Sarah Michelle-Gellar show Ringer? I forgot about that show…

Birthday Books for Dad

My pops is a hard guy to shop for. The one thing that never disappoints him is shirts with pockets. Sounds simple, but the man has spent his life in pursuit of quality shirts (the right cotton weight, good stitching in the crew neck, appropriate upper arm coverage by way of long enough sleeves) and while there are many makers of fine tees, finding all of that plus pockets is a bit like a really anticlimactic treasure hunt for my family. So for his birthday this year I decided to ditch the shirts and went for something I know he’ll enjoy: dogs. My dad’s two dogs are like children and he dotes on them a lot like Mumbles and I do with Baxter.

I found this awesome book Maggie on Things via A Cup of Jo. And I’d heard of the Underwater Dogs photos but I was delighted to find they’d been made into a beautiful coffee table book. It’s so goofy and fun and the whole story about how the author found fame and his calling — very cool.  I think it’s awesome that both books were never intended to be books at all – they were just a collection of photos on a blog or on a website.  How reaffirming it must be that the thing these people are most passionate about or find simple pleasures in has found a place in the hearts of so many others. Just captivating!

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