What I've Been Reading

I always love Mallory's book posts and enjoyed this post on Fieldguided about recent publications, so I thought I'd take a page from their books (haha get it???) and talk about what I've been reading lately.

Rin Tin Tin by Susan Orlean
Okay, so I actually read this one over the summer (and took it traveling with me, hence the beat-up cover), but I loved it so much that I figured I should include it even though it feels like I read it ages ago.  If you're even casually acquainted with me IRL or on social media (where I've adopted the handle @AirBudTwo), you probably know that I've become super obsessed with movies about dogs.  I even made a (ridiculous) Air Bud 2 zine. So obviously I was psyched that the wonderful Susan Orlean decided to write a book all about Rin Tin Tin. We project so much of ourselves onto animals, and this book, accordingly, touches on a fascinating mix of culture from the past century - from World War II to the origins of franchises and the accompanying branding.  And all through the super cute lens of a famous movie dog!

Swimming Studies by Leanne Shapton
This is what I’m reading right now, so I don’t have a final verdict to offer, but I’m really enjoying it so far. It’s another one that just kind of fits with everything I’m into right now.  Totally fascinated by all things having to do with water, especially visually, and while it's mostly text, it includes some of Shapton’s art and photos of her bathing suit collection.  Another thing I’ve also been thinking a lot about what it’s like to obsessively pursue a goal - the kind of drive you need to get to the Olympic trials, which this book chronicles.

The closest I’ve ever come to that was when I did competitive figure skating when I was younger.   I quit before it got to the point where itwould have to become my singular focus, but it was still pretty intense. Waking up early Saturday mornings to to go practice.  Countless hours on the ice and more still training on dry land.  Every week, I’d do “conditioning” with a group of other skaters, which was a mix of exercises - jumping rope, running up and down the stairs of the mall where our rink was, etc.  Then we’d do ballet lessons in the basement to make us graceful.  It's strange to think about how much time I spent devoted to it then now that I don't do it at all anymore and probably couldn't even do a jump or spin even with my best effort these days.

Dolly Parton, Lily Tomlin, and Jane Fonda are sad that we can't watch archives of every single thing Lily Tomlin ever did.

We Killed: The Rise of Women in Comedy by Yael Kohen
I honestly wasn't super crazy about this one and I think that's primarily because, as far as oral histories go, it wasn't particularly juicy and I was already pretty well-versed in the subject matter, so there weren't many revelations. That being said, I was happy that the book went into depth about the beginning of Lily Tomlin's career, which I realized I don't know enough about because you can never know enough about Lily Tomlin. It's a total bummer that some of her comedy specials are, apparently,lost forever. AMERICA YOU HAVE DISAPPOINTED ME.

Lula #17
So I guess this is the last issue? Sad, for sure, but I am so much of the “quit while you’re ahead” mentality (I know I've talked about that a bit here) that I truthfully think it's a good thing and I’m just looking forward to whatever Leith Clark does next.  My favorite article in this one was the profile of Simone Rocha.  

Process Journal
Considering it's a publication about graphic design, it's fitting that its cover is what initially piqued my interest. The whole thing is clean & straight to the point - picking the brains of graphic designers and learning about their process accompanied by images of the final product.

The Gentlewoman #8
It's The Gentlewoman, so obviously it's great.  I especially enjoyed the profile on Martha Stewart and the photospread on hair brushing.  I have super thick, long hair, so I’m really obsessed with brushing it because it will get knotted up and horrible if I don’t do it religiously. My friend Dana and I got the same hair brush with bamboo bristles together after I read it, so now I have a whole new set of positive associations to go with with brushing my hair.  

Save a Horse, Ride a Hanawalt by Lisa Hanawalt
I posted about Lisa Hanawalt's great book, My Dirty Dumb Eyes, here a while back. Since then, she's put out a mini-comic, which is also wonderfuland full of lots of super helpful life advice.


  1. So good! I love the way you've written about these books because it makes me want to read them all. I still haven't read that article in The Gentlewoman so I'll make a point to before I go to bed (I never brush my hair, maybe I'm missing out). And that Leanne Shapton book is so good! I took a picture of one of the pages about just doing it and I would look at it when I didn't feel like going to the gym. Sometimes it even worked!!

    1. (Past tense because I quit the gym! Take that gym)

    2. Glad you enjoyed it :)

      Hair is so weird! I used to never brush my hair and never had a problem, but a couple years ago it started tangling up on me. But now that I'm making an effort to make brushing my hair a fancy experience, I really enjoy it, so you might have fun with it!

  2. I need to read Rin Tin Tin. I get way too upset about how so many things are unavailable for my eyes to watch (including Lily Tomlin specials). Please get back into figure skating and post videos of your routines on instagram. Thank you.

    1. I had no idea when I quit how much it would hurt my social media presence in the future! Got to remedy that.

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