Whether you’re working, traveling, or partying, summer can easily stumble into a lazy routine. Here are some recommendations to stimulate you and break up your pattern. Or at least, make your tanning time more fulfilling.
Watch: Orange is the New Black It would be shocking if you weren’t already watching this fascinating, hysterical, honest, and intimate Netflix original series depicting life in a women’s prison. The show’s unique comedy and drama is addictive, but it is the complicated, authentic characters that draw you in, again and again. It’s been said a million times, but three-dimensional female characters are a rare sight in our media. However, Orange is the New Black is over-populated with them. Not one character lacks backstory or dimension. They are sensitive, cruel, sympathetic, justified, and selfish, sometimes all within the same breath. It helps that the women of Litchfield Prison are often hilariously insightful, too.
On the cinematic front, The Fault in Our Stars is worth seeing and will surely depress you in a Carpe-Diem kind of way, but Frances Ha, Two Days in Paris, and Punch Drunk Love are some pretty life-affirming movies available on Netflix. And it is summer, so Almost Famous – director Cameron Crowe’s poignant love letter to the 1970s rock-n-roll lifestyle – is always recommended.
Read: “The Anatomy of Being” by Shinji Moon. Yes, it’s a book of poetry, but it isn’t like the indiscernible, overly proper poetry you read in High School english class. This collection reads like a beautiful, intricate journal of college student living in Manhattan. Shinji writes so honestly you might mistake her words for your thoughts. Her work is unpretentious, imaginative, and heartfelt.
If poetry isn’t your thing, try any of David Sedaris’s books of essays. Me Talk Pretty One Day is one of the funniest things I’ve ever read, but it is substantiated with enough wisdom to make you feel like you aren’t wasting time. A perfect beach or airplane read if there ever was one.
Listen: Indie group Mean Lady sings dreamily, hypnotically, and wildly. Their album Love Now somehow manages to be both endearingly upbeat and sincere, but their song “Indian Sun” will truly leave you in a spell. “Far Away,” “Why’d’ya Haftabee Sucha?” and “I Will Marry You” are equally enchanting.
Try “Avant Gardener” by Courtney Barnett for quirky-clever-clueless, “Waves” by Sleeper Agent for road trips “Life is Hard” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes to be uplifted, “King of the World” by First Aid Kit for relatable folk, and “Out of My League” by Fitz and the Tantrums for dancing.
Hope you all are having wonderful summers and enjoy these recommendations – go enjoy the sun and try not to be too sad that there’s no Beat the Clock back home.
– Jenny Henderson