Discover more from #5SmartReads
issue #40 - the one coming on Presidents Day
Random question - who’s your favorite president?
Mine might surprise you - Calvin Coolidge, Lyndon Johnson, and even Richard Nixon strictly on policy, Abraham Lincoln for coalition building, and Barack Obama and John Kennedy on inspiring their respective generations. I’m currently listening to one of my favorite presidential history books, and have my fingers crossed that they’ll update it for our current and next president.
Some fun things on the horizon - DVF’s InCharge: Pay Equity & Negotiation event in NYC on 2/20, MoxxieMade’s panel on fertility on 2/25 (I’ll be speaking). Ashley Spivey and I are interviewing our friend and author Kimmery Martin on her new book The Antidote For Everything (which I loved) on March 9th, and I’ll be sharing the stage with fellow mother investor Amy Nelson at SXSW on March 14th.
And then I will need a nap. Many naps, actually.
If this is your first e-mail from me, welcome! In addition to writing the book How To Pack, I'm an entrepreneur and angel investor, an avid reader, and a mom of two boys (a 4 year old and a 8 month old).
Every Saturday, I share the 25 best reads from the Internet (culled from the daily shares on my Instagram), the books I've read that week, and things I'm generally loving at the moment. You can join the conversation on all these articles - and more! - in my Facebook group.
Looking for my packing list template? Here you go!
#ThingsILove This Week
What I packed for Medellin - this jumpsuit (on super sale), my Pixelbook (lighter than my laptop, has a touch screen, and can be used as a tablet), this #amazonnightgown, my Rothys and this raincoat (the forecast calls for rain, and Murphy’s Law dictates that it won’t actually rain if I bring rain gear). I shopped my own closet for the wedding, and am wearing a maxi dress for the rehearsal dinner (this one is similar) and a lace cocktail dress (similar) for the wedding and reception.
Cody (one of my favorite Peloton instructors) created these XOXO rides with the BEST playlists. Here are my favorite tracks from the rides, with some Taylor Swift and Rihanna thrown in for good measure.
I partnered with Google last week to share their Security Checkup tool, and how I keep my digital life secure. My tips? Do their security checkup, set up two-factor authentication on all your e-mail and social media accounts, and use a password manager (I’ve been using Google’s for years). This section is by no means sponsored, but it’s a project I’m proud of and has value. So I’m sharing it.
I admittedly got influenced by Nicolette, Olivia, and Caroline into purchasing a Universal Standard mystery box. I’ve struggled with feeling good in my postpartum body and finding pants that fit, and I love this brand’s mission of making every woman feel good in her clothes. I’ll report back on my box!
My friend Andrew’s personal finance newsletter is really, really good.
Things I shared on IG this week:
The peek a boo elephant (which is Rhaki’s favorite toy)
This is the cookbook I was meal-prepping from last weekend. It’s got raw and cooked options for virtually every vegetable, with tons of modifications for different ingredients or personal tastes. Who knew creamed lettuce soup could be so good?
What I read this week
A quick note - I hope you reserve the books I recommend from your local library, or purchase them from your favorite independent bookstore or the audiobook from Libro.fm. I’m using Bookshop, a site that supports independent bookstores, to share my book links whenever I can.
Self Care (ARC provided by Penguin Random House, out June 30) - it’s rare that a book can be dark, funny, and light as cotton candy, but that sums up this book succinctly. Self Care follows the three women who run Richual, a digital community focused on self care, and what goes down the week after one of the founders tweets something unfortunate. It’s a biting, exaggerated story of what it’s like to run/work at a women-led tech company, with some sad realities peppered in. It’s a fun read, though the last quarter felt rushed and the ending abrupt. I give it 3 stars.
You Can’t F*ck Up Your Kids (ARC provided by NetGalley, out March 31) - There are only a handful or pregnancy/parenting books I recommend, and this is now one of them. Powers’ refreshing, heavily researched book on all the things we obsess over as parents are debunked and give you the confidence that you really can’t f*ck up your kids as long as you tend to their basic needs and offer them love, support, and your attention. The other books I recommend? Like A Mother, Expecting Better, and Cribsheet.
One To Watch (ARC provided by NetGalley, out July 7) - this was a ‘hug my Kindle and smile like a goon for a solid 10 minutes in silence’ book, and it’s one that will be added to my security blanket book list because it’s just so good. If The Bachelor/UnREAL and Katie Sturino’s real life collided, it would be Bea Schumacher’s foray as the first Main Squeeze above sample size. This book touches on so many things - size, basic human decency, love, respect, emotional abuse...and masterfully so. I LOVED it.
Hitha’s Favorite Things
Libro.fm is my favorite audiobook app (it credits your favorite independent bookstore with the sale). Use code HITHA to get 3 audiobooks for the price of 1 when you create a monthly membership. You can find my favorite audiobooks here.
This is the only book club I’m a member of
my favorite vitamins (both their pre-natal and their essential one for women). Use code HITHA for 10% off your first 3 months.
CBD has been a lifesaver for me. Get 20% off your first order with code HITHA.
the app to save #5SmartReads to read later
the marriage check-in my husband and I do every single week
my favorite workout - and why. Use code G37YVV for $100 in accessories (spin shoes, weights, headphones - oh my!)
Small Packages (one of my portfolio companies) is the curated gift box company I’m always talking about - get 15% off your order with the code HITHA
The Top 4
How I Learned to Recognize the Real Mitt Romney (Politico Magazine)
The Catch Up
Women receive significantly less feedback than men at work — 3 ways to change that (Know Your Value | NBC News)
The boom times of insulin sales (Axios)
‘The intelligence coup of the century’ (Washington Post)
The Primary Isn't Over (Jill Filipovic)