issue #60 - the jumbled up one

How are you doing? How are you feeling?

I’m feeling a bit jumbled up, both personally and about the state of the world.

There’s the impending move back to New York, which I feel all the feelings about. There’s a sense of joy at returning home, but the uncertainty of what the new New York is like, and a little bit of fear with not having my parents around. They have been an absolute godsend for the past 4 months, and I’m really going to miss them. A lot.

I’m about to execute a new direction for #5SmartReads that’s been in the works for a while. It’s exciting, and scary, and I’m constantly second guessing myself. And if you have a second to share your thoughts with me, I’d love to hear them(for my IG followers, this survey is a bit different. If you’re up to filling out again, I’d be thrilled!)

Yesterday was a strange day. I’ve always shied away from calling the 4th Of July ‘Independence Day’ (really, it was a declaration of war on Great Britain and we didn’t actually win the independence unofficially until October 19, 1781 (the Battle Of Yorktown) or officially at\ the Treaty of Paris on September 3, 1783 - but I digress). And while I’ve always enjoyed the fireworks and the barbecues and any excuse to watch the seminal film Independence Day (an annual tradition!), none of them seemed particularly appropriate yesterday.

Instead, we visited with my cousins, practicing social distancing. My cousin whipped up his world-famous mirchi bhajees (long hots stuffed with the most delicious filling, and coated in batter and fried), we listened to and watched Hamilton on Disney+, and I read and re-read Frederick Douglass’ "What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?”.

My feelings on the 4th are more jumbled than ever. But the one thought that keeps coming up is that America is an idea that we have never fully lived up to, and we must continue to work - together - to live up to it. And while that thought intimidates me, it also gives me hope for a better America that I hope we all can build together.

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 5 year old and a 1 year 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 read this week

  • Wow, No Thank You - Samantha Irby is an artist with words. Her essays are sharp, biting, irreverent, and make magic out of the mundane. This book is my first by hers, but I’ve already ordered Meaty and We Are Never Meeting In Real Life. Full book review here.

  • The Takeover Effect + The Legal Affair (c/o NetGalley, out August 18th) - The Singh Family trilogy is basically a Bollywood movie in romance novel form, and I AM HERE FOR IT. The series is somewhat focused on Bharat - a business that’s basically the immigrant success story and being passed down to three Singh brothers - with each book focused on a brother and the smart, complex woman that steals his heart. It’s thoroughly predictable and enjoyable and basically all my brain can handle right now.

Happy pub week to these two wonderful novels:

  • Sex & Vanity - this book is a luxurious summer vacation in book form, which is the closest many of us are going to get. Kevin Kwan’s latest - inspired by The Bonfire Of The Vanities - is as luxurious and dramatic as the Crazy Rich Asians trilogy, an a truly enjoyable book.

  • Self Care - as light as cotton candy and as dark and deeply prescient as the latest articles of women founders resigning en masse, Self Care deftly merges both and does it impeccably. It might read a little too real, but it presents a clear picture of just how hard it is to be a woman founder today.

I’m building outmy Bookshop store, which will house all my favorite books in all the categories. Please consider purchasing your books code HITHA for 3 free books when you start a membership) to support independent bookstores!

Hitha’s Favorite Things

The Top 5

  1. Kevin Kwan: 'With Crazy Rich Asians my life exploded and I’m still trying to put it back together’ (The Guardian)

  2. A historic Kentucky primary defied the naysayers. Then in the last 5 minutes, chaos struck (Courier Journal)

  3. ‘It’s A Reality For Us.’ ICU Nurse Shares The Impact Of COVID-19 (WBHM)

  4. Reclaiming Indian Food from the White Gaze (Eater)

  5. The World, Opened Up (Zora)

The Catch Up