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issue #97 - is this thing still on?
Well hello, old friend!
I’ll spare you the “it’s been so long and here’s why” - the short answer is that work got insane and every single day feels the same, with little to update you on and thus having massive writers’ block every time I sat down to write this.
While the days are still the same, the writers’ block is gone and I’m back. And I’m glad to be here.
A couple of housekeeping things:
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And with that, let’s get to the reads and the good stuff.
What we read this week
Seven Days in June by Tia Williams - Tia’s last book (which was just as steamy, fun, smart and engrossing as this one) has just been optioned into a movie by Gabrielle Union. Enough said? Thought so. Get this and don’t pick it up until you are free for a few hours because you won’t be able to put it down!
People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry - You've probably seen this bright orange cover all over bookstagram, and I'm here to confirm that this is a perfect beach read. It combines travel, spontaneous female lead, straight laced male lead, and a slow burn love story. It's like National Lampoon Vacation x When Harry Met Sally x One Day.
From Hitha - I LOVED this book as well. It’s full of heart and joy and wanderlust and Emily Henry’s writing feels like a strawberry slushie drank on the beach with the sun shining but you have the perfect amount of cloud cover. The audiobook is narrated by one of my favorite voice actors, Julia Whelan (and you can get 2 free audiobooks with the code HITHA when you start a Libro.fm subscription, which also supports independent bookstores).
Hitha - all my recent book reviews can be found on Instagram, but romance has been what I’ve been reading the most of and I make no apologies for it.
The Top 5
A Once-In-A-Lifetime Chance To Start Over (The Atlantic)
Why there’s never been a better time to drop the ball (University of Washington)
The Catch Up
How Viral Recipes Shut-Out BIPOC Food Creators (Food And Wine)
They Spent 28 Days Under The Sea- And They Discovered Another Eath (Live News Ghana)
Paris Teenager’s New Gig : Would-Be Queen Of Itlay. A Nation Shrugs. (The New York Times)
How Parking Destroys Cities (The Atlantic)
Indoor vertical farming grows up (Axios)
They Were Only Children (New York Times)
Things we love this week
Two household items that have improved my life in both little and big ways are this drying rack and this armrest table. On the kids’ front, this quick drying pad for their bed has been a laundry lifesaver.
Nesara’s block print kaftans are what I will be living in all summer long. They’re handmade in India by a multigenerational family business, and owned and operated by a South Asian woman who I’ve had the pleasure to get to know. They are the most comfortable and pretty things you’ll wear all season long. I like to pair mine with these Birkenstocks and one of my many crossbody bags.
Our Place upgraded their Everyday Pan with a conductive metal base, which can handle higher heat without burning the bottom of the pan. While I still use my OG pan for lower heat items, the newer one is amazing for boiling pasta and making stir-fries and fried rice. You can use code HITHA10 to get 10% off, and they’re offering a set of free mugs with a pan purchase.
A gold croissant ring is the “it” accessory of the summer. But if you don’t want to pay $60 plus this is a fun, super-inexpensive option. I’ve worn mine for a month and the quality has been excellent.
I have been told that this candle smells like Harry Styles. Obviously I cannot confirm that, but I can confirm that this candle is delightful and you can buy it at your closest Target.
Take care of yourself, and please share #5SmartReads if you’re enjoying them!