Weekend Reads #269

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Gina Kiel - Poster design for the 38th running year of Art Rock Festival in France - 2001
Gina Kiel – Poster design for the 38th annual Art Rock Festival in France – 2001

Weekend Reads

Greenbelt City Council member Brandon ‘Ric’ Gordon dies at 41. (Washington Post – gift article)

A polo shirt, a white apron and a retro hairdo changed an actor’s life forever. (New York Times – gift article)

Marc Jacobs in conversation with ChatGPT. (i-D)

I started a series on Instagram Stories about jeans and lost the sauce. I do plan to continue but during it, I had enough recommendations for these wide leg jeans from Old Navy that I bought a pair. These are not Holy Grail jeans. They stretch out and sag during the day, but they're the '90s fit that when they sag you feel a bit more like a skater and they don't sag so much your briefs are on display. The wash is good, they're not too stiff, and the price is right (when I got them they were $18.90). For reference, I got 14 short in the was New Moon. Old Navy IMO runs roomy; if in doubt size down.

The creator economy is a $250 billion industry and it's here to stay. (Business Insider)

Substack has a Nazi problem. (The Atlantic – gift article)

It's not on the Sephora site, but through December 10th, get 20% off your entire order with promo code YAYGIFTING. The site says it's only for 30% off Sephora Collection but I know this code works for the entire site becasue a certain 14-year-old with a penchant for pink, bows, and UGGs needed some stocking stuffers and YAYGIFTING made it so I could get one extra.

Jezebel to be resurrected by Paste Magazine. (New York Times – gift article)

Is starting retinol after 40 even worth it? (Gloria)

It will never be a good time to buy a house. (The Atlantic – gift article)

I watched the finale of The Golden Bachelor this week and have mixed feelings. The whole Bachelor franchise bothers me, it's not about love but trauma. The audience craves the drama not the happy ending. The reunion and finale shows with Jesse Palmer and his veneers made me feel dirty, but I kept watching because I wanted to see how folks of any age can find love, enjoy passion, adventure, and the unknown. If you would like some love and adventure in the second half of life without a picture in picture of audience members gasping and frowning, check out this “Mini Vows” from the New York Times. (gift article)

Hear/See/Read

On my getaway I was finally able to read. I didn't bring my laptop, I did bring my iPad but didn't use it beyond travel planning, but I made good use of my Kindle, the Kindle app on my phone, and Audible.

Cover of the book titled Extremely Online written by Taylor Lorenz

If you are an influencer, love influencers, enjoy YouTube or TikTok or any other platform, or if you think influncers are pointless fluff that don't have real jobs or make any impact on society… you need to read Extremely Online by Taylor Lorenz. I was so excited for this book, I bought the eBook and I bought a signed copy from an indie bookstore.

I've been blogging since 2005 and been on social media since Friendster. I have also followed Lorenz' career as she was one of the first who took influencing seriously and wrote about it as news and not a snarky criticism. I was sad that my eye made it near impossible to read the hard copy of the book, but by blowing up my Kindle font to maybe two paragraphs per page, I was able to whizz through it. And it was a great read. My sister can attest to it as I kept interrupting her reading to share snippets I learned from Extremely Online.

The influencer world is moving at such a rapid speed, within a year this will not be a resource but a history book. That being said, it was balanced, covered multiple facets of influencing, brought to light multiple times the racism and prejudice in social media marketing, and taught me so much. I expect college classes to be using this book in the near future if they aren't already. And students will enjoy reading this as it is informiative, fact-based, but entertaining too. Thank you, Taylor Lorenz, for showing how powerful, longlasting, and… well, influential social media and influencers have been and will continue to be!

nightcrawling by leila mottley

I finished Extremely Online the last day of our getaway and needed something to read for the flights home. Looking in what I had on my Kindle that I hadn't yet read I found Nightcrawling by Leila Mottley. I didn't recall when I got the book or what it was about. The cover looked familiar and it said it was an Oprah Book Club choice. Without doing any research I dove in.

Oh wow, this book is powerful. Beautiful. Devastating. The experience of reading Nightcrawling lingers, it colors everything you do in your everyday life. When you buy groceries, add gas to your car's fuel tank, drag yourself to the office, determine whether to keep that sweater or donate it, and as you pass judgement on strangers you pass on the street.

I don't want to share what this book is about because I think it was so incredibly intense and powerful and beautiful and horrifically devastating is because I went in unknowing. And I was slapped in the face within the first chapter and so rivited, I read 88% of the book between noon and 10pm using the Kindle app on my phone. I finished the rest the following morning, reading two pages, unpacking something, reading two pages more.

Please read Nightcrawling. Know it is based on a true story, and encompasses the story of so many people, especially women, especially women of color, in this country. And I fel just by saying that I may have swayed some of you to not read it. If you feel swayed by that sentence, you are exactly who should read it. And come back and let me know your thoughts.

The Storyteller by Dave Grohl

And finally, I finished The Storyteller by Dave Grohl. Oh what a lovely human Dave Grohl is, and how lovely to read the story of someone close to my age, who grew up not terribly far from where I did, who had all his dreams come true. We all dreamed of being some fantastical job when we were little but few of us made it a reality. Grohl did, and without screwing anyone over, without falling apart, without causing others pain. And it is one of the most feel-good yet inspiring books I've read in a while.

He was in the biggest band in the world in the 90s, and he continues to be a hosuehold name with his current band, projects, and collaborations. He's not glamorous, he's an involved dad, he's corny, he's in awe when meeting his heroes, he wears Clarks shoes. He could be your neighbor, your colleague, your cousin but instead he's a rock & roll icon but he doesn't forget where he came from and who helped him get to where he is today.

You don't need to be a Nirvana or Foo Fighters fan to love this book. In fact, I think you could not really know who Grohl is and still enjoy about 75% of The Storyteller. And if you're into audiobooks, this one is narrated by Grohl himself, where he plays some music, has other voices for specific parts where he's retelling the words of another, and at one moment he chuckles to himself over a story and it feels like you're sitting around a firepit listening to stories from a friend. I fully enjoyed this and for those who read it, would love to read your thoughts!

For Your Entertainment

Flyana Boss

My husband records music videos from MTV and enjoys them as he eats his breakfast, does stretches before a run, or to have in the background while doing chores around the house. One recording caught an interview and “live” performance with the hip-hop duo Flyana Boss and we were instant fans. Their song sounded like old-school hip-hop, their style was completely utterly GenZ, and we needed to know more.

Flyana Boss is a play on the name Diana Ross. Frinds Bobbi Lanea and Folayan Kunerede met in music school in Los Angeles and like many GenZ artists, gained an audience through TikTok. Their song, “You Wish” became a viral hit this past summer. That is not the song they performed on that MTV segment, they performed, “Big One” which you can find on Spotify, YouTube, and other music platforms.

But I like sharing music videos, and will share below the video for “You Wish” which is NSFW purely due to the first lyrics that they bellow out. Those lyrics, in the words of my husband of a teen, “hurt [his] father heart,” but it's super catchy and a super creative video too.


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3 Comments

  1. Love Weekend Reads so much! As an avid reader, I’m always looking for recommendations so will check these out. I prefer fiction, but when it comes to audiobooks , I’ve discovered that I love memoirs. The Brittany Spears audiobook was my last one & was actually super interesting (& its so sad to know how badly she was & is treated), so I think I’ll have to give the Dave Grohl audiobook a listen.

    Your comments about your husband’s love of music videos—mine does too. He prefers older ones from his favorite ‘80’s or classic rock & tends to stream them frequently when he’s relaxing. He grew up watching MTV. It’s funny to me because even though I’m only 1 1/2 yrs younger than him, I do not share his love of music videos. My small town did not get MTV until I was about to graduate so I never spent much time watching them.

  2. Thank you for Weekend Reads. I always find something interesting I would not have looked for myself, like the Flyana Boss video.
    I agree with you observations on the Golden Bachelor. The 20 something’s in my life loved it. My son and his girlfriend went to a season finale watching party with friends.
    Great book list. Nightcrawling has been on my read list.
    On jeans, I just purchased Madewell’s Petite Perfect Vintage Wideleg Jean and absolutely love them. Im 5’-2 size 12 and got a size 31. I’ve been wanting to buy wide leg jeans for a while and these are a perfect fit ❤️

  3. “My husband records music videos from MTV” is a sentence that instantly transported me back to the 90s, LOL. Like, I fully forgot about DVR and had to remind myself that MTV still plays music videos—took me a beat! That was a real exercise for my just-woke-up, perimenopausal brain. Thankfully the Flyana Boss video was a treat! So fun.

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