This week as you head back to the office, enjoy some timeless stories. From fairy tales to a favorite novel to an iPad-inspired talk on storytelling tech, you’ll find yourself so wrapped up in these stories, your commute will fly by.
On Your Kindle
Elizabeth Strout is a master of the quotidian. In her novels, she depicts daily life with a simple grace that transforms small-town stories into life-changing epics. In this, her first novel, Strout slowly peels apart the layers of emotion between a single mother and her daughter in a small New England town.
The story begins in a sticky summer as the two—one just entering middle age, one on the brink of womanhood—are suffocating one another with their very presences. The reader immediately wonders why they’ve begun to loathe each other, but Strout takes her time in telling the story—captivating her readers the whole way.
On Your Smartphone
It seems that, much like vampires before them, classic fairy tales have experienced a bit of a comeback this fall. With network television shows such as ABC’s Once Upon a Time and NBC’s Grimm, as well as two separate feature-film renditions of the Snow White saga due out in coming months, fairy tales have certainly reinserted themselves into pop culture.
If you, like me, have jumped on the fairytale bandwagon but find yourself nostalgic for the classic days of untwisted, un-modern tales, read this Brainpickings piece about a new illustrated volume of Grimm tales. Get a sneak peek, too, at the beautiful artwork the editors have chosen to accompany the best-loved stories of the famous brothers.
On a Podcast
Queue up this sub-four-minute TED Talk for a quick burst of entertainment on your morning commute. In it, Joe Sabia uses the iPad to frenetically chronicle the history of innovation in storytelling, from Lothar Meggendorfer, the creator of the pop-up children’s book, to theater, film, and, of course, the iPad. The talk is a fun reminder of the innovative possibilities of blending the old with the new.
Just in time for the holiday season, curl up with this book—my favorite of all time—a coming of age story set in pre-World War I Brooklyn, New York. In painstaking detail, Smith tells Francie Nolan’s story: that of an eternally optimistic girl whose young life is painted in equal shades of hope and struggle. This novel will quickly become an old friend, a comfort to return to at the end of the day.