This week, get ready for Memorial Day with an old-time summery favorite, a new crime thriller, a smart, girl-talk podcast, and a digital magazine for girls, by girls.
On Your Kindle
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, by Stieg Larsson
I’m a little late to jump aboard the millennium trilogy madness, but now I’m hooked. If you, like me, have been perplexed for too long about this mysterious tattooed girl—or have had your interest piqued by the recent film adaptation—then kick off your summer reading with the first book in the trilogy. Part crime thriller, part psychological drama, the book is quickly engrossing, and the bizarre characters—most particularly Lisbeth Salander, the very girl with the dragon tattoo—are believably, humanly complicated. It’s a long book, but it’s so engaging, it won’t last more than a few commutes.
On Your Smartphone
Life Skills 101, by Krista Burton
After an enlightening TED Talk delivered by 15-year-old (you read that right) Tavi Gevinson, I discovered a new online-literary obsession: Rookie. Gevinson’s seriously impressive online magazine for girls aims to provide access to good adult role models, and the articles that populate the site are casual, funny, well-written, and deeply genuine. This particular post offers basic life advice—everything from how to haggle to how to throw a punch—in just a few hundred words. The content is emblematic of that across the site as a whole: helpful, humorous advice applicable to young (and older!) girls that avoids condescension. Peruse this gem on your commute this week.
On a Podcast
DoubleX Gabfest: The Barechested Edition, by Slate Magazine
I’ve found a new podcast series, and I’m obsessed. It streams through slate.com, it features brilliant, brainy women discussing contemporary topics, and it runs every other Thursday. This week, it was the background soundtrack to my workday, and it was literally everything I wanted to hear. This particular edition discusses the recent Time magazine article—and racy cover—featuring the “attachment parenting” phenomenon, as well as Vanity Fair’s expose of a young Obama in love and the discussion, sparked by a New York Times article, about the diagnosis of psychopathy in children. The discussion is dynamic, never stale, and peppered with humor.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream, by William Shakespeare
Maybe it’s due to the near 80-degree weather that warmed up chilly Boston this weekend, or maybe it’s the quickly-approaching Memorial Day holiday; regardless of the cause, I’m in summer-mode, full force. If you are, too, dust off your old high school copy of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, one of his best-loved and most accessible plays. The plot includes several of Shakespeare’s favorite elements: unrequited love, confusion and misunderstandings, crazy costumes, and a double wedding. If you’re shaky on your Shakespeare, check out Sparknotes’ awesome No Fear Shakespeare.