Woo girl, need to kick off your shoes / Got to take a deep breath, time to focus on you.
Summer is at an end, and I have the chance to get to this post. Hence, why June and July are combined. These months I’ve had some poolside reads and discovered some great email newsletter. I tried a couple podcasts and found some current music I like (which is tough, because I think most of what’s been released since the 90s is terrible).
This year, I have the largest stack of nonfiction that I’m working through. I usually opt for fiction in my off time because I do so much research for work. But, here’s a couple I’ve read or am working through.
Everybody Writes by Ann Handley
Handley is great. I recently saw her speak at Skyword’s Forward 19 conference. She’s funny, approachable and realistic. This book is a great place to start if you’re trying to wrap your mind around marketing writing or just need some motivation to stick with it.
Always Reporting by Lillian Ross
A collection of profiles for The New Yorker by Ross that spans several decades. I’ll admit that writing profiles or people stories is my weakness. So I’m working my way through this to learn how to write better.
Feel Free by Zadie Smith
This series of essays is fantastic. I’ve only read about a dozen so far, but I return to this book on lulls between fiction stories.
What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
She hits her head, wakes up and can’t remember the past 10 years. Before hitting her head, she’s in the midst of an ugly divorce. When she wakes up, she’s back to being madly in love with her husband and expecting their first child. She tries to figure out where it all fell apart after 3 kids, demanding jobs and life.
Washington Black by Esi Edugyan
I’m not even sure how to describe this one. It is a slave novel, but unlike any other. It’s been on many must-read lists over the past year, and it lived up to the hype.
Around the Web
Outbrain and Taboola. More on where those ads with the crazy images come from. It’s not all bad. Some of my work for reputable hospitals has been promoted on Outbrain.
What is the Best Color to Use for Call to Action Buttons? How does color affect the audience’s perception of your brand?
Email newsletters are ruling the day as the way to build relationships with followers. Newsletters are a convenient way to get informed on your industry or interest. It’s easy to get overloaded and subscribe to too many. I am for ones that come weekly or else I’ll be reading email all day. But here’s some I recommend.
Dense Discovery. The focus is on designers, but I love the links and stories chosen here. They are insightful, thoughtful reads.
Poynter newsletters. It’s getting harder and harder to find reliable information to use in your work. Poynter stays on top of fact checking and discerning the real from the fake. The Factually newsletter is a good place to start.
Freelancers Union. Join the Union and get the newsletter. This is great for those getting started and trying to navigate the business side of freelancing.
I’ve been listening to more Podcasts lately, starting with ones related to my interests. Here are some I’ve enjoyed lately.
NPR All Songs Considered - I like the top artists of 2019 episodes.
Savvy Scribe - Check out episode 9.
Design Tomorrow - This one covers a lot of technology issues and the host has a calm, soothing voice.
Science Rules - This is a newer podcast by Bill Nye. I recommend the issue about reading that features LeVar Burton. You remember him, right?
Lizzo. If you’re not listening to her, you should be. Her Tiny Ass Desk concert is a great place to start if your day needs a lift.
Billie Eilish. I personally like her EP don’t smile at me much better than her recent full-length album. She’s super talented and sounds a bit like Lana Del Rey.
Speaking of Lana Del Rey, this cover of Doin Time made my summer.
What have you been reading/viewing/listening to this summer?