All posts tagged recommendations

  • My favorite books of last year

    I don’t watch TV and only watch movies in airplanes and as a social activity. I’ve heard there are some really great TV series out, and enjoy the movies I do get to see, I just never seem to find the time.

    When I walk into the door of my apartment, the first thing I do is switch my headset to my bluetooth speaker to continue the podcast or audiobook I’m listening to. I move around the house listening to stories, from when I wake up to when I go to bed. While I should learn to appreciate the silence because I know the benefits of boredom, the idea of not listening and learning something gives me serious FOMO.

    So bear in mind that’s hard for me to widdle down a list of books to recommend because I’m often like “but that book taught me to look at X thing in Y way!”

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  • Take a look, it’s in a book

    In the beautiful wisdom of of the Reading Rainbow theme song, I’d like to invite you all to take a look, because it’s in a book. A reading rainbow.

    Something magical happened that will change my life for the better ever after.

    I learned that I can borrow audiobooks from the San Francisco library from an app on my phone. Everyone: This is revolutionary for an audiobook fiend like myself. Like a junky, I have spent nearly a year trying to get by on my one measly Audible audiobook a month subscription plan (that I used my adult money to finally subscribe too) and filled in the rest of my days with podcasts (not the worst, but just sayin’). When I discovered that I could borrow audiobooks from the library digitally, I was beside myself with joy. I’ve told nearly everyone I’ve met about it even though they don’t really care. I can get nearly all the books I want directly into my hearing holes! ::TEARS::. (I have already read 10 books since January 1).

    The very first book I checked out? Between the World and Me—they had it! It’s been on my to-read list for over a year now and I was so excited. This is a beautiful, beautiful book that should be on everyone’s to-read. It reads like poetry and I’m so glad I got to hear his story. If you only read one book this year (why would you do that though?), this might be it.

    When I finished, it happened to be February 1st and my app was recommending a bunch of other similar books…oh wait, it was Black History Month. As a terrible human who doesn’t do nearly enough to help others on this unforgiving planet, I thought maybe one small way I could understand someone else’s life was to read books by black authors this month (although it took a little longer to finish them). I realized that I have been reading so many non-fiction science/psychology books lately and haven’t really dove into stories in a while.

    Every bookworm will tell you, books are window into another life. It’s one of the few ways to immerse yourself in another’s experiences and feelings. It’s really incredible how powerful books can be. I haven’t read a huge diversity of authors besides White Dudes so I thought this was the perfect nudge in that direction. I have this belief that if you read and feel for another person’s experience it just has to change how you act in the world. I wonder what kind of story needs to be told in order to change someone’s mind. Statistics are great and help us make hard decisions. But the humanities keep us human.

    Here are the books I read:


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  • 5: books James Victore recommends


    Pretty diverse set, no? I want to give couple of them try. But he’s right about me not wanting to read Ralph’s again. I really agree that it’s our immersion in the world that helps make us diverse and strong designers.

    James Victore, for those of you new to the scene, is a graphic designer I admire. I’ve written about him a couple of times.

  • What I know now // 022

    Tourist vs local photographs (via Good) around the world.

    Well, I know a whole lot more since going to Interaction15 last week, but I’ll stick primarily to the articles I’ve read in the last month.


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  • Movies over winter break

    I’ve taken the liberty of re-entering society and learning about pop culture over winter break via film. Here are the movies that I’ve watched (and liked!) over winter break (so far):

    The Graduate

    I just saw it on Netflix and thought that I should finally watch this classic movie that I’ve heard so much about. 

    Burt’s Buzz

    I really loved this documentary about the co-founder of Burt’s Bees, as I already told you. It’s really not so much about an entrepreneur, but looking at life through someone who never wanted to be start a business. He just found some bees and was in the right place at the right time. I want to be him.  

    Cutie & The Boxer

    Documentary about two Japanese artists who have lived together for years. It was a pretty sad story because being an artist isn’t easy and sometimes the person you marry isn’t easy either (is the diplomatic way to put it). I love stories of families in struggle. 

    Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry

    I saw and exhibition by Ai Weiwei when I went to Toronto last year and have been meaning to watch this documentary about him for ever. It was really wonderful to learn more about him, his history, and the projects that drive him. Really articulate artist. I really liked listening to his perspective. It was another sad movie for me. 


    After watching a bunch of sad movies, I thought I should cheer myself up a little since I was already down to begin with. I indulged with Amélie. I remembered how very much I liked that movie and Netflix recommended this movie next. It wasn’t as quirky, but I still really liked it. Old (time period setting) French romanic comedy.


    Then after watching Populaire I was like, ‘more foreign movies please!’ This was also recommended. It was darker and I was starting to get frustrated because I found myself rooting for a happy ending (I won’t spoil it). Regardless, I thought the way they told the story and the pacing was super interesting. It had a different quality than most movies, I think. 


    I didn’t know this was a foreign movie, but it also was. It is a gloomy movie, but good in it’s own quiet way. The main character has such a dower expression throughout. Her black eyes kind of pierce the scenes. I liked it, but it has a slower pace than people might enjoy. 

    Into the Woods

    This was actually not netflix! I went to see this yesterday with two of my old friends. I really enjoyed it. I didn’t know anything about it and I didn’t even know it was a musical (I love musicals). I liked it, but I also felt like there were so many separate stories happening that it felt a little unsatisfying at the end. Like you don’t get that feeling of resolve. Despite that, I like the humor of the movie, it juxtaposed bright musical acts and with the darker plots of the Grimm Fairy Tales.

  • What I know now // 018

    A 13-year-old eagle huntress in Mongolia

    Short & sweet this month, as I was mostly working on school work. But you can see that I was still trolling on NPR articles.


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  • PHAMETRICS // 27


    School’s back. Full-swing. And it’s very swingy. Unstable, in fact.

    (Photo of a group outing of our design cohort)

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  • 10: Most influential books

    I saw someone complete this challenge on Facebook and as an English-major-for-life I was super intrigued. This is not your run-of-the-mill spam chain. This is book business!

    I started at the bottom and then I decided to list them all before I kept writing about them and now, looking over this list, it looks a little…artificial. So I want to explain my decisions and why maybe these big-name books opened the door to so many other books.

    While I was making this list I tried not to just think about “favorite books” (though of course there’s overlap) but really address the question: influential. What books changed me? Changed the way I looked at the world? At myself? Which set off a chain of reactions? Influenced my interests? In order to think about these questions, many of the books ended up being ones that I read when I was younger so that I could actually reflect on the how they changed me.

    Plus, I guess, I do read a lot of canonical works.

    I usually also forgo ranking system on Laziness Principles, but I’m actually going to try to rank them! I would love to hear your most influential books too.

    Bear with me guys, my most influential books:

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  • What I know now // 008

    The Human Body (stop-motion!) from kellianderson on Vimeo.

    Really neat cut-paper project by Kelli Anderson


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  • Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs

    Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs is amazing. He creates a story and leads you through Jobs’ life in a way that feels so natural at times you forget you’re reading a biography. The story is already incredible, but I think Isaacson’s control of the story was brilliant. I highly recommend it. I know that it’s been a year now and nearly everyone has already read it, but I finally got my hands on a copy and it was so worth it.

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