Before 2015 completely fades into the horizon, I wanted to take a moment to appreciate various amazing things I discovered over the year. (Quick note: Some of them were made much earlier, but they took a while to find me.)
How to Get Lucky: 13 techniques for discovering and taking advantage of life’s good breaks, by Max Gunther – I’m an amateur self-help fan, and like how you can pick and choose each author’s advice depending on how it applies to your own life. This book appealed to me especially because Gunther (a one-time journalist) dissects how to make or break your luck in a very rational, straightforward style. So, it’s old but many of the principles hold true. I learned about this on the Farnam Street blog.
I Must Say: My Life as a Humble Comedy Legend (audiobook), by Martin Short – This book has a remarkable amount of depth and humility for a celebrity memoir. My advice: For sure listen to it. Short is a brilliant voice actor and vocally recounting scenes from his life makes the stories still more intimate. It’s cheesy, but by the end you really do feel like one of his best friends.
The Paradox Choice, by Barry Schwartz – Are you a Maximizer or a Satisficer? This book was written in 2004 yet, even today, still spills over with interesting ideas about how the number of options we encounter can overwhelm us. (And perhaps still offer some value.) Regardless of whether you agree with Schwartz’ conclusions, it’s a fascinating way to look at how we make decisions.
Friday Night Lights – Honestly, apart from Portugal, this might be my favorite of this whole list. I was late to watch the series, but was in its grips from episode 3 or 4 up until the very end. (That said, feel free to skip Season 2.)
Portugal – Somehow everything there managed to be vibrant, historic, and kind. I can’t wait to go back.
5. Wellness & Beauty
Smith’s Rosebud Salve – Really, truly moisturizes lips. Finally!
Nutribullet – Makes green smoothies so much easier.
Running an ice cube over your face – Love how it smoothes and tightens skin.
I found this picture in the Nov. 2 edition of the New Yorker while on a flight recently, and couldn’t help but tear it out. It looks even more charming in print.
It’s smart, subtly funny, sensitive, well-acted… I feel so much affection for this movie!
Rossio Square is one of so many I lingered in last week. According to Wikipedia:
It has been the setting of popular revolts and celebrations, bullfights and executions, and is now a preferred meeting place of Lisbon natives and tourists alike.
1. Do you find it hard to meditate regularly, or at all? That’s fine, says Adam Grant.
2. The German movie Phoenix is just great–see it if you get the chance. It has a 99% on Rotten Tomatoes. (I’m normally a scaredy cat about thrillers, but this one strikes the perfect balance of suspense, melancholy, and history.)
3. This Target boho blouse just nails it–pretty embroidery without being too peasanty. I am wearing it now.
5. I had no idea Chuck Palahniuk is irrepressibly hilarious until I heard this Live Wire interview.
6. Palace journeys continue: It’s almost time to head over here, hurrah!