Hello there & welcome to Sunday Suggestions!
This is the second post in what I am planning to be a regular series of columns appearing, funnily enough, on Sundays, with suggestions of awesome people and things to check out, read, participate in and follow.
The idea for this came, as good ideas often do, during a late night discussion with my partner in the bathroom (like so many people, we swore we’d never descend to shared bathroom usage but eighteen months on from moving in together, we regular co-use the space – and not only that, it’s where some of our best conversations happen).
There is just so much great stuff out there on the Internet, I wanted to gather some of what I’ve come across up in one place and share it with other people. Sunday is the usually the most chilled for a lot of people, with perhaps a bit more time available to read and explore, hence Sunday Suggestions was born!
[Please note I am not an affiliate so do not gain anything from promoting these links]
Here are my suggestions on Sunday 6th November 2016:
- Writing in last Saturday’s the Guardian Weekend magazine, Zadie Smith discussed dancers who had influenced her. One pair were Harold and Fayard Nicholas. I’d never heard of these brothers but when I read that ‘Fred Astaire called their routine in Stormy Weather the greatest example of cinematic dance he ever saw’, I had to check them out – and so should you! The routine is truly phenomenal and just so uplifting. I challenge you not to tap your feet and click you while watching this!
- We all know that good relationships play a crucial role in our wellbeing even if we’re not exactly sure why. This article on The Conversation about a study of chimps discusses the why element. A great example of science journalism.
- If you’re interested in writing and the writing process, you might like this short blog on Brain Pickings about Ursula K. Le Guin and her thoughts on falling in love with your work. I thought her quotation about falling in love with her subject was beautiful and inspiring.
- Another great piece about writing, this time a creative challenge: Melissa Fu over on A One Tree Bohemia has compiled a list of thirty prompts for the month of November and is drawing one each day to write about for five minutes. It fits with the same ethos as #NaNoWriMo and #AcWriMo (I may have got those exact acronyms wrong!) but has a more gentle feel. The emphasis on simply the act of writing daily. I love it and am taking part, as I talk about here. It’s not too late for you to have a go as well!
- Megan Garber writing over on the Atlantic has noted a trend for women wearing improbably high heels in action films. I don’t know if I agree entirely with her argument but the general assertion is spot on and the article has such energy and verve that I wanted to include it here.
- In this thirty minute video from the Pool, Sali Hughes and Lauren Laverne discuss Hughes’ new book, Pretty Iconic, which features beauty products that have been significant either in her life or for the beauty industry. I love Hughes’ beauty writing; in a sector that often feels like it’s just reguritated press releases, her columns read more like a mate telling you about something awesome (or otherwise!) that she’s discovered. In this feature, we see two accomplished women having a nuanced discussion about cosmetics and what they means to us. More intelligent coverage of beauty like this would help us move beyond the usual interest in make up = shallow discourse that all too often dominates. Definitely worth a lunch break listen!
- Also on the beauty theme, here we see the writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie talk about the changes in how she views cosmetics. Crucially this video is part of Adichie’s new role as an ambassador for Boots No7 make up range. This is just one example recently of an engagement between feminism and the industries of fashion and beauty. Is this a watershed moment or just another attempt by the powers that be to co-opt the current feminist wave for their own monetary purposes? I’m still trying to figure out my views on this but am planning on writing an article about all this at some point soon. I’d love to hear your views – you can comment below.
- If beauty has emerged as one theme in today’s round up then the written word is another, with two of the suggestions above about writing and two now about reading. I’m a bit obsessed with other’s reading habits and have just stumbled across the New York Times By the Book feature on that very subject. Here Gretchen Rubin, bestselling author of The Happiness Project, Happier at Home and Better Than Before (all of which I highly recommend), talks about what she reads.
- That’s just one person, but here are almost three hundred: Stephen Ellock has put together a Facebook photo album of painting and drawings showing women in the act of reading. It is just so beautiful, definitely take a scroll through – and because it’s public, you don’t need a Facebook account or to be friends with Ellock to see the images.
If you’d like to see what I’ve been up to this week, I have a piece on The Huffington Post UK about the intertwined public memories of the recently deceased Tom Hayden and his former wife, Hollywood legend Jane Fonda. I also wrote for Welldoing.org about the harm that can come from choosing the wrong therapist . Please share these articles if you feel able to, I really appreciate the support!
If you’ve enjoyed what you’ve read, please share this post on social media. Likewise you can sign up to my mailing list to stay informed of all my writing and offerings.