“Read a (expletive) book for once!” -Superbad


image via HonestlyWTF, from a collection of photographs by urban landscape photographer, Franck Bohbot, entitled “House of Books”


My cousin once (now famously) said to me, “Stop reading, you always read! “, when we were around 10 years old and she most likely wanted to choreograph a dance routine to the new S Club 7 song. But its true, I really do love to read. I’m not sure where it came from, but when I was younger, I asked my mom to ground me to my room so I could have an excuse to stay up there and delve into whatever “chapter book” I was reading at the time. Sometimes, I would read (no joke) 13 of these chapter books at a time –rotating one after the other, reading one chapter out of each at a time.

Now, don’t get it twisted –when forced to read The Scarlet Letter and The Great Gatsby in high school, I most certainly resisted. That’s what SparkNotes was for. Though I did go back and read both of these later in my adult life.

I think my love of reading comes from the memories I have of going to the library and picking out new books. I absolutely loved going to the library when I was little. My mom would enroll me and my brother in summer reading contests, where we very often came out victorious. She made it a fun event for us –we would all go together, and have a blast picking out new books to read and often spending hours at the library, reading a few before we left. It was an escape, it allowed our minds to wander, and I think this feeling continues today and its why I enjoy reading so much. So, thanks Mom.

I wanted to share my current reading list with you, dear readers, and see if you have any additions for me. It has been one of my New Years Resolutions for the last two years to finish said book list, and I have failed. But I’m wondering if that’s really a bad thing? I’m not in any hurry, because once I’m done with this list, where else will I escape? Its really a fun social experiment. I add things to the list when friends and family recommend them, when I read about them in magazines. And sometimes I forget where I heard of a book in the first place. Its kind of fun to see what struck my interest as far back as three years ago when I began this list.

Happy reading!

JLa-Di-Da’s ever-expanding book list 2015:

1. Wake Me When It’s Funny, Garry Marshall. Love his work, think I love this book.

2. A Piece of Cake: A Memoir, Cupcake Brown. Heard this was a bit of a life-ruiner, just started it.

3. Happy Money, Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton. I need to learn how to spend smarter.

4. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Betty Smith. One of my favorite books of all time. Its magical. I just want to read it again.

5. Lord of the Flies, William Golding. The only book I read in high school. I remember liking it. Want to see if I still do.

6. Angela’s Ashes, Frank McCourt. Another one of my favorites. Just want to read it again. Its heartwarming and heart wrenching at the same time.

7. The Dinner, Herman Koch. Reading this now, almost finished. Not really that excited about it.

8. See Now Then, Jamaica Kinkaid. I think I heard about this from an NPR book list

9. A Teaspoon of Earth and Sea, Dina Nayeri. Read about it in Vogue.

10. Leadership, Rudy Giuliani. Saw an interview with him a while back, he has a pretty interesting story.

11. Drift, Rachel Maddow. She seems like a real bad ass.

12. United States of Paranoia, Jesse Walker. Explores historical American conspiracy theories. I love stuff like this.

13. One Summer, Bill Bryson. My grandpa bought me a Bill Bryson book years ago and I loved it. He’s a very smart writer.

14. Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook, Gary Vaynerchuk. About advertising in the modern world.

15. This is Where I Leave You, Jonathan Tropper. Recently a movie was based on it, which I liked. About family relations.

16. Do More, Spend Less, Brad Wilson. Because couldn’t we all benefit from doing this?

17. The Defining Decade, Meg Jay. I feel like I need to read this at this point in my life. Life. Lessons.

18. Stringer, Anjan Sundaram. Jon Stewart interviewed this guy and told his viewers to read the book. So obvi I’m going to listen to whatever Jon Stewart tells me to do.

19. A Nice Little Place on the North Side, George Will. Wrigley Field, duh.

20. The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck. Because its a classic and I’ve never read it.

21. Fashion is Spinach, Elizabeth Hawes. One of the first, true American Fashion Designers. I first heard about this book in Vogue, I think.

22. When Corruption was King, Robert Cooley. About the mob era in Chicago. LOVE IT.

23. Any book on Alexander the Great. I was in a museum in Rome this summer and realized I don’t know much about him, so I want to learn more.

24. Age of Innocence, Edith Wharton. I’m not sure why this is on here. But I’m leaving it.

25. Jazz, Tony Morrison. See #24

26. So, Anyway, John Cleese. Because its John Cleese.

27. Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls, David Sedaris. Because its David Sedaris.

28. The Secret History of Wonder Woman, Jill Lepore. Heard about it on NPR.

29. The Girls at the Kingfisher Club, Genevieve Valentine. See #28.

30. Yes Please, Amy Poehler. Heard this was amazing. And she’s freaking hilarious.

31. A Paris Apartment, Michelle Gable. Because I want a Paris apartment.



Thursday Things


I’ve decided I’m going to try a new installment on the blog, called Thursday Things. Just a quick little list of a few things I’m excited about for the week. So here goes:

1. NPR book list– This is a list of NPR’s staff and critics favorites from 2014. I can almost hear my book list getting longer…

2. This Chanel video- Karl Lagerfeld (the creative director of Chanel) dreamed up this gorgeous short film, starring model Cara Delevingne and Pharrell, called Reincarnation. The story centers around the evolution of the iconic Chanel jacket. Its really fun and fashion-y. Watch!

3. WCBC Holiday Shopping Soiree!- Next Monday, December 8th, is the Windy City Blogger Collective holiday shopping soiree. Its 100% free to attend and everyone is invited. The party is being held at Del Frisco’s and guests are invited to shop gifts from tons of awesome sponsors like: DreamDry, Benefit and The Tie Bar. I’m super psyched to go and find some gifts for a few people on my list. Or myself. Either way.

Be sure to RSVP to events@zapwater.com if you’d like to attend! See you there! Details below:


4. Pantone 2015 color of the year is…..Marsala! What is Marsala you ask? Pantone describes it as an “naturally robust and earthy wine red” color. I know, I immediately thought of Chicken Marsala too. Its different. I can definitely see this color popping up on a Pottery Barn couch or two next year. I like the depth and warmth of the color and how its almost a neutral. I do love a good neutral.
5. Serial Podcast– Guys. Serial. Be about it. Its fascinating. Its an NPR podcast told in weekly, hour long installments, from the creators of This American Life. Sadly, Ira Glass does not narrate this one, but holy smokes is it addicting.
Happy weekend everyone! Headed to Minneapolis tomorrow to start looking for apartments –hope I find my dream home 😉