Ladyville Book Club: ‘Friendship’ by Emily Gould

friendship emily gould

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been reading Emily Gould’s writing since I was in college. I’ve always loved her voice and sense of humor, even though I live in Ohio and she writes a lot about very New York specific things. So of course I was super excited to read her new novel Friendship, and guess what, guys? I was not disappointed!

One of my least favorite things that people say about books (even though I’m guilty of saying this, even in this week’s HelloGiggles column) is “I really related to the characters!” I mean, yes, sometimes it’s really great to read a character’s thoughts and think, “Whoa, that’s me!” But, at the same time, I don’t really think that whether or not you relate to a character has anything to do with the quality of the book. This is all my way of saying that, although lots of the reviews I’ve read have praised the relatability of the friendship between Gould’s characters Amy and Bev, they didn’t seem like any friends I have. This is probably due to the fact that I’m a boring person living in the Midwest, not a hip person living in New York. All of my friendships are very Midwestern.

So I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to relate to these characters to really love this book. I didn’t agree with basically anything Amy said and I still loved reading every single thing she thought. I really loved Bev. This was a pretty short book, but honestly, it could’ve been twice as long and I still would’ve enjoyed reading it. It’s so funny and compulsively readable. Emily Gould is very good at writing dialogue that flows naturally and at making you care about flawed characters.

It just felt good to read a book that was primarily concerned with the relationship between two female friends. There isn’t really a romance in this book (I know, it’s not like me to read a book without a driving romance, but whatever)..it’s just about, as the title implies, friendship.

If you’re still on the fence, first of all, get off that fence. That’s dangerous. Then listen to this great interview with Emily Gould on Julie Klausner’s How Was Your Week. It starts off with a lot of cat talk, so you know it’s good.

This Week on HelloGiggles

sisterhood of the traveling pants BFFs
I’m still writing about YA for HelloGiggles, and this week I had two posts up!

I wrote about my favorite BFFs in YA (obviously I spent most of my time talking about Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants because DUH).

I also read and really enjoyed Katherine Howe’s Conversion (and now I want to read Megan Abbot’s The Fever, which I hear has a similar subject).

If you’re looking for YA recommendations, my column usually goes up on Saturdays. And if there’s anything you want to suggest, just send me an email at youngadulteducation@gmail.com!

Lady Tip: Join a CSA

paiges produce

This week, Alicia at Jaybird wrote a post all about the joys of learning where your food comes from. It reminded me that I’ve never mentioned that H. and I joined a CSA this year…and it is awesome.

I’ve wanted to be a part of one for basically forever, but when I lived by myself it wasn’t super practical. This year we decided to split a share with one of H’s coworkers, and now we get a bag full of surprise vegetables every week. Pickup day is seriously the highlight of my week. So far we’ve had tons of peas and lettuce, radishes, cucumbers, some herbs, zucchini, peppers, and green onions. We even had one of these dudes, which I had to do some research to identify:

It was kohlrabi.

It was kohlrabi.

The best part of joining a CSA? Now I’m motivated to try out new vegetables I’ve never cooked before. I even got to make fried green tomatoes for the first time (because, like, what else am I going to do with green tomatoes?)! I’m not an adventurous person in any other arena, but when it comes to food, I’ll try pretty much anything. This CSA has been tons of fun because it’s pushed me to get out of my food ruts and encouraged me to try some new things. It also guarantees that I’ll eat way more vegetables.

It’s a low stress, relatively low cost way to get tons of vegetables (no grocery trips!) and I sort of like that it eliminates a lot of decision making. I know that on Wednesday night I’ll be eating whatever vegetables get delivered that day.

If you don’t have your own garden, you should definitely think about joining a CSA next year. Ours is called Paige’s Produce and I’d definitely recommend it! But if you’re not in the Columbus area, you can look up CSAs near you with this handy website.

What about you guys? Are you part of a CSA? What sorts of crazy fruits and veggies have you received this year?

Cover image via Paige’s Produce; kohlrabi image via Food Politic

The Mindy Project Style

the mindy project clothes

Over the past week I’ve developed an obsession with The Mindy Project. After watching True Detective, it’s been nice to watch something that isn’t about murder (oh, and that actually features a female character who isn’t paper thin and/or dead). Anyway, there are about 5 million reasons why I love The Mindy Project, but right now I want to talk about the clothes. The clothes!

I really and truly hate shopping, and I don’t even like looking at clothes online or in magazines because (astrology comment warning!) I’m a Taurus and I like fancy things, so I generally end up wanting everything I see, getting that gross itchy materialism feeling, and then getting obsessed with things I can’t have and feeling guilty about wanting things that ultimately will not contribute to my happiness or make the world a better place. I’m a really fun person to hang out with, OBVIOUSLY.

But Mindy’s clothes are just such a dream that they’re really bringing out my inner fancy lady. Everything’s so colorful and some of it’s wacky enough to remind me of Carrie Bradshaw’s weirder outfits. She even makes me want to consider pencil skirts again, even though I know that my body type just makes pencil skirts look obscene (the problems of having birthing hips). She’s always wearing sequins and glitter and mixing patterns and I JUST LOVE IT ALL. I mean, just look at this ensemble!
the mindy project fashion

I found this wonderful Tumblr, The Mindy Project Style, that provides links to all of Mindy’s awesome outfits. Of course, this made me realize that everything she wears costs like a million dollars, so I guess I’ll just have to be content with the more colorful things I can find in my closet (like two dresses from Anthropologie, a few things from J. Crew, stuff I’ve had since high school, and a bunch of things from Old Navy even though I always say I’m going to stop shopping there).

If you’re as into this stuff as I am, you’ll probably also like Taylor Swift Style and What Would Zooey Deschanel Wear?

My Favorite Albums

Father-John-Misty-Fear-Fun
I’ll admit that I’m more of a song girl than an album girl. There are few things I love more than just putting a great song on repeat and getting into it (I’m aware that this is really annoying). Still, there are a few albums that have been ultra important to me. These are the ones I listen to all the way through, then immediately start over from the beginning. These are the ones that just pop into my mind sometimes, and I can’t do anything else until I take the time to listen to them again. These are the ones that make me feel connected to music the same way I did when I was in high school. What are your big albums? Tell me in the comments! Or just listen to my favorites (I included either Youtube streams or Grooveshark links):

Fear Fun, Father John Misty

I’ve listened to this one so many times that I think I ruined it for my husband. Whatever. FJM’s voice is just so pretty, even when he’s saying crazy things. “Nancy From Now On” is my favorite, but every song’s fantastic. This might be my favorite album ever.

Enter the Slasher House, Avey Tare’s Slasher Flicks

It’s hard for me to believe that I just heard this album for the first time a few months ago, because it wormed its way into my head immediately. Those first 30 seconds just fill me with so much anticipation, and the beginning of the first track makes me so happy. Obviously “Little Fang” is the best song. Duh.

Red, Taylor Swift
I could’ve put any Taylor Swift album here, but this is the one I first fell in love with and the one I’ve played on repeat through countless writing sessions. I just love the way “State of Grace” kicks off the album, and every track is so full of emotion. “All Too Well” is one of my favorite Taylor tracks ever.

Camp, Childish Gambino

I know a lot of people don’t take Childish Gambino seriously, but I don’t care. I have this album almost memorized, and I love that it’s a true album. It tells a story, it’s full of contradictions, and it really tells you a lot about Donald Glover. I don’t love everything about Childish Gambino (there’s some casual misogyny that’s hard to stomach), but I love the way this album sounds. Sometimes I listen to individual tracks when I’m working or working out, but it’s best as a whole. If you’ve written him off, give this one a chance. I’m not saying he’s Kanye, but he’s pretty damn good.

Kaleidoscope Heart, Sara Bareilles
Call this one cheesy if you want. It’s still great. As I’ve mentioned a few times, I wore this album out when I was going through a rough time, and it really helped me. It’s still a go to listen whether I’m feeling good or bad. “Gonna Get Over You” and “Let the Rain “are my favorite tracks.

Rock N Roll, Ryan Adams
Here’s what I like about Ryan Adams: even when his songs are ugly and rough, there’s still always something pretty about them. There’s his falsetto, or some jangly guitar, or a really nice lyric. This isn’t one of his more popular albums, and it doesn’t really even sound like most of his music, but it’s my favorite. I used to listen to this on the drive to high school. “So Alive” is the best track.

What about you guys? What are your favorite albums? Let me know!