Links I love

Links I love

What are you up to this weekend? I can’t believe I’m typing this, but this weekend I’m attending freshman parent orientation at my firstborn’s new school. (If you have any advice for me and all the parents of new freshmen, please share them in comments!)

But first I’m kicking things off with some book talk: at 4:00pm Eastern I’m popping on Zoom to discuss our fall line-up with our Modern Mrs Darcy Book Club members. (We’d love to see you there!)

My favorite finds from around the web:

  • The Devil Wears Prada and the Myth of the One and Only “Big Break”. “It was an attempt at crafting a 21st-century Mary Tyler Moore. If you say yes to everything and everyone—and you “lean in” with relentless enthusiasm and devotion for your job—you, too, can be rewarded with a corner office, a fancy title, and the admiration of your peers. Never mind that it will cost you your sanity.”
  • Why Do American Grocery Stores Still Have an Ethnic Aisle? “The aisle seems to exist more for those looking to find ingredients new to them than for the communities whose cuisines are represented there. That aligns with the ethnic aisle’s original purpose: to serve returning World War II soldiers who had tasted foods from countries like Italy, Germany and Japan while abroad.” (I’m experimenting with the new “gift” feature to share this NYT article.)
  • The Value of Doing a Little. “We think the choice is between doing something big or something small. But really, it’s between doing something small or nothing at all.” I feel this right now.

Don’t miss these posts:

On One Great Book:

Don’t miss today’s brand-new episode of One Great Book. Each week I pull one standout selection off my personal bookshelves and tell you all about it, in ten minutes or less. This is the last episode of the season and I hope you enjoy it!

On What Should I Read Next:

Want to start a book club? In this week’s episode, our guest shares the simple steps she took to bring readers together in her own neighborhood, plus a whole lot of library love.

Upcoming Events:

  • August 21, 3 pm ET: Northanger Abbey Watch Party: Watch along with us! The 2007 film staring Felicity Jones and Carey Mulligan can be found on streaming services or on many library streaming services like Hoopla and Kanopy. (This is an MMD Book Club event.)
  • August 24, 1 pm ET: Live chat with author Elizabeth Brooks: Time for our MMD Book Club discussion of The Whispering House with author Elizabeth Brooks! (Events are available as replays for members who cannot attend live.)
  • August 28, 3 pm ET: Backlist Book Club: Stay With Me: Whether you’re a long-time MMD Book Club member looking to revisit some favorites, or a new member wondering where to start, we’re taking a look back at some of the best of Book Club from the past few years.
  • September 21, 7 pm ET: My Reading Life: A Book Journal release day party at Carmichael’s Bookstore: Come celebrate the release of My Reading Life at my local indie bookstore! I’ll be in conversation with Tara Anderson of Louisville Public Media. Masks are required. Learn more and register to attend here
  • September 24, 11:30 am ET: Eat & Greet event and journaling workshop. Join me at Bookmarks’s Festival of Books & Authors in Winston-Salem, NC! I’ll be in conversation with my friend and author Kendra Adachi. We’ll talk about books, journaling, and the reading life to celebrate the publication of my new book, My Reading Life: A Book Journal. Register here
  • September 25, time TBD: Panel at Bookmarks with Wiley Cash and Charlie Lovett.
  • September 30, 7 pm ET: Live chat with author M. L. Rio: Time for our Modern Mrs Darcy Book Club discussion of If We Were Villains with author M. L. Rio! (Events are available as replays for members who cannot attend live.)

You can find more upcoming events here.

Have a great weekend!

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27 comments | Comment

27 comments

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  1. Alison says:

    Loved. Loved. Loved. the article on A Global Guide for Parents. Years ago, I read a book that expanded on the ideas in the article entitled, Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child, by Anthony Esolen. A worthy read for anyone interested in the topic!

    • Meagan says:

      It’s an incredible article. As someone who has a psych degree and has sat on the sidelines of parenting for years, I’ve had the opportunity to observe a lot of interesting practices by parents that often seemed like they were more about the parents keeping up with the Joneses as opposed to benefiting the kids. (I am fully aware that it’s infinitely easier to observe parenting than it is to actually parent 😅.) The happiest kids I know have lots of unstructured play time and were rarely if ever given child-specific meals or activities. They live their parents lives alongside them and are so observant and compassionate and intelligent as a result. How refreshing to think that the lives of parents don’t have to revolve around their kids in order for them to become well rounded humans. I commend anyone who has the courage to parent but I must say I am absolutely in awe of both my friends who parent consciously in the ways the article talks about and their children, who are everything I hope my own future children will grow to be like some day.

  2. Suzy Bennett says:

    You may already be familiar with Grown and Flown. My daughter, who sent her second son to college this week, quotes this website all the time.

  3. Belle says:

    My sending your baby off advice is 1. Let the tears and ugly cry happen. Don’t try to hold it in for a private moment. Waving goodbye as you pull away is one of the hardest parent moments ever. Just let it happen. 2. This could be unique to my son but don’t over stay at the dorm. Help him set up his room, do a final meal and then set him free. He wasn’t sad for this day. We were just sad. It’s awkward when the emotions don’t match. Good luck!

  4. Ann says:

    Well, unfortunately it never gets any easier.

    I am about to accompany my 19 (wait she will actually be 20!!!!! 😭 we leave on her birthday) year old Saturday to a new campus for Fall semester. It is crazy, because she is a Junior, but has never physically gone to this school. It is our big UT in Austin here in TX & she was part of a coordinated admissions program freshman year. That just means she did not quite get in, but was not rejected. She went to UTSA in San Antonio freshman year, so that ended up being a wonderful segway into college life (smaller campus/nice part of town). This was cut short Spring semester because of Covid. Then she spent next semester studying remotely from home. So the fun part is: now she will be a junior at UT, that feels like a freshman.

    They were recently asked to provide a negative Covid test before heading to Austin. I was told they that an email was sent out to 67,000 people. So I am a little bit of a wreck. Austin is not Kansas & then to top it off, we will be worrying about this Delta variant.

    This is my youngest child. I also have my eldest who is expecting and due next month, living in Germany & a middle child living in Rio De Janeiro.
    I need to take a look at the anxiety books mentioned on this list 😂.

    Advice?? Read a good book 😉 Seriously!! I’ve been riding around with this child in her car all summer, telling her not to follow other cars so closely. She gets so upset when I say anything. We have to let them leave the nest at some point. It never ever gets easier.

  5. Susan says:

    James Patterson is taking up valuable shelf space in libraries and bookstores with mediocre books. He’s taking space that more talented new authors could be getting. I’m rather disappointed in Dolly.

    • Elisabeth says:

      Thank you for this. I roll my eyes every time we get a new Patterson book at the library where I work. How is he so popular?

  6. Amy says:

    Thinking of you as you drop off your child. As with all transitions, there are hard and sad aspects, but joyful ones as well. Concentrate on the positives, and embrace the new dynamic at home. Send lots of mail/messages/packages that first semester, then back off once they find their place & friends. I got Snapchat when my daughter started school 1800 miles away from home. I didn’t want to bug her, but wanted to know she was ok. We started a “Snap streak” and I knew each day when I got her picture that she was well without me having to ask “are you ok?” Take tissues.

  7. Lori Narlock says:

    The best advice someone gave me when my guy started high school was: Anytime your child asks for a ride somewhere, stop what you are doing and get in the car with them. In the car with a teenager is like being on an airplane with a stranger, they will open up and talk to you about all kinds of things. I purposely plan outings for us that give us a lot of drive time just for those precious conversations.

  8. Gina says:

    Do take tissues – on the way back home stop somewhere that makes you happy (even if this is a roadside park bench). Please know that you are going to be a lot sadder than your child! I made the trek back home, reached out to my son and he was already all the way across campus (think large campus) and well on his way to making new friends – many of which will be his “best men” in his upcoming wedding.

  9. Ruth says:

    So appreciate the pieces on doing a little – I’m in that space of rebuilding habits and needed the message. 🙂
    Transparent sticky notes sound great, but unless they’re biodegradable they’re a big no from me. We can’t afford to keep adding more bits of plastic to landfills, the oceans, the planet generally.

  10. mimi says:

    The blog Grown and Flown helped me prepare and release both of mine. Have tissues in the glove box & use once you’re out of sight from the freshman. Then I drove to Olive Garden and got a slice of pumpkin cheesecake to go & yes, they had it in late August 2015.

  11. Shelley Brott says:

    Anne, twelve years ago when my oldest went away to college I got some helpful advice from reading the book Letting Go: A Parents’ Guide to Understanding the College Years. I don’t know how well it holds up, but I see it’s been updated (currently on the sixth edition). Have you read that one?

    I think it’s important to remember that everyone’s reaction to our kids’ departures are unique, and it’s important to honor our own feelings (and theirs).

    One other thought…. We asked our kids to tell us what type of ongoing communication was best for them while they were away at school (emails, texts, video calls, phone calls, etc.), and how often. What works for us might not work for them! 🙂

  12. Diane says:

    I have girls so don’t know if it applies to boys. Be prepared they will call home worried and stressed out about some problem and you will worry and be stressed out for days. When you call back to find out how it was resolved they will have forgotten about it. I think once they unload it on you they unstressed themselves. It took me a long time to realize that. You and your husband have prepared and given them wings and they are flying. Enjoy their beginning adulthood

  13. Elizabeth says:

    Fascinating article about the ethnic food aisle! As a multiethnic family, I am glad to read how stores are thinking about this.
    Loved reading how Jason Reynolds was inspired by Queen Latifa, All The Way Down was such a compelling read- a creative structure and I really enjoyed reading outside my experience as a middle aged white lady!

  14. Lindsay says:

    WOW! I’ll be thinking of you, Anne, this weekend! My friends keep reminding me that our job as parents is to raise our kids to be off on their own, but… my big girl just started high school, so this is coming soon. As Gretchen Rubin says: the days are long, but the years are short.

  15. Kaethe Pittman says:

    I especially enjoyed the comment section of the NYT article on the “ethnic” food aisle (which most stores label as “international”). Overwhelmingly, readers felt, as I did, that this is a non-issue. The commentary was insightful (German food is considered “ethnic,” as is Italian in many stores), practical (just leave the food where shoppers can find it, thank you), and largely very very funny.

  16. Susan says:

    With respect to dropping kids off at college: my experience is that for a few weeks you may feel a little empty inside and yes, have some worries. The best antidote for me was visiting a month after move-in, just to take your child and his or her friends out to dinner. They will have some hilarious stories, be thrilled to go someplace else to eat, and your worries will be greatly eased once you see your child with new friends in their new home.

  17. Grown and Flown is a great place to find the feelings you may have after dropping off your child at college. It helped me a lot. I also sent cards/notes regularly. Even if they didn’t respond it made me feel better to write to them. Plus they got mail which was fun!

    I love the Literary sisters article. I am one of 3 sisters and I am always drawn to sister stories. There were a few new to me in that list! But I also have several more I could add to that list!

    Also the salad dressing link doesn’t work. I’ll try to google it.

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