Tag Archives: author

David Sedaris - Hannah Hart Beat

Theft by Finding, what I’m reading right now

David Sedaris - Hannah Hart Beat

Hi, Hart Beat. How are you this Monday? I’ve been seeing on Instagram today that it is hot hot hot in the rest of the country but, here on this idyllic island in Maine, it’s chilly and the fog has decided to hang over the island all day. It’s okay though, I’ve gotten lots of writing done this morning and this afternoon I’m going to hold up and read the pile of books that I have next to me.

Speaking of reading, I wanted to write to you about a book that has just come out that I am loving. Do you know David Sedaris? I wrote about him briefly once back in 2013 and I’m surprised he hasn’t come up since then. Sedaris is hands down one of my lifelong favorite authors. My parents introduced my brother and me to the author when we were young. My mom has always loved him and bought all of his books on audio to listen to them in the car. To this day, I still listen to Sedaris reading his own books almost every day. As you might know, Hart Beat, I have a hard time falling asleep so often I will listen to books on tape to help fall asleep. For the past three years or so I’ve been rotating through all of Sedaris’s books. Right now I’m on Naked and laugh still to this day on most of his writing, even though I’ve heard it a million times.

There’s something comforting about Sedaris and the stories he tells about his family, his boyfriend, and his life now. Last month, Sedaris’s newest book was published and I’m currently halfway through listening to the stories. The book is a little different from his usual memoir style short stories. Theft by Finding: Diaries (1977 – 2002) is what it’s title suggests, David Sedaris’s daily diary entries from the years 1977 to 2002. Sedaris is famous not only for his hilarious and gut-wrenching prose but also for his commitment to daily diary writing. We are lucky as humans that the author has decided to let us into his private writings and inner world. Often times interestingly mundane, the collection of diary entries allows us as readers to sit beside Sedaris during his early days as a struggling author and his early days of success.

If you’re a Sedaris fan there are two other pieces I’d recommend to you. The first is his newest short story, “Why Aren’t You Laughing?” published in The New Yorker this past June. The second is his most recent interview with Terry Gross on Fresh Air from this past May. I loved listening to it.

Anyway, that’s all the news from the Island today. Hope you’re doing well, Hart Beat.

Photo of Sedaris via the author.

Hannah Hart Beat

My Kindle & Me: A love affair by any other name

Hannah Hart Beat

Hi, Hart Beat! This is a post I never thought I would be writing but, alas, here we are and the year truly is 2017. As my friends know, I’ve always been an avid reader. I’ve worked in libraries over the years and one of my favorite things to check out when visiting anywhere is the local bookstore. All things being said, for YEARS I hated on any kind of e-reader. Kindles, Nooks, iPads, you name it, it was on my hate (exit boat) list. That is until I turned 27 and my eyes started blurring and my back started aching. While I will not admit I’m getting older my body begs to differ.

So, before I went on a trip with my mom last month, I broke down and bought myself a birthday present in the form of a Kindle. I didn’t do much research because, you know, #denial but the little reading I did do directed me to the Kindle Paperwhite E-reader for its size, price, and highly ranked reviews. I bought it quickly and ever since it arrived on my desk at work, I have a new love affair.

Anyone I come in contact with I can’t help but spew my love for my Kindle. I’m a changed woman! It’s light! It doesn’t have any glare! It fits in my pocket! I can carry inch thick hardcover tombs with me at all times! I can carry five books at once! I can carry five hundred books at once! Honestly, I could go on and on. My love intensified when I found out that I can borrow books from my local library through my Kindle. In turn, I can support my public library and not spend any money. Amazon, I forgive you. Kindle, I love you.

I’m not 100% sure exactly which combinations of effects are working for me in the reading department but since purchasing my Kindle I’ve read almost than double the number of books I read in a year in a month. Truth be told, some of them have been YA books now that I don’t have the (stupid) shame of people’s judgmental eyes on the train but YA is good, man! #hungergamesmadeitso

  • The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood
  • Bad Feminist: Essays, by Roxanne Gaye
  • All five the Sisterhood of the Traveling pants books, by Ann Brashers (crying through all of them of course)
  • The Da Vinci Code, by Dan Brown (because I missed the crazy years ago and needed a thriller through Italy)
  • The Circle, by Dave Eggers (which I am now more than halfway through and TERRIFIED for my digital footprint…)

And now the best part. What are you reading, Hart Beat? I’m quickly running through the list of books I’ve had and would love any suggestions from you. Love in the time of Kindle, Hannah

Sweetbitter, poetry and Stephanie Danler

landscape-1463775925-elle-sweetbitter-index

Hi Hart Beat. Have you read Sweetbitter yet? It’s one of the books I keep seeing on the train in Brooklyn and for good reason. I’m not going to go into a detailed review here but my friend Sarah over at Food52 wrote a great write-up that I stand by. One thing that Sarah pointed out that I too loved about the book was how it read like poetry. And, that is why we’re here.

I started following the author Stephanie Danler on Instagram through a friend of a friend who used to work with her at Buvette. I am so glad I did. What I love about Stephanie’s Instagram is that she screenshots and shares some of the beautiful poetry that she’s reading. Reading these poems I can hear her voice in Sweetbitter and it is such a lovely partner to her novel. It’s such a beautiful respite when scrolling through the usual live envying and mouth watering photos that fill most Instagram pates (mine included).

Here are five of my favorite poems that Stephanie has posted over the year,

Hannah Hart Beat -5

“I Did Think, Let’s Go About This Slowly” from “Felicity” by Mary Oliver

Hannah Hart Beat Sweetbitter

“Letter to my Twenty Three Year Old Shelf” from “Our Andromeda” by Brenda Shaughnessy

Hannah Hart Beat Sweetbitter

“Before Morning in Perugia” by Jack Gilbert

Hannah Hart Beat - 3

Sadness by Dorothea Lasky

Hannah Hart Beat Sweetbitter 4

“The Shampoo” by By Elizabeth Bishop the Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry

Top photo via elle.com

Fresh Air - Hannah Hart Beat

Amazing interviews

Fresh Air - Hannah Hart Beat

Hiiii Hart Beat! Long time no write! To break the internet silence I want to share some interviews that I have been LOVING from one of my favorite radio shows, Fresh Air. For those of you not familiar, Fresh Air is a NPR hour long radio program in which Terry Gross, one of my favorite people on this earth, discusses and interviews contemporary writers, actors, musicians, directors, poets, and artists on new projects that they are working on. If there’s a new book or movie out then no doubt Terry Gross is interviewing that person.

The show comes on at 2pm every Monday through Thursday on WNYC and it is something I look forward to every day (or every night on my commute if I missed the radio edition). Here are my most favorite interviews as of late that I think you all will love as much as I did.

Keith Richards: The “Fresh Air” Interview

The guitarist for the Rolling Stones has a new solo album, Crosseyed Heart. Richards is also the subject of the new Netflix documentary, Under the Influence. Originally broadcast Oct. 25, 2010.

Lutheran Minister Preaches A Gospel of Love, Junkies, Drag Queens And Outsiders

Nadia Bolz-Weber was a stand-up-comic with a drinking problem who opened up a church for people who didn’t belong. “My job is to… remind people that they’re absolutely loved,” she says. Her new memoir is Accidental Saints.

Jon Steward On His Daily Show Run: “It So Far Exceeded My Expectations”

Fresh Air pays tribute to Stewart’s tenure on The Daily Show with pieces from four different interviews since 2000, including a 2006 conversation with former Daily Show executive producer Ben Karlin, which you can listen to in the audio link above.

Author Explores the “Wild and Haunting World of Dolphins”

In her book, Voices in the Ocean, Susan Casey describes the world of dolphins and addresses the myth that dolphins have healing powers. She also details the threats the animals face from man-made sounds in the ocean.

Mary Karr On Writing Memoirs: “No Doubt I’ve Gotten A Million Things Wrong”

In her new book, The Art of Memoir, Karr reflects on the process of recounting personal stories and writing about loved ones without betraying them. When it comes to the latter, she says that, with a few exceptions, she doesn’t spend time writing about despicable people. “When there’s a jerk in the book, it’s usually me,” she says. “I’m the one I’m wrestling with.”

tumblr_ntyl1ssIck1qd9dz2o1_500

And because I can’t resist, a few others that I loved:

Oliver Sacks: A Neurologist at the “Intersection of Fact and Fable”
Reflecting On Football and Addiction As “Friday Night Lights” Turns 25
A Hollywood Animal Trainer’s Secrets for Getting Dogs to Act On Cue

Both photos of Keith Richards and Oliver Sacks via Fresh Air.

Story, With Bird

Hi Hart Beat, I hope your fall is going well! Things have been going well in Brooklyn with a bunch of new projects starting up. I don’t want to give too much away now but Pedro and I have a project coming up, I’ll keep you posted. Anyway, the other day my mom called to tell me that there was a story in a recent New Yorker that I had to read. I finally got around to it this week and now I am so happy to share it with you.

The story is called “Story, With Bird” by Kevin Canty. I had never heard of the author before but after reading this amazing story, I now know that I need to pick up one of his short story collections and get reading. His most recent, Where the Money Went, is now on my must read list. Read on for a clip of “Story, With Bird” and then head on over to the New Yorker site to read the entire thing.

“Somewhere near the end, she decided that the drinking was the problem. So we stopped cold, both of us, in the middle of February. One of those winters where the sky looms over the town like a gray roof that never changes. Old ice and blackened snow in the gutters. It was maybe a mistake.

“It was maybe a mistkae, but she might have been right, too. I have since stopped drinking for reasons of my own. But back then it was a test –as everything was a test– of how much we would endure in order to stay together.

“And sober we stayed for the rest of the winter. It was interesting, in a way. It was a departure for us, from the long evenings of drinking and laughing and fighting and sex. We’d have some modest, healthful dinner and then watch a movie, and then it would seem like there was nothing else to do. She’d go to work in her little office downstairs and I’d go to bed and listen to the wind in the eaves, the branches scratching against the windowpanes. The days, of course, were actually better: no hangovers, lots of energy. I’d be up at six, before the dawn, and we were both getting a lot of work done. Yes, it felt penitential at times, but at other times it felt as if we had solved a problem, undertaken some new way of life, done an important thing and done it together.”

Essays to read on the train

Hey Hart Beat. My close friends and I have tried to start a book club a few times over the past year but it’s so hard to get everyone to agree on a book, find a time to get together and everything else. So instead we just email each other great books and suggestions. Both Wild and The Goldfinch were passed around (Wild A++++++ and The Goldfinch a solid B).

Anyway, I came across this great site the other day that shares a ton of essays with summaries and exactly where to find them. The article is called “Essays to Make a Better Person” and I have had such a great time reading the articles on my phone while commuting this week. My favorite so far are “The Love of My Life” by Cheryl Strayed (duh) and “Blindness” by Luis Borges (spanish major over here.) Enjoy the essays, Hart Beat! And let me know it the comments which ones are your favorites! Final note, my friend recently told me about some help he got with his essay. Apparently one of his favourite essay writers was offering essay support services through a similar service to edupeet. It was so interested to hear his process, so he tells me.

Congratulations Ms. Munro!

One of my favorite parts of the year is during the fall when the Nobel Peace Prize winners are announced. This year I was over the moon to hear the news that Alice Munro was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. Munro is one of my idols. Not only are her short stories ones that I continuously read over and over again, but they are the kind of stories and characters that I think of long after reading her books. Runaway is one of my favorites of hers and if you haven’t given Munro a read it’s an excellent place to start.

“This is what happens. You put it away for a little while, and now and again you look in the closet for something else and you remember, and you think, soon. Then it becomes something that is just there, in the closet, and other things get crowded in front of it and on top of it and finally you don’t think about it at all.

The thing that was your bright treasure. You don’t think about it. A loss you could not contemplate at one time, and now it becomes something you can barely remember.

This is what happens.
Few people, very few, have a treasure, and if you do you must hang onto it. You must not let yourself be waylaid, and have it taken from you.”

– Alice Munro, Runaway

P.S. This is a great Atlantic piece about Alice Munro’s win.
A young Alice Munro.

Congratulations Ms. Munro!

One of my favorite parts of the year is during the fall when the Nobel Peace Prize winners are announced. This year I was over the moon to hear the news that Alice Munro was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. Munro is one of my idols. Not only are her short stories ones that I continuously read over and over again, but they are the kind of stories and characters that I think of long after reading her books. Runaway is one of my favorites of hers and if you haven’t given Munro a read it’s an excellent place to start.

“This is what happens. You put it away for a little while, and now and again you look in the closet for something else and you remember, and you think, soon. Then it becomes something that is just there, in the closet, and other things get crowded in front of it and on top of it and finally you don’t think about it at all.

The thing that was your bright treasure. You don’t think about it. A loss you could not contemplate at one time, and now it becomes something you can barely remember.

This is what happens.
Few people, very few, have a treasure, and if you do you must hang onto it. You must not let yourself be waylaid, and have it taken from you.”

– Alice Munro, Runaway

P.S. This is a great Atlantic piece about Alice Munro’s win.
A young Alice Munro.

Advice on love and life

Hi. How’s your week going, Hart Beat? I’ve been reading up a storm and really can’t wait to tell you about this book that my best friend M. recommended to me. Have you heard of the internet advice queen Dear Sugar? I hadn’t either Hart Beat so don’t worry too much.

“I’ve consoled and counseled. I’ve listened to long and tedious tales of spectacularly disastrous romantic woe… Have you read Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet yet? People die because they want who they want. They do all kinds of crazy, stupid, sweet, tender, amazing, self-destructive things.

The book that I just finished reading, Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar and is written by none other than the amazingly lovely Cheryl Strayed. The book features a collection of letters seeking help and Dear Sugar’s brutally beautiful and honest responses. I’ve enjoyed reading it so much and have read it so fast that now all I can hear is Dear Sugar’s voice giving me advice in my own head.

“There are so many things to be tortured about, sweet pea. So many torturous things in this life. Don’t let a man who doesn’t love you be one of them.

The central piece advice that Dear Sugar seeks us to consider in most situations is to be true to yourself wholeheartedly. I think that’s the kind of advice everyone should hear most of the time.

“You aren’t afraid of love. You’re afraid of all the junk you’ve yoked to love. And you’ve convinced yourself that withholding one tiny word from the woman you think you love will shield you from that junk. But it won’t. We are obligated to the people we care about and who we allow to care about us, whether we say we love them or not. Our main obligation is to be forthright — to elucidate the nature of our affection when such elucidation would be meaningful or clarifying.
I’ll leave you with one last Dear Sugar advice for tonight. And then I highly recommend you go out and get this book to read on the subway or look through some letters she’s written tonight while you’re hanging out at home. They’re enlightening, Hart Beat.
“Cultivate an understanding of a bunch of the other things that the best, sanest people on the planet know: that life is long, that people both change and remain the same, that every last one of us will need to fuck up and be forgiven, that we’re all just walking and walking and walking and trying to find our way, that all roads lead eventually to the mountaintop.

Yours,
Sugar

Advice on love and life

Hi. How’s your week going, Hart Beat? I’ve been reading up a storm and really can’t wait to tell you about this book that my best friend M. recommended to me. Have you heard of the internet advice queen Dear Sugar? I hadn’t either Hart Beat so don’t worry too much.

“I’ve consoled and counseled. I’ve listened to long and tedious tales of spectacularly disastrous romantic woe… Have you read Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet yet? People die because they want who they want. They do all kinds of crazy, stupid, sweet, tender, amazing, self-destructive things.

The book that I just finished reading, Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar and is written by none other than the amazingly lovely Cheryl Strayed. The book features a collection of letters seeking help and Dear Sugar’s brutally beautiful and honest responses. I’ve enjoyed reading it so much and have read it so fast that now all I can hear is Dear Sugar’s voice giving me advice in my own head.

“There are so many things to be tortured about, sweet pea. So many torturous things in this life. Don’t let a man who doesn’t love you be one of them.

The central piece advice that Dear Sugar seeks us to consider in most situations is to be true to yourself wholeheartedly. I think that’s the kind of advice everyone should hear most of the time.

“You aren’t afraid of love. You’re afraid of all the junk you’ve yoked to love. And you’ve convinced yourself that withholding one tiny word from the woman you think you love will shield you from that junk. But it won’t. We are obligated to the people we care about and who we allow to care about us, whether we say we love them or not. Our main obligation is to be forthright — to elucidate the nature of our affection when such elucidation would be meaningful or clarifying.
I’ll leave you with one last Dear Sugar advice for tonight. And then I highly recommend you go out and get this book to read on the subway or look through some letters she’s written tonight while you’re hanging out at home. They’re enlightening, Hart Beat.
“Cultivate an understanding of a bunch of the other things that the best, sanest people on the planet know: that life is long, that people both change and remain the same, that every last one of us will need to fuck up and be forgiven, that we’re all just walking and walking and walking and trying to find our way, that all roads lead eventually to the mountaintop.

Yours,
Sugar