Tag Archives: book

Simple Matters

Hannah Hart Beat

Hi Hart Beat! Happy Sunday! Pedro and I have been playing it low key this weekend so I’ve been spending lots of time going through books that I’ve got piled up all over the apartment. One book that I read in February that I keep finding myself being drawn back to has been on my mind in need of a post for months. Have you read Simple Matters: Living with Less and Ending Up with More by Erin Boyle yet?

I was drawn to the book after this blog post by Erin on Cup of Jo. After reading Erin’s 14 tips for living in a small space, I started reading Erin’s blog Reading My Tea Leaves daily. Lucky for me right around this time Erin’s book Simple Matters came out and I was able to purchase it immediately. The book, like Erin’s blog, is all about finding simple and elegant ways of living with less in this heavy materialistic world. The inspiration for Erin’s book (and blog from what I’m understanding) is the teeny, tiny spaces that she and her husband, and now baby, have lived over the years. Currently Erin, her husband and their daughter live in a 500 square foot apartment in Brooklyn. Pedro and I live in an apartment bigger than that! I would be lying if, more than the famous Marie Kondo book, Simple Matters has changed the way that I live my life.

Hannah Hart Beat - Simple Things

Simple Matters is broken into nine sections: decluttering, simplifying, organizing, decorating, bath & beauty, getting dressed, cooking & entertaining, cleaning, and thriving. In these sections, Erin writes about how instead of filling our lives with lots of cheap things that we don’t really like, we should surround ourselves with well made, long lasting objects. And, more importantly, only the objects that we really need.

Far from lacking sentimentality over the things in my house, I actually feel a kind of reverence for them. They’ve been carefully chosen and considered. When I think about adding a new thing to my home, I think first of its beauty, second of its utility, and finally of its staying power. Objects that have a timeless appeal are my favorite things: a set of linen napkins, white plates, wooden spoons.

The book is full of tips like this and so many of them have changed the way I think about my apartment and my things. This post about not buying any beauty products until all of the ones I already own are finished was directly inspired from Simple Matters.

Hannah Hart Beat

Hannah Hart Beat

Hannah Hart Beat - Simple Things

So if you find yourself looking for a little spring cleaning kick, you hated Marie Kondo’s book and found it completely overwhelming, or you just want something pretty to look at while drinking your morning coffee, I highly recommend Simple Matters.

P.S. If you want more of Erin Boyle her interview with Claire and Erica on their podcast was fascinating to listen to.

Hannah Hart Beat

#HappyFriday: Catbird, musician emojis & more

Hannah Hart Beat

Hi Hart Beat! See, I didn’t forget about you. This week was pretty hectic at work and in life so I didn’t have as much time to write to you all 😞. Also, to be honest, I was engrossed in readying Diary of a Teenage Girl and any free time that I had I spent reading it. If you are looking for something to read this fall then I HIGHLY recommend it. It might even be worth it’s own post soon so I won’t say too much. Anyway this weekend I’m looking forward to napping and… whelp napping is the first on my mind now. For you, here are five articles I loved reading this week when I took a break from Diary of a Teenage Girl. See you on, Monday!

— The girls at Catbird tell us about their work/life balance.

Famous musicians as emojis.

Are we there yet? And other words on a road trip.

Mary Karr wrote a new book!! CELEBRATE!

— A great, cheap and easy way to hang your bike in your small apartment.

Summer reading

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Hiii Hart Beat. It’s Monday again! This summer is flying by and now that I’ve laid out the law for the 2015 Song of the Summer let’s talk about summer reading. On my new favorite podcast, A Few Things with Claire and Erica, the duo talk about what books they’re reading this summer and to be honest, Hart Beat, I was a little sad hearing it.

Why is that you ask? Maybe it’s specifically because of said podcast above. Since the podcast boom of last fall (looking at you Serial) there have been so many great new podcasts to add to my already long list. I’ve been a listener of “This American Life,” “Radiolab,” and “Fresh Air” for years (since they were always on the radio) but now that podcasts are a thing there are so many new ones that I barely have time to keep up with them all. These past few months alone I’ve added “Reply Now,” “Mystery Show,” “Burnt Toast,” and “The Longest Shortest Time.” What has ended up happening is that on my 45 minute commute to and from work I don’t read anymore, I listen.

There isn’t inherently anything wrong with listening to podcasts instead of reading as I am a firm believe in the idea that as long as you’re interacting in some way with storytelling (whatever that form may be) then you’re good. My personal problem is that I used to be a voracious reader because I love reading physical books. I have lists and lists of book recommendations but I just can’t figure out where to start.
So I turn to you, Hart Beat. Please, please, for the love of all things holy, I would love to hear your summer reads thus far. Send them to me by carrier pigeon, tweet at me, email me, comment here, whatever way is easiest. I will love you forever if you do.

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Top photo courtesy of @handsy_lit. Bottom photo from @localcreativebk.

Let My People Go Surfing

Hi, Hart Beat. After last week’s visit to the cold world of Upstate New York, let’s go for a change of pace and talk about… surfing. I feel like surfing is one activity that many people want to try at least once in their lives. But until we go on holiday or depending on where you live, this goal doesn’t get ticked off the bucket list. Before I read this book, a friend of mine was telling me how she was planning a trip to Australia and one of her activities was to go surfing. She even looked into sites like www.annscottage.com to find all the equipment and clothing for her trip. This was how serious she was about fulfilling this dream. I even recommended this book to her to read on her trip.

One of the things on the top of my Christmas list this year was the autobiography Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman by Yvon Chouinard. If you haven’t heard of Yvon before that’s okay, I hadn’t either. What I did hear was that the book was a great place to start for someone interested in business but not wanting a hard core in depth business book.

Yvon Chouinard, the author of Let My People Go Surfing, is the founder of Patagonia and in the book he talks about founding the company and how it became to be the powerhouse that it is now. What I love about this book is the way that Yvon talks about the early years of Patagonia and how he founded it with friends just because he was so passionate about climbing gear. I love that idea.

Reading Let My People Go Surfing is such an amazing experience and it gives me so much respect for this amazing company and the outdoors in general. Between this and seeing Wild I wouldn’t be surprised if next thing I did was take to the country. Just kidding, Pedro.

What book should you read in your Brooklyn neighborhood?

Oh Hart Beat, Brooklyn Magazine has done it again. This month’s edition is completely dedicated to all things literary and I love it. One of my favorite articles (that I also emailed to all my friends who live in the Borough) lists all the books that you should read to coincide with each Brooklyn neighborhood. I love it. The only one that I’ve read is “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” and that was really only because it was a summer reading choice one summer. I feel like now I have to read the Greenpoint and the Sunset Park odes.

 


Greenpoint: The Great Man, Kate Christensen
“It happened every single day in Brooklyn: awaken to fresh glory, fall asleep to blight and ruin.”


Sunset Park: Sunset Park, Paul Auster
“He is twenty-eight years old, and to the best of his knowledge he has no ambitions. No burning ambitions, in any case, no clear idea of what building a plausible future might entail for him.”


Williamsburg: A Tree Grows In Brooklyn, Betty Smith
“There’s no other place like it.”
“Like what?”
“Brooklyn! It’s a magic city and it isn’t real.”


You can read the rest of the article here. Thanks Kristin Iversen, keep these amazing articles coming!

How should a person be?

Hey Hart Beat. Happy Saturday! What are you doing on this overcast day? I had been hoping on going to the beach with C. but this foggy weather has me instead hanging out in Greenpoint doing yoga and reading this amazing book (seriously can’t put it down). I’ll tell you about it when I finish but today I want to recommend another boot that I loved reading this summer.

I flew through Sheila Heti’s How Should a Person Be? this month and am still thinking about it since finishing the last page. This review from Bookforum couldn’t describe the novel better, “A raw, startling, genre-defying novel of friendship, sex, and love in the new millennium — a compulsive read that’s like spending a day with your new best friend.” The story is told through the point of view of Sheila, a young woman living in Toronto, navigating her romantic life, artistic inspiration, and above all, a relationship with her best friend.

At its heart, How Should a Person Be? is an ode to female friendship. The real love story of the novel is between the Sheila, the narrator, and Margaux, another artist living in Toronto. The two meet at the beginning of the novel and find commonalities in their struggles as female artists and navigating their early 20s in a modern city. I could relate so much to the characters and was struck especially in the way that Sheila talks about her admiration and inspiration she finds in Margaux while trying to find her own place in the world. She is constantly questioning how her friends live and how she can adopt these ways. At one point the narrator asks, “Responsibility looks so good on Misha, and irresponsibility looks so good on Margaux. How could I know which would look best on me?

Another reason that I loved the book so much was that it was lent to me by my best friend and current roommate. Samantha and I have known each other since the day I was born and grew up next to each other until we left for college. Now we live together in Brooklyn and it feels like full circle, like coming to live with a sister. Sammy recommended the book to me and I loved reading her copy. On the first page was an inscription from another one of Samantha’s closest friends, Margo, gifting the book for Christmas back in 2011. Then, every so often in the novel there are liner notes from Samantha about her college roommate Viv. Vivian is a painter and the two of them lived in an apartment in Los Angeles through college. I love the idea of all these close female friends sharing this one book. I can’t wait to pass it along to someone else.

Someone, somewhere, is falling in love

“As you read this introduction, someone, somewhere, is falling in love; a child is calling out to someone in the darkness as he awakes from a bad dream; someone is sitting alone in a car missing someone as rain pelts the windshield; someone is leaning on a desk, anticipating happiness he holes love will one day bring him; and perhaps someone very old is looking out a window, wishing he had said yes instead of walking way on that snowy afternoon in 1951.

“No matter what we do, love saturates our lives in every possible way. Even when we try to escape, it finds us — if merely to tease us with what we could have had.


“Through the readings, paintings, quotes ideas, and confessions within these pages, we are going to explore why we seem so desperately to need love, but also why we need to give it.”

– Simon Van Boody

Last year I bought the book Why We Need Love at one of my favorite book stores in Brooklyn. I couldn’t not buy it as the cover was just screaming out at me. Over the past year I’ve posted some excerpts from the book (you can read them all here). The collection of stories, quotes, photographs, short stories, and academic literature is compiled by Simon Van Booy. This excerpt above is written by the editor as an introduction to the collection. 
I just love the idea of finding love in all sorts of places and this seems like the best definition of Hannah Hart Beat that I’ve found in a while. For those of you who want to read the entirety of the book, you can find more info here.
Oh, what’s that you say? Where did I get those rings?
The gold one comes via Marina Pecoraro and the circle beauty is by 5 Octobre.

Getting literarily amorous

That was a little joke, voila. I found this hilarious and very romantic article/list whatever you call it the other day. One of my favorite things to do with a man friend is just relax and read and so I laughted out loud when I saw this list is called “30 Literary Quotes That Just Might Get You Laid.” Hilarious, right? I loved reading it and for some reason I thought you might too, Hart Beat. I put some of my favorites here but if you want the full list head over for a good laugh.

Number 24. Where I’m Calling From by Raymond Carver
When you are the last man at a bar, talking to the last sympathetic woman:
“We were so intimate once upon a time I can’t believe it now. The memory of being that intimate with somebody. We were so intimate I could puke. I can’t imagine ever being that intimate with somebody else. I haven’t been.”
Number 10. Just Kids by Patti Smith
It’s a risk, but it worked when Patti used it on Robert:
“Will you pretend you’re my boyfriend?”
Number 29. The History of Love by Nicole Krauss
When honesty is the best policy:
“Are you happiest and saddest right now that you’ve ever been?” “Of course I am.” “Why?” “Because nothing makes me happier and nothing makes me sadder than you.”
And number 24. Where I’m Calling From by Raymond Carver
When you are the last man at a bar, talking to the last sympathetic woman:
“We were so intimate once upon a time I can’t believe it now. The memory of being that intimate with somebody. We were so intimate I could puke. I can’t imagine ever being that intimate with somebody else. I haven’t been.”

Getting literarily amorous

That was a little joke, voila. I found this hilarious and very romantic article/list whatever you call it the other day. One of my favorite things to do with a man friend is just relax and read and so I laughted out loud when I saw this list is called “30 Literary Quotes That Just Might Get You Laid.” Hilarious, right? I loved reading it and for some reason I thought you might too, Hart Beat. I put some of my favorites here but if you want the full list head over for a good laugh.

Number 24. Where I’m Calling From by Raymond Carver
When you are the last man at a bar, talking to the last sympathetic woman:
“We were so intimate once upon a time I can’t believe it now. The memory of being that intimate with somebody. We were so intimate I could puke. I can’t imagine ever being that intimate with somebody else. I haven’t been.”
Number 10. Just Kids by Patti Smith
It’s a risk, but it worked when Patti used it on Robert:
“Will you pretend you’re my boyfriend?”
Number 29. The History of Love by Nicole Krauss
When honesty is the best policy:
“Are you happiest and saddest right now that you’ve ever been?” “Of course I am.” “Why?” “Because nothing makes me happier and nothing makes me sadder than you.”
And number 24. Where I’m Calling From by Raymond Carver
When you are the last man at a bar, talking to the last sympathetic woman:
“We were so intimate once upon a time I can’t believe it now. The memory of being that intimate with somebody. We were so intimate I could puke. I can’t imagine ever being that intimate with somebody else. I haven’t been.”

Love In the Time of Now

“‘Take advantage of it now, while you are young, and suffer all you can,’ she said to him, ‘because these things don’t last your whole life.'” 
– Gabriel García Márquez

Hi Hart Beat. I was thinking of waiting to write to you until I finished the book that I’m reading but I’m so in love that can’t help but write to you now. I started reading Love In the Time of Cholera a couple days ago and I can’t put it down to the point that I’ve been walking and reading at the same time during my connection between the G train and the E. I’ve been meaning to read Gabriel García Márquez’s classic for so long and I’m glad I finally waited until now to read it. I love reading about the horridness and passion of true love. It kills me that these two don’t follow their instincts and yet I still love to read the suffering. True love, right?

“As he passed the sewing room, he saw through the window an older woman and a young girl sitting very close together on two chairs and following the reading in the book that the woman held open in her lap. It seemed a strange sight; the daughter teaching the mother to read… The lesson was not interrupted, but the girl raised her eyes to see who was passing by he window, and that casual glance was the beginning of a cataclysm of love that still had not ended half a century later.”
– Gabriel García Márquez
“But his examination revealed that he had no fever, no pain anywhere, and that his only concrete feeling was an urgent desire to die. All that was needed was a shrewd questioning, first of the patient and then of his mother, to conclude once again that the symptoms of love were the same as those of cholera.”
– Gabriel García Márquez
I thought that maybe for this book I would put in some installments as I read further. Not only is it a perfectly appropriate Hart Beat book but I can’t but help bookmarking every breath-stopping, heart-pounding quote that I find. I want to share them all with you, Hart Beat.