Tag Archives: books

Updates & A Few Things

Hola mi Amor. I miss you, Hart Beat! I’m sorry for being so MIA lately. As many of you know, I’m deep in the final edits of the God Damned book I’ve been working on this past year and a half. (If you’re on Instagram I’m sorry for harassing you so much with stories. It can get boring writing all day to an empty room.)

It’s been hard the last year and a half not keeping up with you here on ye old blog. There’s been so much culturally, philosophically, politically, sartorially, and just generally juicy happening this year that it’s driven me a little bananas to not process it here with you.

But you know, writing twice a day here takes time and the G.D. book has taken everything out of me. So I thought I’d pop in here and share with you some of the things I’ve been doing, reading, listening to, and buying lately.

Books & Things I’ve read and loved:
– Dining In by Alison Roman (HOW DID I MISS THIS WHEN IT CAME OUT!?!?)
– Love and Ruin by Paula Mclain
Fruit of the Drunken Tree by Ingrid Rojas Contreras
– Natalie Shapero’s poems in November’s POETRY Magazine. (Especially “Other Things, If not More Urgent Things”—read it here below. I couldn’t find a link.)
The NY Times profile on Anne Lamott. And her response on Instagram. God, I love her.

Songs I’ve had on repeat:
– NEW ROBYN HIIAAIIII HONEY. More specifically Missing U
– Your Best American Girl from Mitski (that bridge though)

Things I’ve bought:
– A new Outdoor Voices Kit now that they’re back for purchase (!! thank you Ty!)
This kickass t-shirt from Love Yoga in L.A.
– New white eyeshadow from Jane Airedale because I dropped my old one and it shattered 🙄.
This shirt from Madewell which I have yet to take off since its arrival in the mail.

I’m sure there are other things I should share with you (movies I’ve seen, places I’ve been—Portland, ME! Denver, CO! Brooklyn!—but I have to get back to the G.D. book. Talk soon, Hart Beat. xo

Other Things, If Not More Urgent Things
by Natalie Shapero

How to get close without going over.
How to feign lust for whatever’s on offer.
How the largest possible quantity
of anything is a lifetime. A lifetime
of oat bran. A lifetime of timing belts.
A lifetime of saying, SURE, WHY NOT,
I’M ONLY ON EARTH FOR X NUMBER
OF YEARS, and not knowing what
to make x. Sometimes I pick a number
I’ve already passed. I remember
the gambler’s credo— when you only
have fifty bucks left in this world,
you’d better get rid of it fast; the last
thing you want is money around,
reminding you every day of the money
you lost. The recommended
retirement plan is arabesque, then leap
and smash on the seawall. We made
a promise not to catch each other.

Top photo via Gabrielle Thurin

December Time

Hannah Hart Beat

Hiya Hart Beat. Greetings from sunny Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Over the last few weeks, I’ve been doing lots of traveling and am happy to report that I have successfully trapped myself in a pile of knit sweaters and books to be read for the rest of the month. I will not be traveling until I can dig myself out of this cozy mess. Please don’t send help.

Not only did I visit Montreal for Thanksgiving, last week I visited New York City for the first time since leaving at the end of March this year. It had been eight months since I was back and I had avoided it for a while, getting anxiety dreams about even thinking of going back over the summer. By the time Fall rolled around though, there were so many people that I wanted to see that it was finally time. I mean, I did live there for five years.

So I went. I visited some of my favorite people, drank delicious coffee, walked around, and bought too many books. And you know what was the craziest thing about being back, Hart Beat? That city has not changed A BIT since I left. Seriously, it kind of felt like the last eight months hadn’t happened. The thing was though, that I felt different. It was weird to be in a place that hadn’t changed when I feel like I’m in such a different, better place. Instead of feeling like I couldn’t fit into the city, it felt like the city couldn’t fit into me.

Now that I’m back I’m so happy that I can call this studio, this town, this county, my home right now. I don’t think I’ll be here forever but I do know that I’m going to milk every hour out of the Berkshires until it’s time to move on.

In other news, happy December!! It’s one of my favorite months and so, in honor of cozy time, here are a few things on my mind lately. #hyggeedition

Waiting (not so patiently) for Call Me By Your Name to come to the Triplex. I also just ordered the book to read hopefully before seeing the movie and am ashamed at home much I paid for the non-movie cover version of the book. #iamvain

I’ve been unable to stop listening to this season’s Dissect series on My Beautiful Deep Twisted Fantasy but was BLOWN AWAY by the episodes on “Devil in a New Dress” and “Runaway.” They were always my favorites on the album and now they are probably two of my favorite songs of all time.

Loving Caroline Donofrio’s (former editor of Cup of JoInstagram series on different “Haiku’s From Former Lovers.” It’s hard to pick a favorite but this one really got me:

No. 22 / #HaikusForFormerLovers

A post shared by Caroline Cala Donofrio (@carolinecala) on

Living in this sweater I snagged on Cyber Monday from Madewell.

Feeling weird for (finally) reading Tenth of December by George Saunders because it’s December? No? Yes?

Amazed at this interview in The Fold with author Claire Dedler about her book Love and Trouble. I loved this bit,

While I was working on the book, a friend said to me, “You probably know what you would teach young Claire if you could, but what does young Claire have to teach you?” What she had to teach me was in those journals: the importance of love and yearning and, yes, pretentiousness things we sometimes forget about in the daily round of grown-up life.

– Claire Dedler

Okay back to reading. Talk soon, Hart Beat. xo

 

End of August

Hannah Hart Beat

Hiya, Hart Beat. Long time no talk. How are you? I can’t believe it’s the end of summer already. It seems like this year the season went by especially fast and I’m already missing the sunny beach days up in Maine. About two weeks ago I came back to the Berkshires and have decided to hold off on any immediate moving plans for a bit. I had originally thought to head straight out west but the more I work on my writing project the more tunnel vision I get. I just want to finish this god damned book.

So I’m staying here in the Berkshires in a studio space that has not one but five desks spread out in a U-shape and a wood stove to keep me warm this fall. It’s heaven and I can’t wait to get the bulk of this draft done. I’m sorry I don’t have more regular posts for you, Hart Beat. It’s too much for me to do two things at once. I’ll try to keep coming at you every few weeks with lists like this here below. Like I’ve said before, each one of these deserves its own post.

Books I’ve read:

Books I’ve bought and can’t wait to read:

Articles and interviews I’ve read:

Things I’ve bought and loved:

  • A new PopSocket to replace mine thrown away on the Camino.
  • My dream loafers from Everlane.
  • This bucket bag / my new go to purse for everything from Baggu. (After reading this article in The Strategist I’ve been wanting to buy it. That was written one year ago. 🙄 )

Hmm, let’s see other news. You heard in the last post that I have a new BFF. Update, he’s still adorable. If you’re out there writing too, or just need some good working music, here’s a playlist I’ve been listening to on repeat every day. I’ve also picked up a shift or two at the local café so I’m learning how to make a mean latte. Wish me luck. Oh! And I’m really excited because in early October I’m going to be going to this workshop with my idol Dani Shapiro at Kripalu. I. Can. Not. Wait. This woman better sprout some good wisdom (rather than when I saw David Sedaris last week and he told me casually “just write every day.” Okay David. I hadn’t thought of that one before, thanks a million.)

Talk soon, Hart Beat.

Hannah Hart Beat- Maine

August, Lately

Hannah Hart Beat - Maine

Hiya, Hart Beat. How are you? It’s been almost a month since I got back to Maine and I’m sitting here in the garden shed at my Grandmother’s packing up my books. Tomorrow I head back to the Berkshires and I’m sad but ready to be leaving Maine. It’s time. I need to get back to the Berkshires and knuckle down on my writing. It’s been going well, Hart Beat, although it’s been taking everything out of me every day. I get into bed at nine and am passed out with the light on and a book open on my chest every night. It’s okay because a couple of weeks ago I got a dog and he wakes me up to remind me the light is on. The pup is a one and a half-year-old Shih Tzu from Wells, Maine. He was owned by a couple before but they were stationed overseas for the military and lucky me, I got the pup. I’m calling him Mateo aka Teo aka Lil Monster because his nose (like mine) is tiny and he snorts most of the day (not like mine). He’s the perfect writing companion and as I type he is laying on the floor at my feet. I’m in love Hart Beat and have officially decided to replace men and dating with Mateo and books.

Speaking of books and writing I’ve made my way through my writing mentor’s recommendations and I would love yours if you have them. In the last post, I listed what I had read if you need to see what I’m liking (tl;dr mostly memoirs and books on writing). The ones right now that I have on my nightstand are The Rules Do Not Apply: A Memoir, by Ariel Levy, The Hot One: A Memoir of Friendship, Sex, and Murder, by Carolyn Murnick, The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho, What We Lose: A Novel, by Zinzi Clemons, Hard Travel to Sacred Places, by Rudolph Wurlitzer, and Committed: A Love Story, by Elizabeth Gilbert.

In return, here is a section from Still Writing, The Perils and Pleasures of a Creative Life, and an interview with Dani Shapiro, my muse lately. The book and this interview have been what I read and watch every morning before sitting down to work.

“As I write these words, I am, of course, alone. It’s the middle oft he day and I have barely stepped outside except to pick up a couple of envelopes full of books and manuscripts that FedEx left on the pourch. I have spoken to no one since seven o’clock this morning. I am wearing the ratty T-shirt I slept in last night. The house is silent. A crow calls outside my office window.

“These solitary days are my lifeline. They are the lifeline of every writer I know. We hold on to our solitude, fiercly protect these empty days. But at the same time, we long for community…

“Though we write our books alone, ultimately everything we do involves some collaboration. Every good book you’ll ever read has the thumbprints of other writers all over it. As we finish a manuscript we may find ourselves thinking of who to turn to, who can help us…

“I reach out a hand when I can. I remind myself every day that it’s about the work. I am here in Connecticut. You might be in Missoula, Montana, or Taos, New Mexico, or Portland, Oregon. You’re in a café, or at a writers conference, or at your kitchen table. The words have come easily to you today, or you feel like your head is about to explode. You’re a household name, or laboring in obscurity. I am here, and you are there, and we are in this thing together.”

Dani Shapiro, Still Writing: The Perils and Pleasures of a Creative Life

Talk soon, Hart Beat.

The Last Few Weeks

Hannah Hart Beat

Hi Hart Beat. Happy Saturday! Sorry being so MIA, these last few weeks have been a whirlwind so I thought I’d give you a little update on life and check in to see how you’re doing. There’s honestly so much to cover and each of these bullet points deserves a post of its own but, I’ve been working on another project, and it’s been taking all that I have to keep writing it every day. Sadly, Hart Beat has taken a back seat (for now). Hopefully, in another couple of weeks, I can lift my head up and come back here with you. For now, these lists are going to have to do. Miss you, Hart Beat.

Towns I’ve visited:

  • Killington, VT
  • Woodstock, VT
  • Hudson, NY
  • Chatham, NY
  • West Stockbridge, MA
  • Great Barrington, MA
  • Wiscasset, ME
  • Boothbay Harbor, ME

Books I’ve read:

Books I’ve bought and can’t wait to read:

Poems I’ve loved:

Movies I’ve watched:

  • Hell or Highwater (loved)
  • Ghostwriter (loved)
  • Stupid, Crazy, Love (loved, for obvious reasons)
  • Before Sunset (obsessed)
  • Deja Vu (solid B)
  • Rounders (solid B+)

Things I can’t stop using/wearing:

Songs I’ve had on repeat:

Things I’ve done:

Signing off for now, Hart Beat. If I think of more things I’ll let ya know. P.S. Follow me on Instagram for more day to day things.

 

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

For all the readers, NPR’s Book Concierge

Okay Hart Beat. We’re eighteen days till Christmas. How’s that list of yours coming? This year, thanks to god know who because I usually am the person running around December 23rd looking for presents, I have most of my list done. There are just a few people that I’m like huh…. waaaaa…. aka actually stumped. Luckily for me (and you if you’re in the same sinking ship that I am), NPR just released an amazing site to help us all out. They’re calling the interactive, web designed drool inducing page the NPR Book Concierge, Best Books of 2016. Well, they’re actually calling it an App which I’m not really sure is true but hey, who knows what constitutes apps these days.

NPR Best Books of 2016

Anyway. Go to the site! It’s amazing. There are a series of filters on the left-hand side of your screen that you can click and unclick to filter the 300 books that they have fully vetted and reviewed. And, true to NPR humor and wit, the filters are amazing. You can select from the basics like “Staff Picks” and “Nonfiction” but they also have “Rather Long”, “Rather Short”, “Let’s Talk About Sex”, “Ladies First”, and “The Dark Side”. These people get me.

Another thing I love about the site is when you click on a book it gives you a great review and places to buy INCLUDING your local bookstore by using the great site IndieBound. Ug. Love. I’ll be brainstorming other last minute tools that can help you cross friends and family still on your lists. Stay tuned, Hart Beat.

New Jane Austen Movie

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Good news, Hart Beat! As you all read this blog and like the stuff I talk about here I’m assuming that you’re also a Jane Austen fan. If not then excuse this post and come back later… or never… JK! I love all of you (even if you don’t like Miss. Jane). It looks like the life of Jane Austen is being turned into a feature film romantic comedy. I don’t know what to say except !!!! The movie is based on a novel called Jane by the Sea.

In honor of this new announcements, let’s take a moment to go back and look at our favorite cinematic recreations of our favorite author and her novels.

1. The iconic BBC mini-series from 1995 with COLIN FIRTH. I mean, come on. This man is a god and this movie is heaven if you ask me.

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2. Pride & Prejudice part two: the Keira Knightley chronicles. I remember when this movie came out and I went with my mom to see it in theaters. It was one of the best movements of my life. I then got to relive it over and over again when Carolyn and I watched this movie on repeat Sophomore year of college. How come everyone doesn’t get their love confession said to them in the rain… in an old garden marble trellis?

prideandprejudicepic

3. Pride & Prejudice part three: in which we all fall in love with Colin Firth again in Bridget Jones’ Diary. Oh god, I could go on and on about this movie (and it’s sequel which I DIDN’T HATE, OKAY?!). The combination of Renee Zellweger, Colin Firth and Hugh Grant is enough to make me cry out of happiness. And the music, god the music is so good in this movie. Let’s just sit back and look at this picture for a moment:

blog-bridget-jones-christmas-jumper

And this (which is my all time favorite scene in both movies):

BridgetJonesTheEdgeofReason-Still2

4. The Jane Austen Book Club in which, we all fell in love with Grigg and decided to read Ursula Le Guin not because he recommended it but because… he totally recommended it. Griiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigg!

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I could go on and on about different Jane Austen adaptations and I definitely left out a TON. I think we can agree though that a little Jane Austen is better than none at all. (Guess where that quote comes from and I’ll give you an internet high five.)