so this coming weekend is a long weekend in SA, as well as next weekend. yes, this is the month of all the public holidays ever. i have a favour to ask you – can you recommend a GREAT book to get stuck into? i plan on putting away my devices and going old school on one of my days off. curling up on the couch and not getting up unless for tea and cookies. i like mystery, suspense, history, romance… anything gripping, anything that you just can’t. put. down.

throw your suggestions at me, please! old or new, i’ll be open to it. and with that, a distraction.

Mid Week Distraction No. 22

Christian Tiger School – Chorisolo

the best music video EVER

Mid Week Distraction No. 22

Melbourne Mornings

great series from The Design Files

Mid Week Distraction No. 22

The woman who woke up in the future

and thought she was 15 again

Mid Week Distraction No. 22

inside the beggar’s purse

a crepe filled with beluga caviar and creme fraiche

Mid Week Distraction No. 22

Elise’s April playlist

i have listened to this 3 times already!

Mid Week Distraction No. 22

7 Podcasts you must try

read the comments, too.

Mid Week Distraction No. 22

an oral history of Mad Men

“It’s Don Draper, baby!”

Mid Week Distraction No. 22

the crumbled marriages of Mad Men

what Joan and Peggy have learned

Mid Week Distraction No. 22

Skate Girls of Kabul

this is beautiful.

Mid Week Distraction No. 22

Dr. Me

“Am I sitting down? I have some bad news to break to me.”

Mid Week Distraction No. 22

Mellow pastimes are good for your health

as long as they stimulate your mind

Mid Week Distraction No. 22

How much does _________ cost?

The most google cost obsessions around the world. South Africa = cows. Australia = IVF. Brazil = prostitutes

Mid Week Distraction No. 22

I’m Google

Batches of images that Dina Kelberman culls from the internet are compiled into a long stream-of-consciousness.

Mid Week Distraction No. 22

the development of NYC’s skyline

elevator in the 1 World Trade Center building shows a time lapse of the development of the skyline from the 1500s

Mid Week Distraction No. 22

the ingenious design of the aluminium can

alimunum, aluminium, whatever.

Mid Week Distraction No. 22

Painting The Town

a 1983 editorial from Vogue where Anna Wintour paired artists with fashion. awesome.

Mid Week Distraction No. 22

Last fuckable day

Amy Schumer, Tina Fey, Julia Louis-Dreyfus & Rosanna Arquette poke fun at aging in Hollywood


  1. Great roundup. I just started “Galore” by Michael Crummey and it is absolutely beautiful. Highly recommended.

  2. Love this week’s distractions!

    The last few books I’ve read (and devoured) are “Girl On The Train”, by Paula Hawkins, “Brain On Fire: My Month of Madness”, by Susannah Cahalan, and “Station Eleven” by Emily St. John Mandel.

    And earlier this year, I loved reading “All the Light We Cannot See”, by Anthony Doerr. This just won the pulitzer prize for fiction!

    • i actually bought All the light we cannot see for my sister-in-law for Christmas – i’ll have to borrow it from her!

  3. Here are my top ten:
    1) Man in a Sharkskin suit – Lucette Lagnado
    2) When the crocodile eats the sun – Peter Godwin
    3) Swamplandia – Karen Russell
    4) Unbroken – Laura Hillenbrand
    5) Cutting for Stone – Abraham Verghese
    6) A Tree grows in Brooklyn – Betty Smith
    7) Wind, sand and Stars – Antoine, De Saint-exupery
    8) Americanah – Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche (havent read it yet, but next on my list)


  4. I’d highly recommend The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer. The book follows a group of gifted teenagers from their time at summer camp through their sprawling adult lives. I related to this book so much–it tackles issues of identity, success (especially in the arts), relationships–a really intricate book with intriguing characters.

  5. If you’re looking for something on the lighter side, I really enjoyed The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan last weekend!

  6. I liked Station Eleven as well! The Paying Guests was also good.
    Kavalier and Clay is my favourite book ever if you’ve not read it. More favourites are The Brief Wonderous life of Oscar Wao and Freedom/The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen.
    The sweetness at the bottom of the pie is a little bit lighter but an excellent book about a girl who becomes a detective.

  7. I am reading All the Light We Cannot See right now and it is fantastic. For guilty pleasure reading, try the Tana French mystery series–so absorbing and spooky. All of the books above are great suggestions though!

  8. i just finished reading Lynsey Addario’s memoir It’s What I Do: A Photographer’s Life in Love and War. Such a great read, she is an incredible human.

  9. As a bookseller, I re-endorse:

    All the Light We Cannot See
    Station Eleven

    And add:
    Alena by Rachel Pastan (suspense, contemporary art, beautiful prose)
    Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter (Italy, Hollywood, and multi-generational)
    The Perfume Collector by Kathleen Tessaro (romance, glamour, 1920s Paris/NY & 1950s London)

    Any book by Kate Morton (mysteries, women)

  10. I loved The Painter by Peter Heller. Best book I’ve read all year!

  11. I just opened about half of these in new tabs – awesome round up! As for books, I just ordered The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo. Everyone SWEARS by it, and I am looking forward to reading/cutting down on clutter.


  12. Anna Heineman Reply

    Books: Americanah, Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche. Her words about race have crept into my soul.

    Thank you, always, for your finds! It’s great to send one your way!

  13. ‘Rebecca’ by Daphne du Maurier (who also wrote ‘The Birds’)! The perfect vacation read. It’s romantic, suspenseful, finely drawn and kind of twisted. I wish I could have the experience of reading it for the first time again. Also ‘West with the Night’ by Beryl Markham if you haven’t read it already. I recommend them both to everyone.

  14. The Girl on the Train (Hawkins), The Silent Wife (Harrison), and Under Your Skin (Durant)–these are mystery/suspense type novels that will hook you right in :). I’ve just read them recently and I would have read each of them in one sitting if I could. :)

  15. ‘Astonish Me’ by Maggie Shipstead is fantastic – set in the States over three decades (but not too long), it’s about ballet, defection from Russia, romance, and so much more!

    ‘Only Ever Yours’ by Louise O’ Neill – searing and feminist and haunting.

  16. Hello, thank you for your wonderful blog. I’m always looking for your refreshing news.
    I have recently read Donna Tartt’s Goldfinch. Have you read it? It was so difficult to me to fall asleep every night because i couldn’t stop reading it. I’m sure you will love it! ;)

    • i actually have this on my Kindle and i haven’t read it yet – might just be at the top of the list now!

  17. I was completely sucked into ‘The Goldfinch’ last month on holiday. I couldn’t put it down, and found it to be just what I wanted to be reading during my vacation time.

  18. Just finished ‘enduring love’ by Ian McEwan and it’s so artfully written that you just float through from very start to finish. Quick easy and suspenseful, nice light read (about stalking, lol, doesn’t sound very light does it, but it won’t take more than a day or two of your life to read it even if you’re super busy. It’s a quick thrill. (Unlike Anna Karenina which is taking me a whole year to get through. Groan!)

  19. I recommend The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan. I read it over one weekend because I couldn’t put it down. It’s about Australian POWs on the Burma Line, and as you might expect, is deeply affecting and harrowing – but also incredibly beautiful. It deservedly won the Man-Booker prize for fiction.

  20. I’m am currently absorbed by T.C. Boyle’s “World’s End”, which is not very new, but if you haven’t read it yet, I very much recommend it. I want it to go on forever! It has everything one could want – drama, humour, history, wit, suspension! Same goes for Kate Atkinson’s novels, which I always read in one go, preferrably at the weekend. “Life after life” is a wonderful book and has a very unusual timeline, it’s worth being read again and again! Enjoy your weekend!

    • right?!?! i’ve been bringing it up in conversation every opportunity i get and i’m like, “steak! they ONLY eat steak!” i actually can’t think of anything worse.

    • Ha!! I’ve been thinking the same thing. I was like, why isn’t anyone mentioning the STEAK!!!!

  21. The Orphan Masters Son by Adam Johnson was the most affecting book I’ve read in years. It’s set in North Korea (don’t let that put you off) and follows one mans journey from orphan to POW camp to America and back again (I realise I’m not really selling it here)… But it is incredible. I assure you that you will NOT be able to put it down, and it will stay with you for months. Also won the Pulitzer.

    Great list as always, thank you x

    • I agree! This and The Goldfinch (also mentioned) are award winners for a reason, but this one took on a country that is infinitely interesting, timely, imaginative, and informational.

  22. The guiltiest of guilty pleasures – The Magicians Series by Lev Grossman. I read all three books in the span of a week. It’s a snarky YA trilogy – think Harry Potter/Chronicles of Narnia with college age kids suffering from major ennui. Great holiday read – BRAIN CANDY!

  23. The Financial Lives of the Poets by Jess Walter
    and if you enjoy that then
    Anything by Joshua Ferris

  24. One of the most suspenseful can’t put it down books I’ve ever read is “The Ministry of Fear” by Graham Greene. It was written during WWII and is about a widower that wins a cake in a raffle at a fair and then people want to kill him. It is like an early Hitchcock movie. Another suspenseful enthralling mystery is “N or M?” by Agatha Christie.
    P.S. As usual I love this post, so thank you!

  25. I’m a little late for the weekend but definitely add this to your list:

    ‘The History of Love’ by Nicole Strauss. She used to be married to Jonathan Safran Foer and is as brilliant a writer (if not better) as he is x

  26. What a great reading list! Three of my favorite “can’t put down” reads : Seven Years in Tibet by Heinrich Harrer–Much more complex and even deeper and more beautiful than the 1997 movie version. Kon-Tiki by Thor Heyerdahl– Just an amazing true adventure story. We The Living by Ayn Rand– Such a powerful novel. Oh, one more! I just recently found out about Women in Clothes, a compilation of stories about just that.. it was read live on the radio show Selected Shorts a few weeks ago, and I fell in love.

  27. I love Donna Tartt. I’ve read the secret history and the Goldfinch and both bloved them!

    Other recommendations are classics like Hotel Nes Hampshire and East of Eden. All of the above will take you into their own world. Hope you have a fantastic few days off!

  28. Seconding the suggestion made earlier re: My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante. I have a feeling you will really enjoy it, plus if you like it there are more, plus I read it in one giant gulp and couldn’t put it down until the ending, which was one of the most startling endings to a book I have ever encountered (I threw my copy across the room!)

  29. I haven’t read it yet but my mom is obsessed with My Brilliant Friend, and I think it’s a series…number two is out now. Area X is a new one on my list to read, sounds intriguing and mysterious plus that book jacket design is killer.

  30. Everything Matters by Ron Currie Jr.
    Anything by Salinger, and his documentary/biography.
    How Should a Person Be? by Sheila Heti.
    Speedboat by Renata Adler.

    • Oh, Dave Eggers (A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius and The Circle) and anything by George Saunders also worth mentioning!

  31. Lindsey Miscia Reply

    The First Bad Man by Miranda July, The Road by Cormac McCarthy, and Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay are all excellent and quick reads!

    • The Road has stuck with me more than any other book i know. years later and i still think about it!

  32. I know this maybe a bit dated but i always like a good recommendation, so heres one from me: Delphine de Vigan, Nothing Holds Back the Night (Best book you will ever read) and Olga Tokarczuk’s Drive your plough over the bones of the dead( macabre title i know, but its good) Love your blog! Hi from Denmark.

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