My Latest Score: By the Book.
Have you started our book club book? I am deeply impressed. After reading the first short story, I immediately texted one of my sisters to recommend it — I could tell it would be right up her alley, and she often takes me to task (not really) for my beach read addiction; this book is heftier. (Not difficult to read, though — just exceptionally well-crafted, varied, imaginative, and they say something.) I am savoring every story and taking time to properly annotate as I read in anticipation of our first in-person book club meeting, so when I woke in the middle of the night and found myself unable to fall back asleep, I felt like I needed something more mindless — something I wouldn’t mind nodding of to. Basically, I needed a light-hearted sidecar. After crawling through Amazon and GoodReads for a good thirty minutes, I settled on Julia Sonneborn’s By the Book, a modern-day re-telling of Persuasion, which is my absolute favorite Austen book, because I relate so deeply to its heroine, Anne Elliott. (No, really — remember when I identified her as my favorite heroine ever?!) But guess how Sonneborn has reimagined the novel? “An English professor struggling for tenure discovers that her ex-fiancé has just become the president of her college—and her new boss—in this whip-smart modern retelling of Jane Austen’s classic.” YAAAAS.
*Image above from here.
P.S. – If you’re in NYC and want to join our first in-person book club meeting, please sign up by inputting your email below — and if you’ve already emailed me to ask to be on this list, you’re already on the list! I’ll be sending out a formal invite for our inaugural book club in the next few days, and the first 10 women to respond will secure a spot:
You’re Sooooo Popular: The Mara Hoffman Sale.
The most popular items on Le Blog this week:
+My dream dress for a summer wedding. I die!
+My favorite running shoes, though one of you smart readers (also an avid runner) pointed out that these shoes offer minimal support, and you should get your gait examined if you’re in the market for a new pair!
+Darling, dramatic blouse on super sale.
#Turbothot: Breaking Up with Friends.
Have you ever had to part ways with a friend? As an adult? It’s a weird concept, really, and it feels borderline infantile — the kind of thing you might expect of seven year olds trading secrets after school while waiting in the carpool pickup covey. “No, Miranda’s not my friend. I’m only friends with Charlotte.”
A friendship isn’t, at least in my experience, the kind of thing that you snap into and snap out of. But over the past few years, I’ve had to part ways with two friends — and I didn’t do it face-to-face, either. In both cases, I came to the realization that the friendship made me feel badly about myself. I would come home after a coffee date or hang up after a phone call and feel less than, depleted — and I’d turn to Mr. Magpie for comfort. His response was always in the posture of protection: “What is she thinking?” and “That is so weird. Yuck. You shouldn’t spend time with her,” and sometimes, at a loss for words, a blanketing “I don’t know, Jennie. I love you.”
With both friendships, after much heartache, I decided that the best thing would be to quietly fade into the distance–not an Irish goodbye, exactly, but a gradual withdrawing. A part of me thinks that I owed them an explanation for the increasingly sporadic responses I would offer, the polite declines to invitations. (Was it cowardly of me to not say something outright? Was it unfair of me not to offer them the opportunity to rebut my claims?) But most of me thinks that I had given them years and years of time, dozens and dozens of instances of “I’ll just shrug that off” or “I’ll just politely move on,” and that I did not have the energy or, frankly, the desire to go toe-to-toe with someone who I was quite sure was simply not a good fit for me and my life.
I remember getting drinks with a now dear friend, W., early into our friendship. She said to me: “I’m only interested in being friends with people who are authentic, honest, and lift other people up.” She said it pat-ly, as though it was something she’d rehearsed a thousand times. I found it endearing; it was as if she was on a first date, and she’d given some thought to what she needed out of any relationship she might enter into. (I trust I passed her screening…ha!) She was onto something there; I think it’s fair and healthy to consider whether the people with whom I surround myself are life-enhancers (to borrow Lee’s excellent turn of phrase). Isn’t life too short to do it any other way?
What do you think? What has your experience been?
#Shopaholic: The Melamine Plate.
+Can we talk about how incredible these melamine plates are?! We’re attending TWO picnics in Central Park this weekend, and I wished I’d ordered these in advance!
+Love these for mini in the strawberry print.
+I wrote about these in yesterday’s post, but I really want these dipped leggings. So chic! Love the pastels.
+My favorite pearled mules are available in a fun new colorway!
+Love these marble-effect mixing bowls. I know they’re meant for food prep, but I’m primarily interested in serving popcorn and chips out of them — and how they’d look styled on our shelves!
+This chic beach kimono looks like it’s by LemLem, but costs a lot less!
+In honor of cinco de mayo, how fun are these earrings?!
+This cherry print bag!!!! Love the size.
+These look like D. Porthault, but cost far less!