Laura Recommends

April Recommendations II

May 3, 2019
cover picture: me as Waldo in Wonderland. or Waldoland. @Voorlinden Museum. Tiny elevators by Maurizio Cattelan. Picture by my friend, Anna

First and foremost, welcome to!!! Why, yes, I have reached peak narcissism, thank you very much for noticing. And please do take extra time to ponder why it took me a total of 10 hours to do the new logo, which is basically a signature (visible on the top AND bottom of the pages fyi)! All jokes aside, transferring all the content from one domain to the other turned out to be a much bigger hassle than I thought (for reference, I bought the new domain name last July), but it’s already worth it. Both because I want my website to be the home of all my projects and articles, so from a professional pov, it’s better to be associated with my real name, and also because the website needed to level up a bit and keep up with my personal growth and image.

Alright, now that I finished humblebragging, let’s get to April Recommendations. You’d better have space to open lots of tabs, because this month is FULL OF GOOD STUFF.


BOOKSTORES: How to Read More Books in the Golden Age of Content – Max Joseph

If you only watch one of the video/series recommendations, please make it this one. It’s 37 minutes long, but it is so SO WORTH IT. Max is on a quest to read more books and while trying to do that, he visits some of the most beautiful bookstores in the world, from Belgium and the Netherlands to Argentina and Brazil. The video is A FEAST for both your eyes and your mind.

How Leonardo da Vinci made a “satellite” map in 1502 – Vox

This is part of these kinds of videos you watch and remain stunned at how advanced da Vinci’s thinking and methods were 500 YEARS AGO. It’s a short video, so perfect for snack time.

UV Camera Reveals The Best Way to Apply Sunscreen to Your Face – Gizmodo

Since summer is approaching, I thought this video would be super relevant because it shows how effective different types of sunscreen are. Eye-opening for sure. This video also convinced me to go out and buy an SPF 15 lip balm. Watch the clip to understand why.

Why Every Map of China is Just Slightly Wrong – Half as Interesting

Every month I am trying to learn something more about Asia and this video has certainly satisfied a bit of my curiosity. While Chinese maps may be incredibly confusing and misleading, the video presents some ingenious solutions.

Our Planet – David Attenborough (for Netflix)

Heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time, Attenborough and the entire documentary team managed once again to show people how beautiful our planet is, how lucky and truly blessed we are, and also how UTTERLY URGENT it is to tackle climate change.

Big Little Lies – HBO

After hearing one of Reese Witherspoon’s speeches on the power of female representation in movies and her work on her own production house (which also made Gone Girl and Wild), I decided I would watch her newest series, about which I heard lots of positive reviews. And it did not disappoint. Besides Reese herself, the cast includes Nicole Kidman, Laura Dern, Shailene Woodley, Zoë Kravitz, Alexander Skarsgård, Adam Scott and starting with the upcoming season, also MERYL STREEP!!! Season 2 will be out June 9th, so get on the bandwagon already!

The Call to Courage – Brene Brown (for Netflix)

I kept telling myself I would get to read one of Brene’s books, but there never seems to be enough time for all the books I want to read. So, naturally, the closest thing I could do to learn a bit more about her and her mentality was to watch her newly-launched Netflix documentary. It’s funny, light, relatable and perfect for a cozy night in.


Wild – Cheryl Strayed

After starting a little hiking-related media consumption process last month, I had to read Wild as well, since it had been on my bookshelf for more than a year, but never got its time to shine. While I don’t agree with a lot of stuff from the book, the writing is superb, honest and raw (in a good way). It made me realize once more that we shouldn’t necessarily read or watch only the stuff we agree with completely (hence, our self-made filter bubbles), but learn to appreciate good stories written or told well.

On Writing – Stephen King

Since I am a non-fiction fan, I have never really gotten around reading anything by Stephen King. Of course, I knew he must have been a great writer, but never really knew why. This book he wrote is full of great advice, personal stories, and an overall kick-in-the-butt to persevere to write, so I now have a clearer idea why he is so good at what he does. I might even read one of his classic fiction stories because of this, so I am open to suggestions with what Stephen King book I should start with.


Brace yourselves, this is a long section. It’s partly dedicated to understanding younger generations because I find articles like the following absolutely fascinating.

This is 18 Around The World- The New York Times

This is an absolutely fascinating collection of photos and stories from girls around the world and the issues and the thoughts they experiment at this young age. It highlights very finely the similarities and the differences between girls from different countries and backgrounds, and it does that in a particularly beautiful and interactive way.

900 Voices from Gen Z – America’s Most Diverse Generation – The New York Times

The New York Times asked 900 teenagers and young adults what makes them different from their friends. The results and some of the stories they shared are absolutely fascinating and helped me get a newfound hope in humanity, or at least, a part of it.

Investor’s Guide to Gen Z – Bloomberg

I particularly liked this article because it fleshes out the current and future trends and their economical impact. If you want to create products and services for the youngest generation or you want to understand them and incorporate them in your strategy, this is a great starting point.

Millennials are Screwed – Huffington Post

I absolutely loved the way this article smashes misconceptions, mean generalizations and absurd perspectives on Millennials, while still managing to “keep it real”. It’s also brilliantly illustrated and animated and should at least deserve recognition for the amazing and interactive visuals.

Who is Billie Eilish – Vox

If you have no clue who Billie Eilish is, you are probably over 25. This 17 years old singer took the world by storm with her hauntingly beautiful voice, her scary music videos, her maturity beyond her age and her luxury rapper-like outfits which completely oppose the overly-sexualized popstar standards. She recently dropped an album, went on tour and did much more, including a merchandise collab with visual artist Takashi Murakami.

Recreating Facebook on Instagram – The Atlantic

Since i increasingly more young prospective students use Facebook less and Instagram more, it should then come to no surprise they use the latter app to connect with each other before starting their university experience. Some of the accounts highlighted by this article include feeds where students submit their story and a picture in the hopes of bonding with people with the same major inclination, same hobbies or same needs, such as flat hunting. Truly fascinating read.

How British pop-culture gave birth to Brexit – Cafe Babel

The Tudors, Queen Victoria, Downton Abbey, Dunkirk, Victoria and Abdul and other series and films of the past two decades seem to have impacted and maybe even distorted the scale of grandiosity people refer to while thinking of the UK, making it seem as if this country has always managed to survive independently due to the greatness, courage and perhaps even wealth of its people. Read the article to see how this may have lead UK nationals to come up with Brexit beliefs.

Against Chill: Apathetic Music to Make Spreadsheets to – The New Yorker

Another great article on this month’s Recommendations – this one highlights how our sonic environment seems to be completely devoured by constant sound bites: we listen to music when we cook, dance, work out, study, write, have dinner with friends etc. and we don’t really seem to give our brains a break and some well deserved silence. Besides the valid points the article makes I would also add: from whom or from what are we running in our quest to rule out silence?

Netflix wants to change the way you chill – BuzzFeed News

Another piece involving chilling and our constant content consumption – this time taking Netflix as a case study. A longer read, but absolutely fabulous. I might even add eye-opening for some people, since it encourages readers to reassess their own Netflix consumption. Great to see content of this level on BuzzFeed.


Zoku – Amsterdam

While Zoku has been on my Amsterdam wishlist for over a year, I only got to check it out this April. It’s a super cool 4 star hotel located few minutes away from Waterlooplein and the city centre, and it’s also a place people can go to work from, meet with friends, get some bites to eat and have drinks on the many terraces of the building. It’s definitely worth a visit regardless if you stay there overnight or not.

Museum Voorlinden – the Hague

Another destination which has been on my list for a year, Museum Voorlinden proved to be my favourite contemporary art museum. Besides their permanent exhibit (which is absolutely wonderful!), the museum currently hosts a special Yayoi Kusama exhibit celebrating her 90th anniversary. It felt absolutely magical to step a bit into Kusama’s mind, and I would gladly do the museum experience again.


The Creators Issue – The Verge

While researching for my thesis, I discovered that The Verge dedicated lots of time and webpage real estate to Instagram, YouTube and TikTok content creators (and more!) and you should definitely have a look at the articles included in this Issue if you are interested in the lifestyle of vloggers, the financial sustainability of content creators, product knockoffs and much more.

If you made it this far, congrats and enjoy going through (hopefully) all the tabs you have now opened!

For any feedback, don’t hesitate to reach out to me in the comment section below or via email ( – old school, I know!)

Have a great May,


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