Laura Recommends

August Recommendations III

September 2, 2019

After what seemed like an endless holiday, I am back to uni and an internship, but I figured until I get neck-deep into work and books, I might as well share with you a massive list of recommendations from the past four weeks.

BTW, on the 1st of September I celebrated the 7th anniversary of my blogging adventure career debut, so it’s safe to say the transition from August to September is always a happy one for me 🙂


Libreria, London

This bookshop was on all lists I have found about beautiful bookish places in London. It is way smaller than I thought, but this is props to the optical illusion created by the mirror ceiling. It had by far one of the best selections of books in London and considering its size this is very impressive! Also, the reading nooks were perfect! Will definitely return there on my next London visit.

Pages Cheshire Street, London

This place was recommended to me by someone at Libreria and I have to say it’s one of the best ideas and executions I have seen in a long time. The purpose of this bookshop is to showcase only books and other literary products written and created by women, trans or gender diverse people. This does not mean this is a bookshop with just feminist books, as some people may think, but a place to find books of all kinds, from economics to science fiction. It made me more aware of the gender ratio of the books I was reading, so I highly recommend this place if you are in London!

John Sandoe Books, London

This is another fantastic bookshop. It’s lesser known, but again, the selection of books is fantastic, the staff is very kind and helping, and the atmosphere of book-crowded rooms is just my cup of tea!

Food – Bigger than the Plate, Victoria and Albert Museum London

This is perhaps, one of the most thought provoking and habit-changing exhibits I have been on the past years. I learned a lot and I got to watch and experience the results of so many innovative projects, so I have sent all my London friends there to see it. It’s a must if you the least bit interested in food, its origins, the sustainability of mass farming and cattle raising and more. On until October 20th.

God’s Own Junkyard, London

Yes, this may be an Instagram famous place. But unlike many places I have visited, it’s not an Instagram trap, but a place to marvel at a fantastic collection of neon signs. It is the closest I have felt to an American place in an European setting and it left me smiling for hours.

Saint Dunstan in the East Church Garden, London

This church, very close to Sky Garden, has been bombarded in the war and has now become a stone-walled garden with arched windows and doors. It’s absolutely fascinating and saddening at the same time, but I am surely happy it was not completely tore down and just left like this, so visitors can have tangible sights of war’s cultural destruction.

De Koffieschenkerij, Amsterdam

Visited this coffee place on the last day of summer and I have already posted about it on Instagram as well. This place truly ticks all boxes: it has a great location (the garden of the oldest church in Amsterdam), fabulous coffee and lemonade and plenty of character and history. Go there in the mornings, so it’s less crowded.


The Hidden Life of Trees – Peter Wohlleben

This has been one of the most surprising books I have read this year. I have learned so much and did even some 180 regarding certain things I didn’t question until now, such as older trees produce more oxygen than younger ones (which should worry us) or that…

A Gentleman in Moscow – Amor Towles

This book was on the reading lists of Barack Obama and Bill and Melinda Gates, so I knew I had to read it. While it was not my usual read, I found it very pleasant and entertaining. It was well written, the characters were charming and peculiar in their own ways and it was one of the few reads I went through this year with no major eye roll moments. A true feat!

I also listened to two audio books: Wonder by R J Palacio and No One Is Too Small To Make a Difference by Greta Thunberg. Wonder was great, heartwarming and sweet, and Greta Thunberg’s book was a powerful and urgent manifesto about the climate crisis. I recommend both of them 😊

Of course, the books featured in my Recommendation articles are not all the books I read in a year, I simply want to spare you of mediocre books or books I would never recommend.


An Inconvenient Truth

Why, yes, I am recommending you to watch the world’s most famous documentary on climate change. I shamelessly only got to watch it this month (via YouTube’s movie selection, it cost me 4 euros) and I completely understand why it became such a sensation. It’s serving hard facts backed by science, emotional imagery and a strong and somehow contained plea to start making a difference. I don’t know how Al Gore would go on about making this documentary in 2020, but I am pretty sure the message would have to be even more urgent.


On the same note, this documentary was the final straw to convince me to ditch as many animal-based products from my diet. I already said goodbye to cow milk last year, but I have now started changing more things, such as limiting my meat intake to max. once per week. I found Cowspiracy more graphic and disturbing than An Inconvenient Truth, so prepare for some unpleasant, yet highly necessary visuals.

La Casa de Papel – Netflix ES

Everybody was talking about this Netflix series, so as always I had to watch it to understand why it was so praised. #FOMO. I have to agree this was a very good and entertaining series, with plenty twists and turns, memorable songs (anyone else also has Bella Ciao stuck in their head?!) and also incredibly funny moments. The script didn’t have solutions for all loose ends in season 2 and season 3 and I sometimes asked myself why the series showed the viewers something (eg. A character’s obsession) and then never brought it up again.

How Wildlife films warp time – VOX

This VOX video made me go back to my unfinished episodes of Our Planet with even way more respect and admiration for the production work that goes into creating those incredible images we gasp at and remain in awe.


The Dubious Business of Food Delivery –  Derek Thompson for The Atlantic

After discovering that Derek Thompson (author of one of my favourite books this year, Hit Makers) is an editor for The Atlantic, I started tracking everything he wrote. This piece is so well written and it has so many insightful thoughts that it’s hard not to quote here the one that struck me the most: “convenience maximalism”. Think about that for a second in relation to food delivery apps.

Why Online Dating Can Feel Like Such an Existential Nightmare – Derek Thompson for The Atlantic

Another fantastic article by Thompson. Let me offer you this quote as a taster:

If the journey toward coupling is more formidable than it used to be, it’s also more lonesome. With the declining influence of friends and family and most other social institutions, more single people today are on their own, having set up shop at a digital bazaar where one’s appearance, interestingness, quick humor, lighthearted banter, sex appeal, photo selection—one’s worth—is submitted for 24/7 evaluation before an audience of distracted or cruel strangers, whose distraction and cruelty might be related to the fact that they are also undergoing the same anxious appraisal.

A woman’s greatest enemy? A lack of time for herself – Brigid Schulte for the Guardian

The title of this article instantly hooked me on to read it. While it may appear the society at large is making historical strides towards gender equality, reality begs to differ. This article looks at how women are still clocking more housework time than their partners and how this may affect their passions and resources for creative and personal projects.

I hope you had a wonderful summer and that you are now feeling recharged and inspired to start new projects!


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