Laura Recommends

June, July, and August Recommendations

September 1, 2020

I know it’s been a while since my last article. But don’t worry – I have meticulously saved everything I loved watching, reading, and discovering over the summer months.

I am beyond happy I managed to assemble all my lists into one article because it feels like an extra special treat. Which it is, since this post also marks my 8 year blogging anniversary!

These being said, here are my favorite…

BOOKS

Girl, Woman, Other – Bernardine Evaristo

This must be one of the most memorable books I have read in 2020. Bernardine Evaristo successfully crafted 12 stories of absolutely fascinating women. She also perfectly managed to portray these women through a unique calibration of words that is neither cumbersome nor confusing.

Atonement – Ian McEwan

Ian McEwan is a master of words, and this book is a masterpiece in itself. Beautiful, painful, emotional, real, fictional – it had everything.
Briony was impeccably crafted as a character – McEwan has a perfect grip on childhood, children’s thoughts, and their behavior. And even though I kept reminding myself that the characters and actions are fictional, I still couldn’t bring myself not to hate Briony and pity Cecilia and Robbie.

Uninhabitable Earth – David Wallace Wells

It’s hard to love a book about a topic as grim as the climate crisis. But our reality may be equally grim if we don’t take global action towards our emissions. This is a very well written and well documented book. I am (oddly) very excited to read more books on the topic so I can make better comparisons.

The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini

“Khaled Hosseini writes about the bonds that define us and shape our lives, and how the choices we make resonate through history.” I don’t know what else to add. Other than that this has to be one of the most memorable, beautiful, and heartbreaking stories I have ever read.

Casele vietilor noastre – multiple authors (RO)

This has got to be one of the most beautiful books I have read in 2020. It is made up of 15 stories crafted by some of the biggest Romanian writers and it is full of character, emotion and memories. It’s a delightful reading experience and a masterclass in writing and celebrating Romanian vocabulary.

Acasă, pe drum: 4 ani teleleu – Elena Stancu, Cosmin Bumbut (RO)

A book about the real Romania and the courage to live differently and document this reality. Impeccable and simple writing. Memorable photography. A gorgeous gift idea.

VIDEOS

Hans Zimmer Breaks Down His Legendary Career – Vanity Fair
The master of epic soundtracks offers a bit more insight into how he got involved in certain projects, including his initial reservations about The Lion King or Pirates of the Caribbean. Absolutely fascinating and inspiring.

Insecure’s Yvonne Orji Teaches You Nigerian Slang – Vanity Fair

Yvonne Orji is so fun to watch and listen – she is simply bursting with great energy! Watch her explain Nigerian Slang in the video above and have a look at Insecure as well (HBO)!

What Happens to a Movie Without a Camera Operator? Reverse Film School – Vanity Fair

This is both hilarious and instructive, and if you have a passion or curiosity for movies, you will love learning more about what happens behind the scenes. This is an ongoing series that Vanity Fair produces, so once you are done watching this video, you can check out the others as well.

The whole working from home thing – Apple

This has got to be one of the funniest, most spot-on and time-relevant ads of 2020. I love that the ad started from a real-life situation and then cleverly integrated the Apple products, services, and ecosystem, rather than the other way round. This is in fact, a follow-up ad to Apple at Work, a campaign from 2019.

Strandbeest

If you are searching for an eerily calming and fascinating video that combines art and physics, look no further than this recording of Theo Jansen’s fascinating beach creatures. It sounds weird (and it is), but it’s really mesmerizing and worth watching.

Dating Around – Netflix

My coworkers raved about this show, so I obviously had to find out what was all the fuss about. I was honestly expecting a very awkward and cringy show, but what I got instead were plenty of laughs, the satisfaction of seeing great chemistry on screen, and even a crying moment. It’s a very enjoyable show.

The Last Dance – Netflix

Not in a million years did I think I would be entranced by basketball. I am glad that the Last Dance changed my mind. In the beginning, I thought there were too many episodes to explain a single NBA season, but as I started watching I understood that it would be impossible to explain the last championship of the Chicago Bulls, as led by Michael Jordan, without explaining all the work and events leading up to it. It’s an absolutely captivating show, even for people who don’t know much about basketball.

The World’s Most Extraordinary Homes – Netflix

I lost count at the number of times I gasped or said WOW or simply paused an episode in order to savor the beauty of some houses. This is a stunning show which will make you appreciate good architecture even more.

ARTICLES

The fast fashion fix: 20 ways to stop buying new clothes for ever – Lauren Bravo

While researching more about the relationship between fast fashion and sustainability, I stumbled across this article which I found very constructive and practical. I bookmarked it and then looked up its author, Lauren Bravo. Turns out she also wrote a book about the topic, which I have to read now, of course.

A misérables trip – Penguin UK

This hilarious piece from Penguin (the publishing house) answers the question “what if novels were reviewed in the same way tourist destinations are online?”. Some of the novels reviewed are The Great Gatsby, Les Misérables, and Dracula.

PLACES*

* All are located in Bucharest.

Avocadoo 2

This is the first extension of a Romanian brand focused on healthier eating-out options. The whole design of the place is super nice, quite photogenic, and laid back. I wrote more about this in an Instagram post.

Carturesti Verso

Carturesti is already known worldwide for its superb Carousel bookshop, but Carturesti Verso is a smaller sibling that also deserves some love. It hosts a mix of design objects and books, with enough options to satisfy any book lover.

Fico Gelato & More

This is a newly opened space in Bucharest with amazing ice cream and cakes. Forget I said “amazing”. They have THE BEST mango cake I ever tasted. It’s a brand and concept where you can instantly notice the thought that went into each detail and product.

MORE

Window swap

You probably saw this link floating around during the first half of the year, but I only recently got to explore this website and it is so cool and surprisingly calming. Highly recommend it.

Ta-dum! It’s Netflix – Twenty thousand hertz

This amazing podcast tells “the stories behind the world’s most recognizable and interesting sounds”. I absolutely enjoyed learning more about sonic logos in this special episode about Netflix.

I hope you enjoyed this list of recommendations. If you did, share it with a friend who you think might like it too.

Here’s to 8 more years of writing!

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