inspiration diary: June // summer solstice edition

the effortlessly cool Grace Kelly, ca. 1950s - via tumblr

in this heat all i want to do is eat seafood and fancy salads, lounge by the beach in a vintage print maillot swimsuit, and get lost in a great novel. 

shop + wear //
it's pretty hard to out-do last week's sale gems, but it's a great week to shop if you're looking for stylish and affordable summery essentials. my picks: the hawaiian print linen dress (additional 30% off) and this super chic maillot one-piece (additional 25% off).

can't leave the house without: my super handy trio bag, aviator sunnies, and a good read

read //
i'm getting to my summer reading list a bit late this year, but so far:
  • something by John le Carré (any recommendations?)
  • the man who mistook his wife for a hat
  • the ocean at the end of the lane
  • the year of magical thinking
  • slouching towards bethlehem
  • let's explore diabetes with owls
  • crazy rich asians* (this one filed under #trashyreads)
...and still catching up on issues of The New Yorker. i think treating myself to some back issues of The Gentlewoman is in order this weekend. maybe i'll finally start a small collection of real magazines again.

Julie Delpy & Ethan Hawke in Before Midnight: probably my favorite romantic-film couple ever.
if you haven't seen the first two films, highly recommend Before Sunrise & Before Sunset

watch //
after going through all the noirish, critically-acclaimed crime series since the start of the year and finishing all the episodes of Sherlock last month, for a while i was stuck in a TV-limbo world of meh. (Downton, so disappointing. Mad Men season 6, not so much).
  • The Sopranos: the sad news of James Gandolfini's passing really reminded me that this is the one show i've somehow never seen. almost done with season 1 and it. is. so. good.
  • Before Midnight: i've seen both of the earlier films in this trilogy. such great characters, such great screenwriting.
  • Frances Ha: the indie film i've been meaning to see...
  • Breaking Bad: final season, gah! 
what are you wearing/reading/watching this summer?


  1. I recently watched The Fall with Gillian Anderson, another BBC crime drama series and I really liked it (I might be biased though because I love Scully of The X-Files!), the first season is on Netflix. Must watch Before Midnight! Maybe this weekend. This weather has been awful! Hot, humid, with a threat of rain at all times, all I ever feel like doing is sitting indoors with my A/C on full blast and watch Netflix :-(

    1. BBC really does some great shows. i hear you on the weather - i'm hoping it gets better in time for 4th of July :)

  2. loving this blog of yours, so very much

  3. Hmm I haven't heard of any of those books, I guess I have some things to look up :) Right now I'm just starting Mo Meta Blues (Questlove's new memoir) as well as a few books related to Latin America, and (big hopefully on this one) Norwegian Wood. I'm a pretty slow/not super focused reader so I'm really hoping to get through it all.

    As far as watching goes, I'm trying to get back into documentaries/catch up on this past season of Mad Men!

    1. hehe. i was listening to an interview with Questlove the other day. i totally need to add some new music to my roster...

  4. That sounds like a good summer!
    I am all about ikat clothing, tribal or delicate gold jewelry worn either with my Trinas or my trusted Marc by Marc Jacobs wood platforms (very useful for navigating puddles!).
    Currently reading Stephen King's memoir/writing guide, "On Writing" -- and waiting to read "Lean in" as well as "An Indian Summer" a memoir by James Cameron, a British journalist who worked in India.
    Watching Mad Men and Suits, my new favourite show :)

    1. ooh let me know how you like Lean In. i'm probably going to read it and try to form an opinion of my own, regardless of all the good/bad press.

  5. So interesting that you featured the Midnight/Sunrise/Sunset trilogy as I was just reading about how it is actually the lowest grossing film to spawn a sequel. But it does have quite a cult following now ... but I have not actually seen any of them yet. Something to put on my to do list.

    1. ha! it's a rare gem i think. queue it up for a rainy weekend or a weekend afternoon!

  6. Love your summer inspiration, you've put me in the mood to unwind and let go a bit. The Ocean at the end of the Lane is on my list as well! Considered buying it but it was a shade too thin to last me a whole two weeks away. But the first chapter is very promising.

    I cheated a bit with John Le Carre because I found it difficult to get into the rhythm of his books...the first book of his I actually finished was The Constant Gardener, because I'd seen the movie! But I think The Spy Who Came In From The Cold is a good one. I'm itching to start on Zoe Heller's The Believers but saving that for my trip; so I'm rereading Elizabeth Kostova's The Historian - the perfect cinematic book to lose yourself in.

    I was a bit sceptical when I read that they were making Before Midnight because I thought maybe it was dragging out a single concept for too long, but the reviews look very promising. I loved the first two, especially Before Sunset - I think I watched all of them at the right time of my life!

    I'm looking forward to Breaking Bad as well, I love a show that's really kept its pace well...even Mad Men is faltering (I like season 6 though, uneven as it was). And I think Sherlock is coming back this fall! For now, I am enjoying Veep and using some of their choice insults at my office.

    1. thanks lin - i hope you're able to block out negative silliness at work and enjoy your summer :) i've never read any John le Carre but i did really like Richard Burton in The Spy Who Came in from the Cold. what a beautiful, tragic, and brilliantly acted film.

      have you heard the NPR interview with RL, EH and JD on Before Midnight? quite an interesting conversation!

  7. Very nice summer list! I have never read anything by John le Carré, but if you like thrillers, fast-paced action and interesting characters, I could suggest "The Poet" by Michael Connelly.

    On the film/series side I have been very happily surprised by Cloud Atlas, that I saw on the plane. Also decided to dive into Breaking Bad this summer after having heard so much about it. I've never watched the Sopranos either. Is it really good? I may catch up with that too while waiting for the new fall seasons to start.

    1. thanks for the rec! i'll have to add Cloud Atlas to my list. big thumbs up on Sopranos - watch it and you will weep at how good it is (and RIP James Gandolfini)

  8. I adore your summer inspiration. Summer is all about unwinding and being a bit more carefree.

    Right now I'm all about escaping the city's heat in Sag Harbor on the weekends. Getting in as much sailing as I can. Eres maillots and eyelet cover ups have been getting lots of use:)I'm also loving delicate jewelry in all this heat and lightweight dresses.

    I hope you got your hands on the old issues of The Gentlewoman. Each issue has gotten so much better. I'm reading Faulkner's short stories and "The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis." I finally got around to reading "Just Kids."

    We've been watching lots of tennis, but I have a list of documentaries for our upcoming holidays.

    I'm eating my way through the vegetarian and vegan 101 simple salads- http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/22/dining/22mlist.html?pagewanted=all It's just too hot for anything else other than sorbet:)


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