Currently: July 2017

Hi friends!

How are you? When I’m away from the blog for a little bit, I like to return with some sort of update, like a High Five or, like today, a Currently post! I’ve done them a few times over the past year or so, and I like that it presents the perfect opportunity to share all that’s brightened my world. What’s new on your end?

A Piece of Work Abbi JacobsonListening: “A Piece of Work” podcast | To kick things off, I’m loving the new podcast, “A Piece of Work.” A collaboration between actress Abbi Jacobson and the Museum of Modern Art, it explores and explains some of the most popular pieces of contemporary art, from Jackson Pollock drip paintings to Meret Oppenheim’s fur-covered teacup. Host Jacobson knows her stuff – she studied fine arts at MICA before hitting the comedy scene – and yet, her sense of humor and lineup of friendly and relatable guests make the podcast accessible to even those who know next to nothing about art. My favorite episode thus far has been Questlove’s reflection on slowing down and the use of monochromatic art to do so, but there’s still more to be heard: new episodes will continue to roll out on Monday and Wednesday over the next few weeks (but in the meantime, perhaps I should check out Broad City for myself!).

Love, Hate, and Other FiltersReading: Love, Hate, and Other Filters | My recent nights have been booked with work, rehearsals, or outings with friends, so I’ve been using my afternoons, quieter in comparison, to make a sizeable dent in my reading pile. I have reviews planned for several of these novels – thank goodness that the summertime allows for so much reading and writing – but given that Samira Ahmed’s debut Love, Hate, and Other Filters doesn’t hit shelves until January, I think it deserves a small shout-out now. The protagonist Maya is as realistically drawn as they come; the romances are sweet and well-explored, and Ahmed doesn’t back down from writing about the Islamophobia that hurts so many families today. Needless to say, if this book is any indication, 2018 is looking bright in the YA publishing world (and a HUGE thank you to Emily and Tamara, who both organized the ARC tour!).

Smitten Kitchen Zucchini BreadEating: Zucchini Bread | I’ve said it before here on Ciao Bella, but my baking habits are largely shaped by what fruits and vegetables are in season, and with a farmer’s market right down my street, picking up fresh ingredients to use is a breeze. A summer favorite? Zucchini! Smitten Kitchen’s recipe for zucchini bread couldn’t be any easier to whip up, and it makes the perfect breakfast treat or afternoon snack. Feel free to have it twice in a day – your secret will be safe with me.

The Beautiful FantasticWatching: The Beautiful Fantastic | It isn’t summer vacation without a slew of movie nights, and thankfully, this past month has been full of them. While I’ve enjoyed them all, my favorite of the bunch thus far is a film I imagine few have heard about: The Beautiful Fantastic, a charming British comedy that employs the talents of Jessica Brown Findlay, Andrew Scott, and Tom Wilkinson. Described as “a contemporary fairy tale,” it follows the friendship that blossoms between the main character Bella and her elderly, rich neighbor as she tends to her overgrown garden. It’s heavy on the twee, quirky, and whimsical, but with a stellar cast and shots of gorgeous gardens, who’s to say that’s a bad thing?

Trinity Rep Shakespeare en El VeranoGoing: Trinity Rep’s Shakespeare en El Verano | One of the best parts about attending Brown next year, in my book anyways, is the city: Providence is bursting with plenty of fun restaurants, stores, and cultural events! Case in point? Trinity Rep’s Shakespeare en El Verano, a summer-long series that takes a cue from The Public’s Shakespeare in the Park by presenting free performances of Romeo and Juliet across Rhode Island; it furthers the mission of accessibility by blending Spanish into the actors’ dialogue. I saw a recent performance at Waterfire and left thoroughly impressed with the use of the space and diction to tell the story we all know well. It has me excited to return for Trinity Rep’s 2017-18 season – those student discounts will come in handy :)

Girls at LibraryLoving: Girls at Library | Though they’ve been active since 2015, it was only just recently that I stumbled upon the website Girls at Library, an online journal devoted to celebrating the power of literature. I was quickly drawn in by the stunning, minimalistic design, but stayed when I read more into their aim: “[promoting] reading as a constructive and enriching act for everyone,” a goal they complete by interviewing a wide range of readers, from a fashion designer to a singer and songwriter, for their book recommendations. There’s no better combination than stunning photography, candid articles, and women who like to read, if you ask me.

Natasha, Pierrem and The Great Comet of 1812Excited for: Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812 | Finally, I can’t wait for the coming weekend, as my mom, sister, and I have tickets to see Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812! The show has been praised by audiences and critics alike, and for good reason: Dave Malloy’s score takes inspiration from War and Peace to create a unique musical experience of love and growing old (the cast’s lively and energetic performance at the Tony’s provides quite the glimpse). I’ve had the cast recording on repeat all week, to the point that you might say I’m a tad obsessed, but then again, can you blame me? Saturday couldn’t come soon enough.

Wishing you all a wonderful day!
B

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6 thoughts on “Currently: July 2017

  1. yay so happy to see you back!! i LOVE these posts but especially from you because you have such a talent for finding & highlighting lesser-known / lesser talked about podcasts / movies / books / tv shows etc etc! i hadn’t heard anything about the beautiful fantastic or love, hate & other filters but i’ve added both to my list of things to check out. THANK YOU for mentioning girls at library!! i just had a little peek at their site and you’re right, the design is absolutely gorgeous…haven’t read any of the posts yet but am excited to! i’m also so glad you are enjoying a piece of work. i’ve been on bit of an art kick since the o’keeffe exhibit (will i ever shut up about it???) and i have the episode with tavi gevinson downloaded but i haven’t listened to it yet! as i always like to listen to a podcast before bed, i’ll be looking forward to listening to it tonight. have so much fun at natasha, pierre and the great come of 1812!!!! i didn’t know much about it until i watched a vogue video with denee benton about a month ago and googled it…sounds so good so i’m sure you’ll have a blast!

    Liked by 1 person

    • ANNIE! I love reading comments from you – they make my day haha :) And, goodness, thank you! I think that’s why I love blogging so much – it’s such a fun and easy platform to share and discover different interests.

      And, yes! Girls at Library is such a hidden gem, is it not?! I love seeing their posts pop up in my feed.

      If you have any podcast recommendations, do share! Thank you, as always, for commenting.

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    • Thank you so much Kathleen! I had an absolute BLAST – the show was everything I could have hoped for and more. Despite recent controversy, it’s my hope it can remain open on Broadway – it’s definitely a theatrical treat :)

      As for posting, I will likely do a Musical Moodboard in the near future! Thank you for commenting.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Grace! Thank you so much for the kind words! Girls at Library is such a fun site to explore. And wishing you a relaxing last month of summer as well!

      B

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