🌱 Spring Recs: Books, Music, and Instagram accounts you should follow
Ethical Sluts, Ford Broncos, and Country Music
Hey, it’s been a minute. 👋
Hollis and I have been busy interviewing some amazing folks in NYC to share with you all in the upcoming months. In the meantime, as the weather has gotten nice in New York, I’ve been spending more time reading, writing, and listening to things, so I thought I would share some of that with you all today.
People I think you should follow online:
@NedraTawwab - This is one of the best accounts to exist on Instagram. If you're looking for a page that reminds you on a daily basis of what healthy relationships with yourself, friends, lovers, family, etc. look like, then this is the page for you. Nedra also has a wonderful newsletter you should subscribe to.
@BlueRidge_Bronco - I realize this is the most niche account I could suggest but if you love pretty cars that you can imagine driving around the highways of the California coast or the hot New Mexico desert in, then just follow this account. Or at least admire it from afar.
@Smnstr_ - This IG is for someone that daydreams about having the prettiest German apartment ever. Something about this page makes you want to wake up early in the morning, make coffee, and have sex with a lover while the windows are open, and ‘In A Sentimental Mood’ is playing over the speakers. Also, does anyone else think these floors look fun to mop, or is that just me?
@AskASub - If you exist in, or are adjacent to, the BDSM world, then this is an account you should follow. On Fridays, Lina Dune, the person that runs the account, does a Q&A with their followers, and I often screenshot their eloquent, yet honest responses to folks looking for advice.
Books I think you should read:
The Ethical Slut by Dossie Easton and Janet Hardy - If I were to have a Bible, it may be this book. Although I only say that because I’ve come back to this book many times in my life and I often hear religious folks say that about the Bible. I’ve revisited this book in times of confusion and moments where I am grappling with the type of open relationship structure I desire in this world (that is often looked at by many with a raised eyebrow). This book made me feel a little less alone after a college breakup, it made me feel grounded when I navigated the arising feelings of jealousy with a lover, and it has consistently served as a mirror to see myself in.
The book is an exploration of “love, sex, and intimacy beyond the limits of conventional monogamy”. I’ve recommended this book to most friends, and have even lent my own annotated copy to a few folks that have been lucky enough, or extremely unlucky, to read some of my inner thoughts. Anyways, I think you should read it too.
How to Write an Autobiographic Novel by Alexander Chee - This is one of the best books I’ve ever read. It is a collection of beautiful, clever, and heart-wrenching essays Chee has written over the years that ultimately will make you think to yourself, I need to write a book. As he puts it, “You write the novel because you have to write it. You do it because it is easier to do than to not do. You can’t write a novel you don’t have to write.” I’ll always treasure this book and all the annotations I have in it as if it were a portal to a different, more vulnerably honest universe that I didn’t even know existed.
A Mind Spread Out on the Ground by Alicia Elliott - Sometimes you come across a book you aren’t sure if you should buy because you ultimately don’t know anything about it. This was that book. I stumbled across A Mind Spread Out on the Ground in Soho at McNally Jackson Books when my parents were visiting me in New York for the weekend. I skimmed the back of it and decided to hold onto it as I looked around the rest of the store attempting to find the many other books I had written down in my notes app. When I got to the register, I decided I’d buy it, even though I still didn’t really know much about it, I knew that the title drew me. This is a moving story about family, love, mental health, intergenerational trauma, Indigenous and Native land, and so much more.
Music I think you should listen to:
Cold Little Heart by Michael Kiwanuka - I’ve never ever heard a song with such an amazing intro. Headphones are encouraged.
Show Me Love by Lala Ace - I found this French lesbian hottie on a Colors video more than a year ago, back when she had about 40k followers on Instagram, and her music has only gotten better since. If anyone knows her, then you should hook me up. I’d love to photograph her or buy her a drink in Paris.
Alright, Ok by Gabe Lee - Country isn’t for everyone, I get it. But one of the most interesting classes I took in my last semester of college was called ‘Rednecks, Queers, and Country Music’ and it opened me up to the history of country music and ultimately was how I stumbled across Gabe Lee, a Nashville born Taiwanese-American country singer.
Thanks for reading! I hope something from this newsletter keeps you entertained throughout the week as we get ready to send out our next interview. Leave a comment, send me a DM, or find me on the street and tell me your thoughts on it all. Let’s talk.