Issue #97: A 10-Minute Morning Routine and a Summer Playlist
Morning Person is a weekly newsletter packed with obsessively-curated recommendations and ideas—let’s get to it!
📚 The Glow by Jessie Gaynor: My book editor sent this to me with a note that simply said, “Read this.” In a desperate attempt to save her career as a publicist (which involves writing quippy pub girl emails for products marketed for the “middle-class millennial woman who was her own hobby”), Jane heads to a yoga retreat that may also be a cult, in a bid to add its founder, the enigmatic Cass and her husband Tom, to her roster. Gaynor explores Jane’s discontent with her yuppy lifestyle, and journey into assuming a larger role at the offline retreat (“It had been two years since Jane had taken a shower without listening to a podcast.”) while letting us in on Tom’s backstory and secrets. The book doesn’t offer a clear solution: There are telltale signs of the commodification of woo and spiritual bypassing (not to mention inherent privilege) at the same time she suggests Jane could use a little more silent meditation herself.
🍓 Strawberry “Dump It” by Kathleen Ashmore: As the recipe suggests, this dessert, which can be swapped out for any summer fruit (I’ve used both strawberries and cherries!), is
easy as way easier than pie. Just dump an assortment of flour and sugar over melted butter, top with fruit, and bake. I even made it vegan by swapping butter out for coconut oil, which was still delicious (I would use an extra tablespoon next time). So simple, I’m trying it as a camping dessert this weekend.
🎥 ‘Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny’: Is this a great movie? Definitely not. But it is exactly as good as it needs to be for a summer blockbuster that stars Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Mads Mikkelsen, who I loved in ‘Another Round,’ alongside Harrison Ford and Antonio Banderas. The plot is as packed as its star-studded cast—they tried to fit every Indy trope into a single movie—but that’s part of its charm. Come for Harrison, stay for the flirty winks, dizzying chase scenes, fights with Nazis, and Fleabag-esque quips. Watched it the evening before leaving on a camping trip, enjoying the “school’s out for summer” vibes.
Hello and happy Fourth! I’m keeping this issue short and sweet as most of my U.S. readers are, I hope, out of office for the holiday. I’m off camping with friends in Washington but prepped this brief issue, with a morning routine suited to a crunched week.
When my friend asked if I could house-sit her cats for a week, I jumped at the opportunity. Though I appreciate my apartment for its safety and convenience, it has little in the way of charm—I lovingly refer to it as my “hermetically sealed box”—especially compared to my friend’s tree-surrounded home. The timing of her trip overlapped with the due dates of several projects and papers, so I came to think of my week-long staycation as a mini writing retreat (albeit with pressing due dates). A few miles away from my neighborhood loop, and stressed by deadlines, I tried out a quicker, shorter morning routine:
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