Meet Me In The Bathroom
Written by Lizzy Goodman
I was never a huge fan of The Strokes but other bands of the early noughts rock scene were a huge part of the soundtrack of my youth (and continue to take up space on playlists today). Interviews with key players of the era from Jack White (of The White Stripes) to Mark Ronson (Producer) to Rob Sheffield (Journalist for Rolling Stone magazine) fill this addicting read and give great insight into what makes a rock star from the raw talent and ambition required, to the behind-the-scenes mechanisms of the industry. I couldn't put it down and got through all 600+ pages in record time.
Favourite line: "From the beginning, we wanted to write those songs, you know, those songs that change people's lives, a song that encapsulates a moment for people, rather than, like, "Oh, I like this song. I hear it on the radio sometimes."
Salt, Sugar, Fat
Written by Michael Moss
Food can be a drug. Often, it is engineered that way. ‘Salt, Sugar, Fat’ explores how General Mills, Nestle, Kraft, et all do just that by hiring teams of scientists, researchers and marketers to propel their goods from a mixture of processed additives into something humans can’t help but crave. Containing interviews with those in the industry—notably none of whom admit to actually eating the food they produce and/or market—this book is at turns a fascinating and disturbing read on modern grocery habits and how much influence Wall Street has on them. I recommend this book as a pairing to ‘Fast Food Nation’.
Favourite line: “It is a shame entire generations have lost the ability to cook a good meal from local ingredients because money was shifted to corporate farms to underwrite the growing of energy dense, nutritionally deficient grains that require supplementation to justify its inclusion in the guidelines, unpronounceable preservatives to last on the shelf, and sugar/HFCS [high-fructose corn syrup] to be palatable.”
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck
Written by Mark Manson
This book came as recommendation from several friends and I can see why. In an era of increasing stress and an inferiority complex exacerbated by social media, apathy has a certain desirability. This self-help book embraces that in a healthy way, offering readers a glimpse into a "counterintuitive approach" to life. It's funny, it's profane, and it was relatable enough that I saw myself in the author's shoes. I especially liked the final chapter, "...And Then You Die"; we are all truly fortunate to have lived. It's never too late to start living well.
Favourite line: "But while investing deeply in one person, one place, one job, one activity might deny us the breadth of experience we'd like, pursuing a breadth of experience denies us the opportunity to experience the rewards of depth of experience."