Jana Lynch is the owner of the personal finance blog Daily Money Shot and the founder of Bloggers Helping Bloggers, an online mentoring program, and these are her good things. You can find out more of her likes on Twitter – @dailymoneyjana – and Pinterest.
Good things to read.
The Outsiders by SE Hinton. This is the book that made me want to write. I first read it when I was in high school (maybe 8th grade) and the characters, the subject matter, the fact that SE Hinton was 16 when she wrote it all hit home for me. The storytelling was more like listening to a family member or friend recount a tale than reading a book. I reread this book at least once a year not only because it’s a great book but it’s also motivation that if a teenager can write a book, than I can at least finish the one I started.
The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult. While her books are definitely formulaic and can get a tad tedious at times, this one lives outside of that mold. About a Jewish woman plagued by her own demons whose asked by a Nazi to help him die, it is an amazing, incredible story. The second part of the book, where the main character’s grandmother describes her time in a concentration camp, makes this novel worth reading. It’s not often that I’ll stay up until 1 AM reading a book but I did with this one.
The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein. It’s pretty much a tie between this and Mitch Albom’s The Time Keeper for my favorite book of the last 5 years. It’s hard to explain exactly why I love this book so much except for the fact that it’s just so well written and using the dog as a narrator, and humanizing him the way the author did, borders on brilliant.
Good things to watch.
AMC. The reason I can’t get rid of cable. I thought maybe I could pick one show from this channel to highlight but that’s like asking to pick your favorite type of M&M; you just can’t. They’re all so different yet all so tasty in their own way. I mean how can you choose between <Breaking Bad, Mad Men, The Killing, or Hell on Wheels? You can’t so you don’t and you watch them all.
I Love You, Man. I love this movie. A lot. I don’t know if it’s because it’s hilarious, has Jason Segel and Paul Rudd, is amazingly quotable or because it pays homage to Rush. Probably all of the above. It’s one of those movies that I can watch over and over again and it’s funny every. Single. Time.
Friday Night Lights. I never thought I’d like a show about football but much like the movie, it’s more a show about people using football as the backdrop. If you have not watched this show, I suggest you settle down on your couch with Netflix and binge watch all 5 seasons immediately. Texas Forever!
Good things to use.
Spotify. If you’re like me and have an eclectic taste in music that your wallet cannot keep up with, Spotify is perfect. I love being able to create playlists, listen to whole albums (did I just date myself with that word) or program radio stations. For FREE! I actually prefer Spotify to Pandora for the simple fact of being able to actually listen to the song I want to instead of what it feels like telling me I want to listen to.
Write or Die. Probably the best web app around (also an iPad app but I prefer to use the web/desktop version) to keep you focused on writing. You get to pick the parameters for length of writing time, grace period when you stop, and consequences but no matter what you pick, you will stay focused. If for no other reason than having your computer or tablet make loud, alarming noises at you is a little troubling.
Gel ink pens. Far superior to ball point pens, which always seem to run out of ink quickly. Gel ink pens are kind of fancy and they give a nice, dark ink impression. Unless you’re left handed. Then maybe they’re more of a smudgy inconvenience but I still think you should use them anyway.