It was my birthday last week and this issue marks two years worth of nicoledonut! If you enjoy this newsletter, it’d mean a lot if you shared it or supported me via Ko-fi or Venmo to help with self-hosting fees. Feel free to hit reply to let me know what else you’d like to see from this newsletter in the future.
I’m preparing for my writing workshops, so I’ll keep this week’s newsletter short. I’ll be taking a summer break and will be back in your inboxes on July 13! Until then, here are some summer reading recommendations.
- “Ariel” by Jinwoo Chong (CRAFT)
- “The Dog is Choking on a Chicken Bone” by Katie Yee (No Tokens)
- “E-Friends” by Emily Adrian (Granta)
- “Sunny Talks” by Lydia Conklin (One Story, requires subscription)
- “Opossum” by Corey Farrenkopf (Taco Bell Quarterly)
- “Mantis” by Gina Chung (Wigleaf)
- “Breathe for Them Both” by Kat Lewis (TriQuarterly)
- “The Hawk” by Jules Chung (Catapult)
- “Fish Stories” by Janika Oza (Kenyon Review)
- “Miss Korea Los Angeles” by Lillian Wang Selonick (Joyland)
- The Book of Delights by Ross Gay
- Beach Read by Emily Henry
- With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo
- One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston
- When No One Is Watching by Alyssa Cole
- Afterparties by Anthony Veasna So
- It Happened One Summer by Tessa Bailey
- High School by Tegan and Sara Quin
- The Heart Principle by Helen Hoang
- We Are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby
Have a great summer!
- A fun tool to find books set in your zip code in the United States.
- “Twitter Is The Worst Reader” by Fonda Lee
- Alexandra Kleeman on writing as a game: “I think one thing that’s central in playing is a suspension of the ordinary rules, and the willingness to be troubled by new rules that are made up that are not the real world’s rules, but rules that you set up as problems for yourself.”
- A delightful profile of Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way, by Rachel Syme
- “Art makes an argument for creation, for struggle, as an end in itself.” — Ligaya Mishan in an exploration of what we mean by the ‘artist’s life’
Recent reads & other media
I read Alexandra Kleeman’s novels You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine and Something New Under the Sun. Both are satires that focus on appetites and consumption, cults and the media. Kleeman writes about obsession and disconnect in ways that oscillate between unsettling, humorous, and visceral. I particularly loved her second novel, a neo-noir in a near-future Los Angeles that follows a middle-aged novelist overseeing the movie adaptation of his book. He teams up with a troubled former child star to investigate the film production and its connections to WAT-R, a sinister water substitute taking over the state.
I watched Stranger Things 4 and am counting down the days until Vol. 2 in July! In the meantime I’ve been rewatching a bunch of Bob’s Burgers in preparation for the movie.
Note: Book links are connected to my Bookshop affiliate page. If you purchase a book from there, you'll be supporting my work and local independent bookstores!