what i’m reading // what i’m listening to

reading what-im-reading-and-listening-to


Ah, fall. The land of apple spice candles, long Sunday naps, cashmere blankets and cozy tunes. Of all the seasons, you’re my favorite fall–for these reasons, and many more. While I haven’t gotten as much time to lazy about as I may have wished (fall also seems to be the busiest, no?!), I have been able to squeeze in a bit of “me” time here in there–which of course involves books and music. Here’s what’s been on my bedside table and in my iPod headphones lately:


The reads:


Humans of New York I’m a sucker for amazing photography, but even more so when it’s backed by an incredible story. One of my favorite things about living in New York City is the diversity, and the site Humans of New York by Brandon Stanton has been capturing the magic of that for the past few years, only to now turn it into a book. The result? An incredible and eye-opening book that elevates itself from mere “coffee table” fodder and restores my faith in humanity. Seriously.


Reconstructing Amelia This book was recommended to me by a friend who had just read and loved Gone Girl, and for good reason–it’s a thriller written in a very similar vein as the mega-hit novel, and it’s just as good. It centers on a woman and her daughter and, without giving too much away, it will keep you on the end of your seat (or well, page) for most of the novel. A definite must for anyone who wishes they could read Gone Girl over again for the first time.


I Am Malala Alright, I get it–everyone and their mother is reading this book. But you should be too. Truthfully, I haven’t finished it yet, but I’ve been so blown away that I just felt like I had to include it. For those who don’t know, Malala Yousafzai is a young girl who spoke out against the Taliban regarding the education of young women and was shot for it. Obviously there’s a lot more information regarding the story that I can’t fit here, but suffice to say you should read the book and everything about her–she’s incredible, and there’s so much to learn from her grace and outlook.



The tunes: Fall is the time for cozy, comfort music. Here are a few of my favorites right now:




Fall 2013 by abucco10 on Grooveshark

work it out



For me, music is a must when working out. Without it, I can’t get motivated–my feet don’t leave the ground, the weights don’t leave the floor…and I probably don’t leave the couch.


Working at a fitness-centric mag, there are always music swaps going around and I’m always finding new pump-up songs I love. I recently moved to an apartment close to the river (with a killer view), so I’ve been beefing up my playlist with new tunes to motivate me during morning or post-work runs. Here’s what I’m loving (warning: Beyonce coming your way).



Work It Out by abucco10 on Grooveshark

a kitchen playlist



If you’ve spent oh…five minutes here on this blog, then you’re probably in on the worst kept secret in the world: I love to cook. I love food, I love cooking, I love spending time in the kitchen. I love how it de-stresses me and makes me feel happy, I love how it helps me make other people happy. I’m pretty sure I have a 70-year-old Italian grandmother living inside of me and I’m totally OK with that (note: I realize that was a lot of love).


There’s one sort of strange thing I do when I cook, and that’s listen to old foreign music. It could be Italian (or Italian-American) or French (it doesn’t totally matter), I just love how it makes me feel like a little Julia Child…or something? Jeez. Are you still with me? In that case, you deserve a reward. Here’s a pretty nice cooking playlist:



Cooking Playlist by abucco10 on Grooveshark

a valentine’s day playlist: for the lovers and the lonely



I alluded to it last month, and truth be told, this is the Valentine’s Day post I’ve been looking forward to the most! There’s not a broken heart or a budding romance that music doesn’t help, so why not make a playlist for both sets this Valentine’s Day? Honestly, I’m not above belting out a great version of Since You’ve Been Gone in the shower (very out of tune, I might add) and one of the love songs is my absolute favorite karaoke tune–see if you can guess which one! Single, taken, or hanging with the girls this February 14th, I hope you enjoy both of these playlists!

For the lovers:


Valentine's Day 2 by abucco10 on Grooveshark


For the lonely (but not really…): 

Valentine's Day 1 by abucco10 on Grooveshark

cozy winter playlist

Winter Playlist

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again–winter is for slow, soft, warm tunes. The more inclined I am to curl up on the couch with a cozy blanket while listening to a song, the better. These playlist posts are always so fun to pull together (I hope you guys like them!), and I found myself listening to this one over and over again at work over the past week–especially “Blood” by The Middle East…I can’t get enough!

Winter 2013 Playlist by abucco10 on Grooveshark

In case you’re curious, next month’s feature will be a double-whammy. Let’s just say there will be a little playlist for all you Valentine’s Day lovers out there–and another for those of you who’d rather scream ”Since You’ve Been Gone” (or, OK–any T. Swift breakup song) at the top of your lungs on a little day we like to call February 14.


Oh, and all past playlists are here!

bon iver in nyc

If you couldn’t tell from all of my playlists (and my incessant concert talk), I’m a huge music geek. I like my music like I like my buffets–a little bit of everything (though none of it can touch on my plate…some weird OCD thing of mine). I could go on and on ranting about my favorites (Bruce, Beatles, Damien Rice, Mumford, Beirut, Dave just to name a few), but I’ll get to the point. I’ve been dying to see Bon Iver–for. like. ever. We’re talking going on two years here, but for some reason it just never fell together.

I was super bummed when I couldn’t make his Radio City concerts last week–until I hit a stroke of good luck and received an invite to a private performance (eek!) for work (<insert insanely obnoxious happy dance here). Let me tell you, they’re phenominal live. Justin Vernon (the band’s front man) plays with this incredible, infections passion and talent just oozes out of every member in the zillion-piece band. Considering nothing I say can really do them justice, I figured it’d be best to throw together a playlist of my favorite songs for those of you who may not be familiar. You + a cozy blanket + a cup of coffee (or hot chocolate, if that’s your thing) + this playlist = bliss. I promise.

Also, we need to talk. The new Mumford and Sons album, Babel, is perfection. Is anyone else listening to it on repeat like me?

end of summer tunes


As summer comes to a close (sigh…) I’m turning to lazy, slow melodies, unique artists and OK, the occasional indulgent pop song (I’m looking at you Cher Lloyd) to help me celebrate these last sunny days. Check out who I’m listening to, below–I’d love to know what tunes are coming through your iPod speakers–do share!



p.s. Check out my other summer playlist, here!

tuesday bluesday

Sometimes things just pile up and it gets hard to smile your way through certain situations. We’ve all been in that place–you wake up in a bad mood for no apparent reason, the wrong comment sets you off, you get tired of faking it. Today was one of those days (and come to think of it, a couple days last week were too). Lucky for me, I’m surround by an amazing group of friends and family, and a world wide web full of things to make me chuckle. Here are a few things making me happy:

These gorgeous flowers in an amazing,
quirky vase from a sweet friend

This song (from this movie, of course).

This quote

Funny videos from this friend

This eCard

this city

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january playlist

I’ve found that I’m slightly schizophrenic when it comes to my music preferences. There are artists that I always turn to (Damien Rice, Bruce, Beatles, etc.) but this playlist is only a small insight into how varying my tastes can be at any given moment (warning: around Jay-Z is where it starts to get weird). Enjoy!

Where We Gonna Go From Here by Mat Kearney

Cold Fame by Band of Skulls 

Us Against the World by Coldplay

Free Fallin’ by John Mayer (but really Tom Petty)

Sometime Around Midnight by The Airborne Toxic Event (*This might be one of my favorite songs of all time)

This Years Love by David Gray

Lay Lady Lay by Bob Dylan

Hallelujah by Jeff Buckley (*actually…This is one of my favorite songs of all time)

This is where it gets weird, but really Jay and B could do no wrong in my book. I’m even willing to overlook the fact that they named their daughter Blue (big of me, I know.)

Paris (come’on this is a PG-13 space people) by Jay-Z and Kanye West

Countdown by Beyonce