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Welcome to May! 

And first of all — hello to all you lovely new friends! Thanks to everyone who signed up from Caroline Kitchener’s article about sleepovers in adullt friendship. (Or maybe you found this another way? Let me know! 🙂) If you’re starting from scratch with Sown, here’s what we’ve talked about in the past: millennial loneliness, how to love where you live (even if you're there for a limited time), finding a gaggle of queer friends, and more.)

With the birds chirping, the sun shining, and — gasp — maybe a clean tank, May is one of my favorite months. There is a batch of flowers on my walk to work and every day I see the colors starting to pop out more and more. (Until climate change switches all that, but that’s a topic for another day.) I hope you have some lovely little changes you can find happiness in each day, too.
One change that I have gradually come to accept is that my system needed adjusting. Not just the system for this newsletter — life happened, you guys, and I’m feeling like a monthly one is a good rhythm, but open to your thoughts! — but for how I approach my friendships. A bunch of family (👶🏻) and work situations had me essentially circling the Great Lakes from above last month, and I barely squeezed in time to see the handful of friends that I have in Boston. My sapped energy also meant that I spent a lot of time with Jess and Schmidt from New Girl to get out of my own brain rather than use it. 

So, I’m joining a book club. Yes, I may have been skeptical of them before (what do you actually talk about at them? What if the book is bland, or worse, a too-scary thriller?) but this book club will hopefully keep me accountable but also socializing on a regular (but not too frequent) basis. My pursuits have already been a topic of conversation with existing friends, recommending other reads and talking about how we fit reading into our lives — so in addition to a live book club, I can have a semi-remote one via a reading rec chain with pals, too. I spent some time poking around on Meetup.com to scope out my options and checked out my nearby library and lovingly-local bookstores and you know what? I have options!

(My current picks: A Woman Is No Man, From the Corner of the Oval, Little Fires Everywhere, Educated, and for the business mind, The Content Trap)
(via @BooksandBeans)

I get that not everyone lives in an area where a book club might happen, or that the topics of the book clubs nearby might not be the most interesting. There are some remote book clubs (here’s one especially if you’re into learning about journalism strategy, and I attended my first book club meeting aka conference call that I sat quietly on and learned from this week!) and there’s also the Silent Book Club which is bae for all introverts who fear bad book clubs (you just read your own, but together!). A nearby brewery also has a cookbook club meet up in partnership with a local library which sounds super cool but also I burned a pan trying to cook fish recently so maybe I should not try to feed others for a while. But still, the option is out there!

And while I was sifting through Meetup, I also found some other groups that are up my alley, like a few knitting ones and a women’s beer drinking gathering (sound familiar? It should!). So this month, I’m going to try to stop using my busy-ness and Netflix as an excuse, and actually book club. Bonus: Girls Night In already has the summer’s book club lineup out — so my library requests are already in.

Any recs for us? Happy reading!

Your friend,
Christine
 
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🧠 Brain juice:

  • Why the L.A. Times is starting a book club: "Here’s the secret about book clubs. They’re not just about the books. They’re about getting off Facebook. Getting off the couch. Getting out of the house. A good book is a great excuse to bring people together. Add a glass of wine and the conversation flows."
  • Reading while walking? Yes, seriously. Check out my friend Leah's blog and feed on her very literary hobby that helps her plow through several books a week. (It's so efficient! But no, I'm too scared to try it.) 
  • Men are relying on women to make friends for them, this article argues: "Unlike women, who are encouraged to foster deep platonic intimacy from a young age, American men—with their puffed up chests, fist bumps, and awkward side hugs—grow up believing that they should not only behave like stoic robots in front of other men, but that women are the only people they are allowed to turn to for emotional support—if anyone at all."
  • Should you move back to your hometown? This writer who did (and who is comfortable there) explores how others maybe shouldn't — or can't.
  • "Who knew that the defining feature of my generation would be our ability to break down cardboard boxes?" How the ability of today's instantaneity is outsourcing adulthood: "If 'adulting' describes the things adults do, then 'adulting' now includes ordering GrubHub to your desk at WeWork while waiting for Amazon to deliver dental floss, which you will use while washing your face with whatever Birchbox sent this month. While seeking a spouse on Tinder. So you can get married, have babies, and sign up for monthly diaper and baby-food bundles from Honest Company." 
  • Also, someone asked me this week how to design an item to market it toward millennials and I told him to put avocados on it. You're welcome, fellow millennials.

Go sow: Challenge for the week. 

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Oh hey – find a book club for yourself (and a friend) here! (Thanks, BookRiot!)

Grow the Sow.

Zoom into the full map here. (Hey new subscribers — you'll be on here soon!)

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