Maddy Douglass

Knitter, lawyer, and safer beauty advocate in San Francisco. 

Loves coffee, crafting, and cheese plates.  


Reading, recently.

DSC_6008I haven't come up with New Year's resolutions. To me, resolutions sometimes feel as if they make your goals harder to achieve; they can be rigid, unyielding, unforgiving of the natural course of life's ups and downs. They seem to expect to be broken and then when they are, inevitably (unless your resolutions are so broad as "make yourself happy" in which case that isn't really a resolution but a life outlook) then you feel worse about yourself and it makes it all the more hard to start again. I think I have learned I don't really like resolutions, not truly. I like goals, and positive outlooks, and new notions to try, and "let's incorporate more of x, y, and z into our lives," and therefore I am doing just that. I am not resolving anything but, rather, just doing more of the things that are good for me and hopefully fewer of the things that are not.

One of these good things is to read. I love reading, but lately, have not been motivated enough to make the time for it. My friend Lauren has been a reading machine, whipping through book after book and suggestion after suggestion, and while I am impressed at her pace I also know most of us could do that if we prioritized reading the way she does. It is important to her to read more, so she makes sure she does it, and I admire that greatly. So I am going to do that too! (Right after I blog this and watch some more Battlestar Galactica. You know how it is.)

1. Lessons from Madame Chic // This book I picked up quickly at Barnes & Noble while shopping for books for my high school friends. That's how they get you! It would normally be a book I'd flip through in the store and then put down, but on this particular day I was in a buying mood. Thank you, holiday season. I'm glad I have the chance to really look through it with more time, however - at first glance it appears to be a book about how to become a perfect French imitation, but I think there are parts of it which can contribute to my desire to streamline my lifestyle and prioritize my belongings, time usage, and healthful activities. At least, I hope that's in there somewhere.

2. The China Study // Every time I watch the documentary "Forks over Knives," I am convinced we're all dying of cancer and heart disease this very minute and that if I eat another piece of bacon I will keel over on Market St. I know this isn't true, BUT the documentary points out some really interesting, and terrifying, links between diets that are comprised mostly of animal proteins and all of the aforementioned scary health risks. The China Study is cited in the documentary in large part because one of the doctors interviewed worked on the study. I also walk away from that movie thinking I need to change, act right, eat better, and then two weeks later I have a cheeseburger. I'm hoping reading these facts and links in detail will not only help me see why I need to really appreciate what I put into my body, but will also help me answer the question "so why are you a vegan?" with a better answer than "because... I mean... I watched this movie one time? And I think it's just better." Because right now that's my only answer, and that's just sad.

3. Naturally Thin // I love Bethenny Frankel. I think she is actually a great motivational speaker and writer, and she has worked her way to the top from very humble, if not complicated, beginnings. Most people only see her as a Real Housewife of New York but she was the only one on that show who wasn't married, wasn't wealthy, and was actively creating her own corporation during filming of that show. Say what you want about reality stars but I have great respect for someone like her who can make something out of very little with almost no outside support but her own gumption and smarts. This is her book about healthy eating, and listening to what your body really needs, not just what your brain or emotions or external stressors tell your body it wants. Something I think most people can afford to work on!

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4. Civilization // This book takes Western ideals from the 15th century, explaining how we became the most powerful nation in the world, and how we are now losing that title as all other nations (the "Rest") catch on to the tactics "we" (ok, I wasn't there) used and are now implementing those tactics in their own national plans. I'm really excited to see this perspective, and to incorporate more non-fiction into my life.

5. The Fault in Our Stars // I've wanted to read this book for a while now but didn't feel like I could buy another book (shocking, right? I've never said those words before.) Luckily for me, the book club I just joined (more on that later) chose it as our first read! I just picked it up today, and I'm really excited to get started. As soon as I knit 2-3 more headbands and make another pot of tea.

Just a little peek onto my bookshelf this week! I may also try to start writing book reviews now and again, but... let's just hope I can get to reading all of these before I get too ambitious. First things first!

The Knitting Process: A five-shot photoessay

The Zoe Cowl