Laura Recommends

July Recommendations II

August 2, 2018

July is over which means we have come full circle from my first recommendations post last year! How crazy is this?!

I cannot express how happy I am to have started this series as a way to revive my blog, give more meaning to it and bring value to people’s lives. This series has also helped me accomplish so many things, such as keeping myself accountable with always reading, experiencing or watching something to giving me the best reason to publish something at least once a month. This is why this particular month feels special and why this current article is almost double than the usual length! Ready. Steady. Go!

 

BOOKS

Small data – Martin Lindstrom

This book immediately caught my attention because of the seemingly unrelated connections it makes between magnets on Siberian fridges and American supermarkets, between a teddy bear in a teen’s room and Tally Weijl’s store restructuring in 20 countries or between used sports shoes and LEGO’s urge to revive its spirit and its position on the market. After reading the book and the explanations, all these connections will make sense and will open up your eyes to learning more about small data, I promise.

Factfulness – Hans Rosling

I put this book on my wish list immediately after Bill Gates recommended it in a LinkedIn post and I absolutely loved it. You might remember Hans Rosling from his world famous TED talk from 11 years ago (which I advise you to watch if you haven’t as these are some very well invested 20 minutes). This book is all about giving you context and perspective in order to see the world with different eyes and with a more realistic and positive approach based on facts, not exceptions. It’s a very rare thing that I read a book and find comfort and reassurance, but Factfulness is one of these books.

Visual Thinking – Willemien Brand

I have seen this book first at The Next Web conference, at the ABC bookshop corner, and I knew I had to get it (in another day in which I was not running from one place to the other). I have been long thinking that I need to up my visual game since this skill can be used in presentations, pitches, notes and anywhere you need to get noticed or highlight certain information, so I am already making progress with my high-end doodling even though I am barely half-way through the book! Definitely get a notebook and some fine liners next to you if you buy the book!

*Above I have put links from Bookdepository because they have global shipping and so I thought this would be the best platform for all international readers. I’m not getting anything if you order the books, except the gratitude that I inspired your reading choices.

VIDEOS

This Is What Happens When Writers’ Rooms Aren’t Diverse

I have increasingly started to be more aware of the production aspects of movies, serials and series, particularly the diversity of the teams creating them: are there enough women to ensure a proper female representation of characters on screen? are there enough ethnically diverse people to make sure no line is inappropriate or harmful for some communities? – these are some of the questions I try to ask myself when watching a series or taking into consideration when I feel something on screen is odd. Definitely watch this video if you are also preoccupied by this or if you truly want to understand the need for diversity and representation. (On a side note, I am very excited to watch Crazy Rich Asians – it already feels like such a win for the industry!)

Nike #NeverAsk campaign

This incredible campaign for the Russian market has been created by Wieden and Kennedy and perfectly encompasses the Just Do It slogan. It’s in Russian, so don’t forget to add subtitles (CC button) to understand the story. It’s definitely worth watching.

Monopoly isn’t the game you think it is

I grew up with Monopoly and with long sleepover nights with my friends in which we could only go to sleep if one of us managed to bankrupt all the others. I even had the POS version of the game, which at the time felt extra fancy and adult-like. Looking back now I realize we were learning many lessons about economy and about situations we should best avoid. This clip dives deeper into the game’s history and its purposes and will probably bring back to you many memories similar to mine.

How Movie Trailers Manipulate You

For somewhat of a cinephile and trailer freak, this video felt like a present from heaven. It explains the process of creating a trailer, the effects that are added and the visuals that are manipulated in order to suit as many demographics as possible, all explanations accompanied by the insights of industry veterans. A must watch for movie lovers and curious people.

Lego in Real Life

I love a good stop motion video, but this one (even though it is originally an older video) is a work of art including both food and LEGO! I can’t spill more beans about it, you’ll have to watch this brilliant video yourself!

6 in camera transitions

I absolutely adore Rachel and Daniel from Mango Street and this video in which they expertly exemplify 6 in camera transitions is a great illustration of their commitment to great content.

 

PLACES, PEOPLE AND INITIATIVES

Moara de hârtie şi Satul meşteşugurilor din Comana (EN website: The Paper Mill and the Crafts Village Complex in Comana)

I have heard of this paper mill located at one hour away from Bucharest for the first time when I got myself this notebook made out of recycled paper two or three years ago and I finally managed to pay the place a visit. To be honest, I truly feel bad for not going there sooner. What they have managed to create there is a feast for your soul and I truly hope their hard work towards preserving traditions will last for decades. If you are in Bucharest or you will be visiting Bucharest soon, please reserve half a day to visit this place.

Tohani Romania (EN website: Tohani Vineyard)

If you remember from last year, I visited two Romanian vineyards and I fell in love with the idea of enotourism. I am beyond happy I got to see another wine-centered heaven because it made me realize once again how blessed Romania is with jaw-dropping nature and with people passionate about their work. Keep an eye on Tohani because they will soon announce even more exciting things!

Kaleidolove

I thought my childhood was over once I turned 14. Last weekend proved me wrong. How so? I participated in a kaleidoscope-making workshop and at the end I was just as excited about my little kaleidoscope as the 7 years old girl sitting next to me. I think we barely make things with our hands anymore and we forget about these simple pleasures, so I am trusting Veronica from Kaleidolove to spread the joy of handmade immortal toys with as many people as possible!

MOVIES AND SERIES

The Handmaid’s Tale, season 2

I know I talked about this show last year as well, but the second season was too good, raw, brutal, honest and alarming not to say something about it as well. I won’t say anything about the story line itself, but the themes the show covers are so relevant and the acting is so well done that you must catch up with it as soon as possible.

*season 3 has already been confirmed for 2019

România neîmblânzită

I am so thrilled that there is a finally a big screen documentary about Romania! This country is extremely gorgeous that it is a shame more people don’t talk about it anymore and prefer to trash it or sell it. This movie was made possible by Auchan (kudos!) and it is still running in cinemas. Only 70.000 people saw it despite it being released in April, so go watch it with your friends, family, kids or grandparents. Even by watching the trailer you can get a sense of the beauty showed in the documentary.

 

In the past month I let life surprise me and I am very happy I did so. I ended up meeting with so many great people, seeing wonderful places and enjoying small pleasures such as berry picking on a small farm. I am more than excited to see what August has in store for me, besides a long list of books to read.

Have a wonderful August!

Laura

 

P.S. If you loved this post, share it with your friends and add your recommendations as well! Let’s have more meaningful conversations, shall we?

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