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Read Your Heart Out: Katharine Keegan

The latest installment of our Read Your Heart Out series focuses on Katharine Keegan, the 24-year-old woman behind the beautifully curated blog That Kind of Woman. Katharine's book choices reflect her own taste, and range from classic novels, to design inspirations for the home.
Written recommendations by Katharine Keegan.

The Kinfolk Table by Nathan Williams
"This 'cookbook' is the cream of the crop, and is a blend of perfect food and lifestyle aesthetics, as is all of what Kinfolk produces. These recipes and pictures are everything you want your dinner party to be, so turn off that fluorescent kitchen lighting and gather all the mismatched candles you have when you try the fresh takes on these recipes. Chosen by 45 different different 'tastemakers,' this book becomes less of a cookbook and more of an unconventional profiling of each person and highlights their 3 favorite recipes. It's essentially a beautiful, intimate look at how food brings people together."

Walden and Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau
"The first guy to drop everything, live in a cabin and document it, Thoreau was the most poetic 'weird bearded guy in the woods.' Every chapter in Walden is a love letter to nature and a guide to self-discovery through simplistic living. Minimalism as we know it is having a very sparsely decorated all-white apartment, but until you spend two years, two months and two days in a cabin you built in Ralph Waldo Emerson's woods, then you can't really compete."

Design Sponge at Home by Grace Bonney
"We can't all build a cabin in the woods. However, we can give our living spaces a little TLC with a Pinner's favorite thing: DIY decorating. Design Sponge has left the interweb and come to fruition as an actual book. (One that you can then put on that amazing coffee table you refurbished.) I never feel better than after adding a fresh, new twist to my apartment."

Orlando by Virginia Woolf
"Here comes the fiction. Orlando is probably one of the most confusing and wonderful texts I have ever read. A creative take on a 'semi-biography,' it is, in part, a documentation of Woolf's lover's life. Orlando, born a man in the reign of Elizabeth I at the beginning of the novel, ends the novel as a female author in 1928. What? Yeah, I know. As the body and the year changes, the person that Orlando is never changes. Orlando journeys through the centuries and gets tossed this way and that, only to come out the other end wholly him/herself."

The Essential Rumi by Coleman Barks
"Fresh starts are ageless, so when I suggest the ancient texts by Rumi, you can trust that the truth and beauty of his words have stood the test of time. I will always remember the first Rumi poem I read and how it felt like I was brimming over with enthusiasm and hope. Having his essential poems is... well, essential."

Read Your Heart Out: Comics

For the end of the year, we thought we'd finish our 2013 Read Your Heart Out series with a small collection of some of our favorite comic books. Ranging from the serious (Persepolis) to the not-so-serious (Walking Dead), each book is filled with a wide array of eye-catching illustrations and stories. Check out which of our favorites made the cut. Katie

This is the complete collection of Unlovable comics, originally found in the back pages of BUST magazine. The entire comic series is loosely based off a diary that was found in a gas station bathroom, and Esther Pearl Watson's illustrations perfectly capture the awkward moments of adolescence recounted by the unknown diarist. To check out some of Watson's other work, click here.

Megaskull by Kyle Platts
Kyle Platts' illustrations are hilariously creepy, and the jokes within the comics themselves are more of the same. (Check out his comic "Neglect" to get a sense of the humor in this one.) Perfect for anyone who has an offbeat, internet-y sense of humor.

The Complete Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
A lot of people may have heard of Persepolis after it became an animated film, but diving into the original comic is an absolute must. Through comic strips, Marjane Satrapi tells her story of coming-of-age in Tehran during the Islamic Revolution and then living in exile from her country. It's an extremely candid and heartbreaking read.

The Walking Dead, Vol. 1 by Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore
This is another comic that people may have learned about through the (small) screen version, but The Walking Dead comics are slightly different from the show, and offer a little bit more to the reader than the show would. Plus, ZOMBIES!

Read Your Heart Out: Janet Morales & Stu Eli

For this series, we've been reaching out to some of our favorite people to ask for themed book suggestions. We then make those books available for you to purchase online. Easy! What better way to get to know some authors you might have overlooked?

This month, we spoke to Janet Morales and Stu Eli, the talented husband/wife team behind the perfectly curated Three Potato Four. With their adorable family, and a store filled with amazing vintage finds, we thought they'd be the people to ask for their favorite books to cozy up to.

Janet and Stu's choices:

Welcome to the Monkey House
This is one of our favorite collections of short stories by Kurt Vonnegut published in the 1950s and '60s. We first read it in high school and still feel nostalgic each time we get a chance to re-read it. Each story is a commentary on society's ills, and explains some part of humanity - the good and the bad. His stories and observations on life are intense, strange and moving. We love the story Harrison Bergeron.

Dear Photograph
We come across thousands of old photographs in our buying trips for the shop and always like to imagine the story of the faces captured in them. Each page in this book (which started first as a blog) takes an original old snapshot and lines them up with their current present-day setting. Dear Photograph lets us see the past set against the present and with the passing of time the nostalgic warm memories each photo gives us.

Sometimes on a cold winter night, we like to read a book that takes us to an imaginary world. Wildwood does just that with a story so wonderfully written and illustrations so detailed you'll easily be transported into a secret forest of wonder, danger and adventure. Written by Colin Meloy from The Decemberists and beautifully illustrated by his wife Carson Ellis, it follows a girl named Prue and her journey to find her lost brother.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
This is a favorite classic of ours that tells the story of a young girl named Francie growing up in Williamsburg, Brooklyn in the 1900s. It's one of those books that stays with you - about the struggles of life, the complexities of people and determination to carry on and see the positive through the most difficult times. One of our favorite quotes is from this book: "They lived comfortably and it was a good life they had…happy and full of small adventures."

Read Your Heart Out: Kim Krans

For this series, we've been reaching out to some of our favorite people to ask for themed book suggestions. We then make those books available for you to purchase online. Easy! What better way to get to know some authors you might have overlooked?

For this installment,
we spoke to Kim Krans, the incredibly talented artist behind The Wild Unknown. In the spirit of the season, we found out what books Kim recommends to keep the mind mystical.
(Photo above by Daniel Arnold)

Kim's choices:

The Book of Imaginary Beings by Jorge Luis Borges
"The perfect bedtime book for anyone with a mystical mind. Borges tells the tales of over a hundred magical creatures, the likes of which you’ve never imagined before. My very favorites are the Animals That Live Inside The Mirror. And then there’s the classic tales of the Phoenix, Fairies, Gnomes, and Dragons. Oh but wait… you’ve never heard their stories told like this before."

The Art of Dreaming by Carlos Castaneda
"If you want to fall asleep at night and feel like you’re steering the dream wheel (at least a little bit), this is the book for you. Don Juan drops super knowledge on how to be a true 'sorcerer' and walk consciously through the sleeping hours. Believe it or not, your dream life is there for the taking – it’s just a matter of practice."

Shakti Woman by Vicki Noble
"Ladies, its time to get down with the Dark Goddess. Here’s why: Vicki Noble (author of the Motherpeace Tarot) gives us like a million reasons why not acknowledging this force within keeps us from finding inner peace, true creativity, and power. And then she gives us lots of ways to unearth this shakti, allowing it to unfold and brighten our lives. Ladies night book club, here we come."

Dune by Frank Herbert
"For years I made the mistake of thinking this was a sci-fi book for dudes only. Totally wrong. This is the most beautiful, spiritual, and intensely yogic story ever told. I am obsessed. If stranded on a desert island and I had to pick one book, this would be it. It’s wild and otherworldly and will have you sweating and crying at the same time. HBO, will you make a series out of this please?"

Shop The Wild Unknown Tarot

Read Your Heart Out: Shea Serrano

Shea Serrano is a music writer for various websites, the author behind Bun B's Rap Coloring And Activity Book, and the perfect candidate for our Read Your Heart Out series here on the blog. For this series, we've been reaching out to some of our favorite people to ask for themed book suggestions that we then make available for you to purchase online. Easy! What better way to get to know some authors you might have overlooked?

For our first installment, and in honor of his Rap Coloring And Activity Book, we asked Shea to recommend some of his favorite books about music. Here's what he picked. —Katie

Mo' Meta Blues: The World According To Questlove
"This is probably this year’s most enjoyable music nerd book to read if you are a music nerd. Questlove is great and super charming and he tells a bunch of great stories and I really can’t think of too many ways that this book could be better. I joked with him on Twitter that our only goal was to sell more copies of our book than he did of this one (because his is fairly new and so is ours). I think he maybe sold, like, 60 million copies already though, so I’m not sure if we can catch him anymore."

Love Is A Mix Tape: Life And Loss, One Song At A Time
"Oh man. This one is just heartbreaking to read. It’s about Mr. Sheffield and the sudden death of his wife and how everything changed after that and it really is just a remarkable thing. I’m lucky enough to be married to a woman that I love desperately and so I couldn’t help but put myself in his spot while reading this and, I mean, I don’t even know. It’s just brutal. You have to read it. And then you have to tell other people to read it."

Dirty South: Outkast Lil Wayne, Soulja Boy, And The Southern Rappers Who Reinvented Hip-Hop
"I picked this one in part because I am mentioned in it, and that’s definitely the easiest way to get me to say that your book is good, but mostly I picked it because it’s a recap of the rise of southern rap but it’s written around a bunch of enjoyable, well-written anecdotes. The author, Ben Westhoff, drove around the bottom of the United States and met up with rappers and hung out with them and then wrote about it and that’s the sort of thing that’s always interesting to me. It never seems like enough people are doing proper reporting."

Ego Trip's Book Of Rap Lists
"I’d once considered doing a book of rap lists but then I found this one and was like, “Well there goes that idea.” This is a lot of fun to read. I’m hoping that they do a new version again soon."

Shop Bun B's Rap Coloring And Activity Book
Follow Shea on Twitter!

Read Your Heart Out: Jessica Hopper

Jessica Hopper is the music editor for Rookie Mag and the perfect first candidate for our Read Your Heart Out series here on the blog. For this series, we're going to be reaching out to some of our favorite people to ask for themed book suggestions that we then make available for you to purchase online. Easy! What better way to get to know some authors you might have overlooked?

For our first installment, in honor of all the great music festivals we've seen this summer, we asked Jessica to recommend some of her favorite books about music. Here's what she picked. —Katie

Violence Girl by Alice Bag
After decades of dudes telling their stories of punk's formative years in memoir, we finally get one of L.A. punk's most crucial figuresAlice Bag, frontwoman of The Bagstelling her tale. Unsentimental and tough, she gets out from under her patriarchal family and finds her place among a crew of motley, misfit kids as they accidentally invented the American West Coast punk in bands like X, Black Flag, Germs and her own band, The Bags. (Check out the Violence Girl tumblr for tons of vintage punk pics/fashion inspiration.)

Court and Spark by Sean Nelson
From the popular 33 1/3 series of little chapbooks about important albums comes this tender entreaty from Sean Nelson (better known as the frontman for Harvey Danger) that lenses what Joni Mitchell's breakthrough 1976 album meant to his mom to tell the story of what Joni Mitchell meant to women. It's nostalgic and lensed through this golden haze of childhood memory as much as it is Nelson's knowledge of what it takes to craft a song that reaches people. It takes a backdoor to explaining Joni's genius and is just a great book about loving music.

The Importance of Music to Girls by Lavinia Greenlaw
The title sounds a little academic, but this is really just about the importance of music to the author's girlhood. Greenlaw, a noted poet, unspools, in loose essays, memories of things like walking down the streets of London in her goth finery, and seeing peoples' reactions and how that helped her know who she was. That's the essence of the book: figuring out who you are and what you believe through songs, how music obsesses you. The prose will take your breath away and inspire you to writeand put on your favorite albums.

Hotel California by Barney Hoskyns
Ignore the cover with this man's light rinse jeans and unpedi'd bare toes. Forget that part ever happened, crack open the book and just clear your schedule because you will not want to come up for air.  Hoskyns strikes this perfect balance between nerd knowledge, storytelling and the dishiest gossip and paints a fascinating portrait of L.A.'s Laurel Canyon scene that spans from The Eagles being broke dudes with a dream to several years later when everyone named in the title is minted with stardom and a coke problem. A scintillating book about fame, the music industry and Los Angeles in the '70s, even if you hate all the bands in it.