Fast Five: End-of-Summer Essentials

Most Angelenos will readily admit that summer never seems to end here, but rather, the temperature dips a bit (68 degrees—so cold!) and the Santa Ana winds whip through town every once in a while. But in most parts of the country, the leaves are turning orange and red and it actually is starting to cool. No matter where you are, the end of summer is quickly approaching, and FMLA has your end-of-summer essentials.

kate spade1. A Light Sweater

Because it’s cooling down—but not so much that you can wrap up in that fall jacket you’ve had your eye on for a few weeks now—you’ll need a soft sweater to keep you warm in the evenings. Especially this adorable one from Kate Spade (it’s the KSNY X Darcel). Her latest batch features punchy, girlish colors that still feel adult. I love the cyclops with a bow, but there are also clothes with donuts—sprinkles included.

night film2. Night Film by Marisha Pessl

Marisha Pessl’s second novel, Night Film, is out August 20. Pessl’s debut novel, Special Topics in Calamity Physics, is one of my favorites. The after her stunning debut, she made her readers wait almost seven years for a follow-up. No doubt that, much like her first book, Night Film will be perfect for any day, including the ones when you’re lazily sitting by the pool or ocean but are too sluggish to actually go in the water.

aveda3. Hair Repair

You sat in the sun all summer long and loved every moment of it. Except maybe those moments when your hair was ravaged by pool or ocean water, wherever you may be. Get to the salon! Or, take the easier route and apply Aveda Damage Repair. My stylist and good friend blessed me with a tiny sample to take home, but I’ve already got its full-size backup on the way.

Screen Shot 2013-08-16 at 10.44.53 AM4. Weekender Bag

For those quick weekend trips out of town—San Diego, Santa Barbara, Palm Springs, Las Vegas—to enjoy the warm weather just one more time, you’ll need to pack light. I love this colorful bag from Stela 9, the Isabel. To give you some perspective, it’s about as tall as your knees.

vichy spf455. Vichy Capital Soleil SPF 45 Sunscreen

OK, this is more of a year-round essential, particularly in Los Angeles, but my point: Never go without sunscreen. Never. Not even in the dead of winter on the cloudiest day. I’ve been using this particular sunscreen since I discovered it in May, and I’m addicted. It’s so light that you can wear it under makeup and it doesn’t smell like sunscreen.

Gender Neutral Book Covers, Please

special-topics-in-calamity-physics

The call-to-action started with a simple tweet yesterday from author Maureen Johnson: “I do wish I had a dime for every email I get that says: ‘Please put a non-girly cover on your book so I can read it – signed, A Guy.'”

The Huffington Post continued the discussion with a slideshow of re-imagined covers of famous books written by men but designed as if they were written by women. It was brilliant.

I’ll admit that I had never noticed this, um, I’m going to call it a “point” instead of a “problem,” as I’m still not sure it’s something to complain over—anyway, I’d never really noticed this point until it was brought up. But even in discussion, I’m just not convinced this is an actual thing. It seems like it would be more common and concerning in the Young Adult book market, where growing teens are extremely concerned with gender stereotypes and may actually judge a book by its cover.

But in a market for grown-ups? Eh. As an example, I’d like to present one of my all-time favorite book. Not by a woman, but just ever, and it happens to be written by a women: Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl. Definitely not a girly cover.

However, this small discussion seemed to open up to a much wider issue detailed in an article from The Guardian, “Coverflip: Author Maureen Johnson Turns Tables on Gendered Book Covers,” written by Allison Flood:

Bestselling novelist Jodi Picoult agreed. It’s “totally true”, she told Johnson. “I was critiqued for having ‘obligatory romance’ in all my books. When in fact, just last year, my book had none,” she tweeted. “Why is it ‘domestic fiction’ if a woman writes about family/relationships, but if a man does that, it’s Pulitzer-worthy? … The follow-up: what would happen if a woman submitted a book under male pseudonym to a publisher? Would it be treated differently?”

Amanda Hocking, the million-selling self-published novelist who landed a mega-bucks book deal for her paranormal romances, said the “gender cover-up” exposed by Johnson had made her “angry”. “I’m sick to death of this. I am so sick of the constant, blatant sexism. And any time anyone points anything out as being sexist, they’re accused of ‘whining’ or ‘nagging’ or ‘not taking a joke’,” wrote Hocking on her blog. “From the Steubenville rape trial to the obituary of Yvonne Brill, to the fact that more women read books than men, more women write books then men, but only a small fraction of books that win literary awards are written by women. Women are the publishing industry’s bread and butter, we are the backbone of the damn entertainment industry, but we are constantly demoted to ‘fluffy’ to ‘light’ to ‘meaningless.'”

Comments are there below for your views. Discuss!

Side note: I am, like many other readers, anxiously waiting for Marisha’s sophomore effort, Night Film, due out August 20 (two days after my birthday—it’s like she knows!)