D.L. Recommends Vol. 3


It’s time. Time for another volume of completely arbitrary things that I, D.L, recommend.



from Let Us Now Praise Famous Men

from Let Us Now Praise Famous Men



Moone Boy

Pretty sure I have recommended this before. But I am going to recommend it again. Because it is even better when you watch it a second time and you actually start to understand the Irish accents/slang/inside jokes. Go watch it! (You can find it on Hulu).


James Agee

The ultimate War Photographer. You guys, I can’t even. Let Us Now Praise Famous Men is bizarre and wonderful. In it, Agee goes to write about poor sharecroppers in the South and leaves a shaken man. It is lyrical and uneasy and so very worth reading. Now I want to read everything about this man who saw every human as being excruciatingly unique and worthy of honor.


The Empathy Exams

This book, by Leslie Jamison, is worth the hype (and it is what pointed me to James Agee). There were a couple of her essays where her self-consciousness was crippling, but I am all for anyone who is trying to feel it all. I read later that her mother is a pastor who works with the poor, and that influence to me could be felt rippling under the surface.


Planting Things in the Ground, Even though You Feel Skeptical

It really helps a tired soul find a few seeds of hope.


Looking at Pictures of Babies



Lupe Fiasco

OK, OK I really only listen to one of his songs when I plod along on my jogs: The Show Goes On. What is better than a white girl sweatily running and singing about throwing her hands up in the air? A lot of things, actually. But this one consistently works for me.


Adult Bands Pretending to Be Kid Bands

Did you know this is a thing? It is. My friends are in an awesome band named Destroy Nate Allen and they do kick-butt shows for kids (Ramona loves them). And they introduced us to this band called Koo Koo Kangaroo which is basically like the Beastie Boys taking over Yo Gabba Gabba (complete with gold fanny packs). My husband is currently obsessed with their album which is all about cats.



Don’t ever go back to plain vanilla ice cream. Don’t.


Longform Podcast

I am loving this. It basically interviews an interesting long form journalist/writer/essayist and they talk about the craft. I have found some new favorites from this podcast (including Alice Gregory).


Fosterhood in NY.

The best, most honest, transparent, hopeful, exasperating, beautiful and tragic blog ever written on what it means to be a foster parent. I love how the author is SO committed to being in relationship with the birth parents and their extended families. I cannot stop reading this blog, and it is more gripping (and harrowing) than a novel.



Or, as I call them when I am pretending to be from Northern Ireland, “tunderstorms“. Being a transplant to the MidWest, I find a lot of pleasure in the wilds of the storms that we get here in the spring.


Image Journal

I wanted to think that this literary journal was a bit snobby, a bit elitist, a teensy bit out of touch. But I consistently sit down and find myself carefully absorbing every word in the latest volume. I highly recommend supporting this endeavor, and I wish it wasn’t such a rare unicorn of a journal.


Signing With a Literary Agent

It has been a long road to this point for me, and I can’t say that it has been easy. But I did it. Here’s to one more step on this adventure.


Applying for Crazy Things

I heard about the Collegeville Institute from a tweet; I applied for a summer workshop on a hope and a prayer. And now I get all-expenses paid week at a monastery where I get to hang out with awesome people like Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove and have lots and lots of time to write. And be alone. Basically the dream of every poor writer. Take THAT, Donald Miller (or, as I like to call him: DonAHLD Miller). All the deadlines for this year have passed, but bookmark the site and apply for next year. You never know what will happen until you put yourself out there.


Taking Uncouth Selfies

Everyone should do it, or else you will get a big fat head.


dorkily excited about the article.

dorkily excited about the article.





So that’s it. I haven’t watched anything great lately and I would love some recommendations there. Also, I need a few light reads for my summer. Hit me up, people!









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11 thoughts on “D.L. Recommends Vol. 3

  1. R.O. says:

    Thanks for another great list of reccommendations! I am also SO happy for your recent writing success– Can’t wait to read your book! And, I love fosterhood! Fosterwee.wordpress.com is another great fostercare blog. Adoptiveblackmom.wordpress.com is a great blog about older child adoption and parenting a child who has experienced trauma. I highly reccommend both!

  2. Liza says:

    Thanks for the recommendations! In terms of flinging some back at you book wise, I finally read Americanah by Adichie, and if you haven’t already done so, please read it! For a fast, breezy book, I read The Rosie Project in a day and enjoyed it thoroughly.

    I’m super pleased for you about the ct cover and getting an agent! Hooray!

  3. what a great post – and so many congrats on the CT thingy and the literary agent thingy. You go, D.L.!!

  4. What a great article in CT! Wish I could remember the name and the author of the novel I read about the women fighting alcoholism during the industrial age in the U.S. Because men were working with machinery and drinking on the job there were more deaths and accidents than when they were strictly working in agricultural jobs. When prohibition was in place the accidents at work declined.

    If you haven’t seen “October Baby” I recommend the movie. I just watched “Doonby” streaming on Netflix. I admit I had to fast forward through some parts.

  5. wee frizz says:

    … totally distracted with the blog, the journal and the podcast now …. thanks! tunderstorms yes, custard ughh…

    we are watching all things scandinavian these days – Borgen, the Killing, the Bridge – although it’s probably subtitle overload…

  6. Bill says:

    Let Us Now Praise Famous Men is powerful. Thanks for the reminder. Congrats on linking up with an agent and thanks for the podcast recommendation (which is downloading as I type).

  7. Yvette says:

    Thanks for sharing the random wonderfulness of your life. Congrats on being accepted for the workshop and signing with an agent. Gotta go register for the fall session…

  8. Marilyn says:

    I’m in the middle of reading the Empathy Exams – I love it. I don’t know when I was last so profoundly affected by a book. But maybe i say that about all the books I like?!

    • you are so awesome. i love your book recommendations, so give me some more!

      • Marilyn says:

        Oh my gosh – this is so bass ackwards 🙂 you are the one with the amazing recommendations. So – I’m assuming you’ve read Teju Cole’s Open City? How about The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit? I loved that. For fun The Guernsey Literary and Potatoe Peel Society but you may have read that as well!


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