All the Swirl "Must Reads"

Kimberly Charles

My “must read”: Finding Sadness in Joy by Dan Kois

 Photo courtesy of Stacey Aoyama - Disney & Pixar

Photo courtesy of Stacey Aoyama - Disney & Pixar

Source: Slate

Why does this stand out to you? I've always loved the charm of animated film and was a big cartoon lover as a kid. As an adult, even though I don't have children, I really enjoy seeing some of the masterful animated films that manage to straddle a dual narrative for both adults and kids. Two favorites for me include the Incredibles (I had a chance to meet Brad Bird which was a total treat) and more recently, Inside Out by Pixar. I related to the storyline closely as my family moved often growing up, and as I grew older the challenge of coping with the emotions of moving as a young pre-teen were not insignificant. We were from a "buck up" generation and I do think that attitude made us the doers we are today, however, the tenderness of this film's script teaches that rather than stuff down conflicting emotions as a young person, it's important to embrace all of them to celebrate life's joys and setbacks.   

I'm not a fan of keep everything positive despite being a pretty optimistic individual, I love experiencing the full gamut of human emotions and this article helps perfectly summarize the message of the film, sometimes sadness is a portal to understanding joy. 

 Photo courtesy of Hannah Barczyk

Photo courtesy of Hannah Barczyk

Ana Roselli

My “must read”: My Own Life - Oliver Sacks on Learning He Has Terminal Cancer by Oliver Sacks

Source: The New York Times - The Opinion Pages

Why does this stand out to you? Oliver Sacks M.D., who was a professor of neurology at the New York University School of Medicine and the author of many books, died on August 30th in NYC due to cancer. This article is actually a letter written by Dr. Sacks in February when he learned about his terminal diagnosis. Yes, it is sad; but it is also inspirational and poetic. Reading it made me think about a concept that one of my Masters colleagues brought recently to my attention: "before I die". It is a really powerful exercise to imagine yourself looking back at your life and identifying what was truly meaningful about it. How do you want to be missed? I believe these are very important ideas that might lead our present actions towards a more impactful life. Sometimes our daily activities make it easy to forget that we are in control, that we are the ones living our lives. So let's remember and get the most out of it!

 Photo courtesy of Glamour Magazine

Photo courtesy of Glamour Magazine

Alexandra Fondren

My “must read”: Mindy Kaling's Guide to Killer Confidence

Source: Glamour

Why does this stand out to you? In her ever-relatable way, Mindy Kaling apologizes to a young fan to whom she had once provided a lazy, lamentable rote answer to the question "Where do you get your confidence?". She then makes up for it by providing the most poignant, honest and culturally significant essay on the subject of female confidence I've ever read. My favorite line: "People talk about confidence without ever bringing up hard work. That's a mistake. I know I sound like some dour spinster chambermaid on Downton Abbey who has never felt a man's touch and whose heart has turned to stone, but I don't understand how you could have self-confidence if you don't do the work... Because confidence is like respect; you have to earn it." Amen sister. 

Jamie Sutton

My “must read”: Why I Gave Up a $95,000 Job to Move to an Island and Scoop Ice Cream

Source: Cosmopolitan

 Photo courtesy of Jamie Sutton

Photo courtesy of Jamie Sutton

Why does this stand out to you?  Noelle Hancock was a journalist living in the East Village of Manhattan where she had a $95,000 job and a great apartment in NYC- on paper that sounds like she is living the life, right? In this piece, she tells the story of her journey of giving up what she thought she needed for what would make her happy. "It's ironic to feel lonely on an island of 4 million people, but it seemed I spent my life staring at screens: laptop, cell phone, iPad — hell, even the taxis and elevators had televisions in them. I felt stressed, uninspired, and disconnected." Hancock describes feelings that can be accompanied by the hustle and bustle of the working city life with an interesting perspective. While living in the middle of the ocean isn't ideal for most people and this is indeed quite an extreme alternative, this article opens a conversation about change and branching out of what we know and think is the right way to live.

All the Swirl is a collections of thoughts and opinions assembled by the staff and industry friends of Charles Communications Associates, a marketing communications firm with its headquarters in San Francisco, California. We invite you to explore more about our company and clients by visiting