Some Updates

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The wife and me

Because this ain’t my first time at the summer-in-NYC rodeo, I haven’t felt like I’ve had a ton of blog-worthy updates. But of course, that isn’t true. My summer has been pretty different — well, more like entirely different — than last summer. So if you’re wondering what I’ve been up to this time around, read on!

First things first, though. After toying around with the idea for a little while, I decided to start a new blog! I bought the domain and everything. Why I’m starting it during my last year of college when I’ll surely have other things to do, such as write a thesis, is an excellent question for you and me both. Something about not procrastinating, doing the thing you want to do now, seizing the day. I don’t know. If I keep my promise to myself, I’ll be writing a weekly (maybe bi-weekly) post about books. Mostly reviews, but some miscellaneous bookish topics as well.

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In the spirit of the book, set in NYC, I thought this shot, with the cab and coffee and everything bagel, was quintessential New York.

You can check out the new site at aliterarygirl.com and the related bookstagram (yes, this is a thing!) @aliterarygirl, which is featured on the side of the blog. Follow for recommendations and aesthetic pictures of books!

So back to my internship summer. If you recall, I’m working at Atria Books (within Simon & Schuster) as the marketing intern, which initially came as a surprise to me. And although the job often consists of typical intern tasks (my last job did too), I’ve been really happy to do something different. As a rising senior, the existential crisis is descending very rapidly. For years I’ve intended to work in book publishing and I’ve loved the internships I’ve had in the industry, but I want to stay open to other jobs and career paths. I think I could be happy doing a number of things with my life, and I don’t want to limit myself to one stick-straight path at the cost of missing out on other great opportunities. So I’m grateful that the experience I’m getting from this summer could easily be applied to other fields, not just publishing.

I recently did a few posts on the @simonandschuster_careers instagram describing a “day in the life” of a marketing intern at Atria, so go take a look if you’re interested!

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From @simonandschuster_careers and also my personal instagram

A good deal of my time is spent sending booksellers, influencers, and contest winners early copies of books to generate buzz in advance of a book’s pub date or, in some cases, to get more reviews and sell a book that needs another post-pub push. Sometimes I do research, all of which is intended to help us get the books to their ideal audience and, in turn, sell more. So for example, I recently looked for the leaders of centralized on-campus political organizations to send one of our political inspirational books, the hope being that the central group will tell all of its campus chapters about the book so they, the ideal audience, will buy it. One of my favorite jobs to do is take photos and write captions for The Novel Place, Atria’s Women’s Fiction social media. After getting some great feedback on the first few pictures I took, I thought, Why don’t I do this for myself, too? And thus, the bookstagram and aliterarygirl.com were born.

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The Grand Place in Brussels

Every weekend, and I’m not exaggerating when I say every weekend, I’ve had friends or family visiting. Or I’ve been out of town, in the case of Fourth of July. I took the long weekend as an excuse to hop over to Belgium with Neal. Was it kind of a crazy thing to do? Yes. But I don’t regret it even a little bit. My visitors (Arielle, Ali, siblings) have given me a reason to get out and do things like explore Chelsea Market, go to Smorgasburg (first pic in this post), see several broadway shows, and most importantly, eat good food. Between those visits, I’ve caught up with a few friends who actually live in the city. I saw Miss Saigon with Sung, I picnicked in Central Park with Courtlyn. Yesterday, I spent the afternoon and evening with Anna and Daione, who are visiting NYC for the first time! We went to the MoMA, had a nice Italian dinner and some Ample Hills ice cream, then got drinks on a rooftop bar and a barge. I’ve been as much of a social butterfly as I could handle being, and now Neal is visiting! For my last two weeks in New York, I’m sure to go out with a bang, definitely not a whimper.

As much as I like exploring with friends, I like my downtime just as much. This summer more than ever, I’ve found a great deal of bliss in domesticity, and I never dreamed I’d say that. I love when I’m able to go home, tidy up, cook dinner, read or write, watch some quality TV, maybe-but-probably-not go to the gym, and finally go to bed. Such independence! Living alone has been amazing — I’m not sure there’s any going back now! As I’ve fallen in love with this kind of life, I’ve realized that I’m ready to finish up school and start (young) adult life. It’d be great to live somewhere I can afford to live alone, and maybe even drive my own car around, but that’s something I can’t possibly arrange right this moment. So as much as it kills me, I’ll have to wait and see what life is going to throw my way after graduation. Until then, I’ll keep having fun here.

~Natalie

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