Caroline Donofrio

Currently Reading

When Things Fall Apart

by Pema Chödrön

I'll bet you can guess why I'm reading When Things Fall Apart. But! When life hands you lemons, there are a couple things you can do. If you're Beyoncé, you make Lemonade. If you're me, you read books about what to do with lemons. Typically a member of the writing-in-books-is-sacrilege camp, I found myself underlining and adding asterisks to nearly every page. The truth is, things — all sorts of things — fall apart. This is a beautiful guide on how to walk through life with your compassion, wisdom, and sense of humor intact. Consider it the failsafe guide to lemons.

Uli Beutter Cohen

Currently Reading

Exit West

by Mohsin Hamid

“Geography is destiny.” Exit West is a remarkably current and timeless story about migration and displacement told through the eyes of Nadia and Saeed, who become lovers just before they have to flee their war-torn home. Hamid’s world, where surveillance drones whirr in the sky, secret doors replace borders, and identity is as fragile as thin glass, had me at the edge of my couch. A haunting and heart-piercing novel that reminds us to be courageous and to handle our shared humanity with great care. This is required reading.

“We read to know we’re not alone.” — William Nicholson

Yahdon Israel


Edited By

Uli Beutter Cohen

We meet Yahdon Israel on a Saturday morning in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn. Right away, we bust out some Martinelli’s, his favorite, and dive into his closet. Yahdon, 26, describes himself as “the importer of the literary and the exporter of the swag,” and we couldn’t agree more. He received his MFA from The New School and hasn’t stopped since. He writes for The New Inquiry and Brooklyn magazine, his book club is lit, and his Fuckboy Files make serious waves. Enter the world of #literaryswag.

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Adina Grigore

Business, Badassery, and the Sex Book Everyone Should Read

Edited By

Caroline Donofrio

Moments after Adina Grigore opens the door of her Greenpoint apartment, she produces green smoothies and a bowl of very virtuous looking muffins. “These taste healthy,” she says, furrowing her brow. “I made up the recipe, but the consistency isn’t quite right.” One imagines she made this face often while developing S.W. Basics, her natural skincare line, in a previous kitchen.

Adina is known as an expert on wellness and DIY beauty (she recently poured mud on Dr. Oz). She is less known as a hilarious, outspoken book lover with a treasure trove of recommendations. That changes starting now…

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Hey, Reader:

Amani Al-Khatahtbeh

Name: Amani Al-Khatahtbeh

What do you do? Writer, Activist & Entrepreneur

Where do you live? Brooklyn, NY

Name one book that has been meaningful to you: Richard Burton’s English translation of Arabian Nights. The intense imagery and intricate weaving of poetry with prose totally captivated me growing up and taught me the sheer power and limitlessness of writing.

Reading ritual: Always seeping into the cracks of the day: on the subway, in a waiting room, when I can’t find anything good on Netflix.

Guilty pleasure: Trashy reality television. The worst.

Person you admire: My mother. She is a second-generation refugee and she taught me the definition of selflessness.

Must-follow: @muslimgirl, if you want to amplify Muslim women talking back.

Words to live by: Speak the truth even if it’s against yourself.

Last month, Eye Level hosted our first event at NYC’s iconic Strand Bookstore. Here’s what happened…

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Peace of Mind

Oh, how we wish we could simply hand you peace of mind. So! We’re offering up the next best thing: Pema Chödrön’s Compassion Cards, a beautiful deck to help you live mindfully every day; Pick Me Up, a journal with a pep talk on every page; Sit Like a Buddha, a pocket guide to meditation; and There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé, a poetry collection as daring as its title. Last but not least, you’ll also get a one month credit for Headspace, the app hailed for making meditation simple and accessible.

To enter, please leave a comment below telling us one thing that helps bring you peace of mind. The winner will be chosen at random on Friday, March 10th. Good luck!


  • Emma •  March 11, 2017

    A really hard spin class. I can’t think about anything else at all!!

  • Anne •  March 10, 2017

    Doing something nice for someone else.

  • Meave •  March 10, 2017

    The first light of day

  • Susan •  March 10, 2017

    reading, running, cooking at home

  • Savannah •  March 10, 2017

    Hatha Yoga

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