One of the best things about vacations, even working vacations, which I’ve been on for the past couple of weeks, is time to catch up on quality web reading and listening. With all of the flashy headlines pulling at our attention these days—“You will be amazed!” “You won’t believe what happens next!”—I find myself hungry for substantive, well-written and carefully delivered content that stays with me long after I’ve finished.

Here are a couple of satisfying and thought-provoking “vacation finds” that I know I will return to often. I hope you enjoy them, too.

Joanna Penn on writers, introverts, and public speaking

Listen to author Joanna Penn (interviewed by Viv Oyolu) talk about being an introverted writer and the importance of public speaking skills for authors.

“I can’t take too much time with people… I don’t like talking on the phone… I certainly would never do cold calling… I don’t like small talk…”

This podcast was perfectly timed for me, because I am working on fully accepting those qualities in myself.

What everyday kindness really looks like

In the Atlantic piece “Masters of Love,” Emily Esfahani Smith discusses the role of kindness in long-term relationships. While we all probably say we are pro-kindness, the article gives some excellent insight into what everyday kindness really looks like and how we can be kinder to the people we tend to take for granted.

“There are two ways to think about kindness. You can think about it as a fixed trait: either you have it or you don’t. Or you could think of kindness as a muscle. In some people, that muscle is naturally stronger than in others, but it can grow stronger in everyone with exercise. Masters tend to think about kindness as a muscle. They know that they have to exercise it to keep it in shape. They know, in other words, that a good relationship requires sustained hard work.” Read more