Welcome to another edition of Get To Know Your Hosts! We have nearly 20 hosts across the country (and in Canada!) and each month we ask one a few questions about her self-care/reading habits. Meet Malina Tran! Malina is an engineer at Sweetgreen by day and the second half of our LA book club host duo in her spare time. Here’s what she had to say…

1. What’s the latest book you’ve read that you couldn’t put down and why?
It Doesn’t Have To Be Crazy At Work by David Heinemeier Hansson and Jason Fried. I love learning about work cultures and interpersonal relationships because it opens up my mind to new ways of doing and being! As mentioned in Phoebe Robinson’s book (as well as our book club discussion – and countless of articles on the same subject), being a workaholic or even being busy because of work is often deemed a status symbol in modern society. Hustling or side gigs or launching new projects can be so sexy and enticing. This book unpacks what it means to have a healthy work-life balance (and to work for a company that wholeheartedly supports this) through the lens of the authors’ own company, Basecamp.
As a recovering workaholic, I’m learning to divorce my self-worth or happiness from my sense of productivity and work-related accomplishments. It’s about learning to be enough, to accept and love yourself, and to take care of yourself. I’m still a work in progress, so it’s important for me to be practice that intention on a daily basis. I know – that is sooooooo GNI.

2. Favorite literary character?
Does Laura Ingalls Wilder count? I read all of the original Little House books as a kid and watched reruns of the television series with my mom. Despite her difficulties on the Western frontier, I loved reading about all of her adventures and her stories gave me such a warm fuzzy feeling. (Fun fact: I loved the idea of being a pioneer so much, my mom made me a dress and matching bonnet inspired by LIW, which I got to wear at a school play in the 4th grade).

3. How do you like to relax, recharge, or practice self-care? Any tips?
For me, a tidy and clean physical environment is so necessary for R&R time. I learned about Friday Night Chores (FNC) from Rachel Wilkerson Miller by way of GNI. Here’s the basic premise: I’ll do all of my chores on a Friday evening, so I get the opportunity to truly enjoy the rest of my weekend and actually feel rested. I’m generally good with maintaining my space so it’s never an overwhelming responsibility. After a long work week, I look forward to basking in solo time and instead, will allocate time during the weekday or Saturday/Sunday for socializing. Friday evenings are my time: I aim to go to a post-work therapy session, followed by doing laundry and cleaning the bathroom and kitchen. Once done, I’ll read a book, have a delicious homemade dinner, watch a show, or lounge around.

4. Recent obsession(s)?

Follow Malina on Instagram at @malinatran_. For more interviews click here.