What I'm Reading/Watching/Listening to Lately

Hello friends.  Podcasters make terrible bloggers.  I’m so very sorry.  I had all sorts of grand hopes in 2019 about posting twice a month, which, at the time, seemed entirely plausible.  But, alas, in the last three months I have posted nothing.  Not even once a month.  But I am committed to sharing the best of what I’m reading, watching and listening to and so, here is the best of the best from #Q22019.


Books:

I’ve continued to be in a bit of a reading rut this year, but I stepped it up this quarter, thankfully.  This isn’t everything I read, but it’s the most notable.

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Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

They aren’t calling this the book of the summer for nothin’.  In fact I absolutely attribute this to pulling me out of my reading slump.  Everyone’s been talking about it, I’m sure you’ve heard something, but for those of you who haven’t this book is all about a fictional band from the 70’s.  It’s told in the format of an oral history- imagine if Rolling Stones Magazine interview everyone involved in a band’s history and pieced their comments together chronologically.  Once I got into the format I loved it and it made me want to go back to listen to the audiobook version because I heard they nabbed some great actors for it.  I’ve already started casting the Hollywood movie version of this book in my head.  It’s entertaining, riveting and beautifully told.  Loved.


Parkland by Dave Cullen

I really appreciated Columbine, Cullen’s previous tome around school shootings, but I loved Parkland.  Whereas in Columbine Cullen focuses on the events of the shooting, in Parkland he chooses to aim his lens on the kids who would be come the faces of a new movement in the aftermath of the shootings.  There was so much I didn’t know about this story and so much that gave me hope.  These kids were incredible and what they managed to do, without the help of adults was pretty incredible.  It is non-fiction, but it reads like a novel at times.


Friday Black by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah

Ok, so I can’t say that I necessarily liked this book, but I’m so thankful to have read it.  It’s format is not my usual jam (short stories) and it veers into the realm of science fiction (also not my usual jam), but it’s more than just that.  It’s as if a book of short stories dealing with social justice had a baby with a science fiction short story collection.  This would be the result.  Some of the stories made me uncomfortable.  Some of them made me profoundly sad.  All of them took some elements of our society that are troubling and heightened them to a degree that forced me to pause and wonder if this was the course of the natural outcome of said elements.   Which is, of course, troubling to consider.  I think it’s a really important book to read, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t need to take breaks between stories.


Normal People by Sally Rooney

I really loved this story of two friends/loves who dip in and out of each others’ lives.  It was set in Ireland, a place I love more than anything, and the characters are endearing and maddening all at once.  I think Rooney captures that age of 18-20 something and all the relational strife that surrounds it really well.  I found it to hold my attention and my emotions well and I was sad to close the book when I was done- always a mark of a good one.

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Honorable Mentions: At the Wolf’s Table by Rosella Posterino, This Will Only Hurt A Little by Busy Phillips, My Sister the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaithe and Inheritance by Dani Shapiro


Television:

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I’m totally watching the Bachelorette this season (Knox and Jamie at The Popcast made me do it) and I don’t even care if you make fun of me.  I’m here for Hannah (and I thought I would hate her) and I’m here for Tyler (and I really thought I would hate him).  It’s dumb, entertaining television and Knox and Jamie’s recaps are worth every second.


I loved Always Be My Maybe on Netflix.  I’m a sucker for this rom com- essance we are having right now and Always Be My Maybe was exactly what you love- lighthearted, funny, endearing and with a killer cameo that makes the movie.  Here for it.


Obviously we watched Game of Thrones and obviously I had strong feelings about the ending.  To many to go into here, but the long and the short of it: despite my anger with the last season, that show remains some of the best storytelling on television to date.


We started the newest seasons of Handmaid’s Tale and Big Little Lies, but right now, it’s too soon to tell.


Podcasts:

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I inhaled Annie F. Downs’ EnneaSummer series.  This was one of the most well done series on the enneagram and I would download it immediately.  I found the episode about Sixes to be the most enlightening for me and of course, I loved the episode on Nines (cause…. it me!)


I also inhaled To Live and Die in LA, a true crime podcast that made me seriously question how much information our phones are keeping track of.  A random podcaster basically solved the crime because of the data google tracks.  It was mind blowing.  (And I liked this one a lot more than the other popular true crime podcast Root of Evil.)


I recently discovered I Hate It But I Love It and I’m only a few episodes in but I know I’m going to be binging this aggressively.  Two smart ladies talk about all the television and movies that they love, but also find somewhat problematic.  They are funny, interesting and their commentary is pretty spot on.


Ok, that’s what I’ve got for you right now.  A few summer books/shows/podcasts to keep you entertained while you survive summer!  Happy consuming :) 

What I'm Reading/Watching/Listening to Lately...

What I'm Reading/Watching/Listening to Lately...

I haven’t done monthly book posts in a while, partly due to time and, in general, the work of the podcast has me reading a lot less lately, but I thought it might pop in here and do a quarterly round up of the best books, shows and podcasts/music I’ve been listening to lately.  As we are just wrapping up March and therefore the end of the first quarter of the year, I figured now’s as good a time as any.  Here’s the best content I’ve consumed in the last three months.

Doc

Doc

Dr. Langlas’ quiet, steadfast example changed that for me and I am so very grateful.  I mean, don't get me wrong, he was an incredible AP English teacher and that class will always be the best class I took in high school.  I learned so much from him and will never forget his patience and gentle encouragement, his brilliant wisdom and the way he used literature to teach me the important things I needed to know about the world before I went out into it alone.  But what he showed me that winter break will always mean more.

For Mary

For Mary

I carried these words with me through the next years as I struggled to wrestle my grief and disillusionment and pain and joy and hope to the ground and redeem something new and beautiful with it all.  I carried them in my heart and revisited them when I needed the reminder that this renewal may look like telephone poles but I don’t have to care.  That for some things, for this thing, there was no wrong season.  And like Mary Oliver, it was what I dreamed of for me. 

No Stress Saturday

No Stress Saturday

Before the end of the evening we set up the self timer on the camera and all got in for one group shot.  We’re smiling and happy and there are incriminating red solo cups scattered across the counter.  I hope someday my kids come across this picture and smile at the sight of their parents clearly having too much fun.  I hope they’ll know just how hard and just how worth it it is to chase after a few hours of carefree fun with your friends.  And I hope they’ll have their own thirty-something friends to be carefree with, in only for a few hours.