Read, Watched, Listened

I love reading just about everything, watching comedy and documentary-type things, and have recently embraced the podcast.  I also enjoy hearing about what other people are reading, watching, and listening to.  Here's my two cents worth.


A memoir written by a woman who lost her father unexpectedly the same year President Kennedy was assassinated.  It was okay.  I was involved in it enough that I felt the need to finish it, but I'm not sure it was exactly enthralling enough to recommend.  She interwove her family's story with the that of the paper mill in town, where her father had worked, but the two stories never quite worked together for me and I thought it ended somewhat abruptly.

The subtitle is "Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe".  True that.  Each chapter has a section written by Sarah Mae, a section written by Sally Clarkson, and a verse with some questions for thought and reflection at the end.  It was well-written and there were several tidbits that I took away from this book.  I just wasn't prepared for the questions at the end...they would have been nice to ponder and journal through but I honestly just wasn't in the mood.  I wanted a book that was encouraging, that I could breeze through fairly quickly after a long day, and this wasn't it.  It wasn't the book's fault (it's not you it's me!).  I'll probably come back to this one at some point.  Probably would be even better done as part of a Bible Study/mom's group.

LOVED IT.  Read it, then read it again.  I re-read my favorite chapter (Russian Dolls) too many times to count.  So good that even though this was an ebook borrow from the library, I'm probably going to purchase a copy for myself.  Shauna's writing is just so beautiful.  Beware: when she writes about risotto, all you will want to eat is risotto.  When she writes about bacon-wrapped dates, you will want to eat ALL the bacon-wrapped dates.  When she writes about blueberry crisp, you better believe that you will want blueberry crisp right NOW.  I haven't actually made any of the recipes yet, but I certainly plan to.  Then you will make you want to gather everyone you know around your table to feast.

This book is different from a lot of what I read.  Part memoir, part humor, part poetry, with songs and odes to various foodstuffs sprinkled generously throughout.  The humor is very dry, which I really enjoy.  It's about, well, food.  And food experiences.  It's a book that doesn't take itself too seriously.  I'm kind of loving it.  It's been a good summer read.


This is literally about the only thing I've watched recently.  It's you-don't-have-to-think-hard funny, which is what I need most nights once the kids are down.  Plus I really enjoy Jim Gaffigan's humor.  The show is based on his own life (it's a spoof on his own life: Jim plays a comic in NYC, living in a small two-bedroom apartment with his wife and five children).  My only quibble is with the tired premise of a beautiful, capable wife married to somewhat incompetent oaf, with characters like the token gay BFF and the bored, womanizing bachelor.  Oh, and also their children are inordinately well-behaved.  Like, in the show they sit at the table and actually eat their dinner.  But it makes me laugh in spite of all that.  Watch for the priest, Father Nicholas.  He's my favorite.


Jamie interviews a different woman each week on her podcast.  It's faith-based (she's interviewed everyone from Jen Hatmaker to Korie Robertson) and each and every conversation is fantastic.  Her tagline is that they talk "about the big things in life to the little things in life and everything in between", and it's entirely true.  You feel like you are right there having a conversation with your own girlfriends.  One minute they might be talking about the trials of adoption and the next someone is sharing their favorite makeup product.  She asks each guest at the end for three things they are loving and what they are currently reading, and it has given me some GREAT recommendations for products (look out, bank account) and books to read.  That actually might be my favorite part of the show.  One of my favorite episodes is her interview with Jamie B. Golden.

A podcast of conversations by a married couple.  Each week they cover a topic (actually two, one from him and one from her, which they surprise the other with) and discuss.  The conversations aren't always the most stimulating to me (although many of them ARE fantastic), but the topics and some of their points almost always provide me with fodder for conversations with Tyson.  And, I think without meaning to, their natural conversation style demonstrates a beautiful and open way of working through conflict and issues with your own spouse.  Or anyone, really.  Check out episode 6, which covers napping and (wait for it) in-laws.

I know, I'm not exactly on the cutting edge here.  But I HAVE been listening to the Hamilton musical soundtrack on repeat.  Do it.  Listen to it while you wash dishes.  Turn it on while you make your grocery list.  Bounce around to it with your kids.  Belt it out while you're in the shower.  SO into it.