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.

(I also ate way too many of these cookies.  Use good dark chocolate.  You will not want to share.   Yes, I ate at least those four in one sitting.  You've been warned.)


This is the first novel I've read from Elizabeth Gilbert (I loved both Eat, Pray, Love and Committed ), and I ADORED IT.  It's been awhile since I've really gotten into a novel but I couldn't wait to read it each day. It's also long - it took me the full 21 days on loan from the library (albeit with three small children around) to finish.  It took me a chapter or two to get over the fact that it was written by Elizabeth Gilbert, since it is very different in style from her memoirs (which, duh, that's to be expected).  The way it's written reminds me very much of a novel from the 1800's (which is when it is set), and to me that's a very good thing.  I loved the main character, I loved the relationships and dialogue between the characters, and I even learned a little about botany of all things.  

State of Wonder
Meh.  I know people get all googly-eyed over Ann Patchett's books, but I'm not one of them. This is the second or third book of hers that I've read and I just couldn't get very into it. There were enough twists and turns that I kept going, but I didn't particularly care for any of the characters (until the very, very end) and particularly didn't see the point of the main character's romantic relationship.  I also couldn't help but compare it to The Signature of All Things, since their plots were so similar (though this one is set today).  But otherwise each had a strong female main character, who is a researcher, they take a trip somewhere exotic, there is a lost man, a mysterious's probably not fair to compare, but by pure coincidence I read both Gilbert's and Patchett's book back-to-back and strongly preferred the former.

Love Warrior
If you're not familiar with Glennon Melton and her work over at Momastery, you need to be.  She is such a powerful writer and (in her words) "truth-teller".  This book was emotional and hard to read at times.  It's raw.  It's angry.  It's honest.  It tackles pornography and adultery and the church without apology.  And when it's good, it is so, SO good.  There is a redemption story here, but make no mistake, the redemption is not for any marriage or man, but for her own damn self.  


South Park
I know.  I know.  Tyson and I adore South Park.  It's stupid.  I used to think it was stupid. And, to be fair, when they started out 20 years ago, it was stupid.  All potty humor and curse words.  It's STILL full of potty humor and curse words, but it also has a message about our culture and society.  It's hilarious, on-point, and one of the best satirical portraits of the time and place we live today.  They write each episode the week it is released, so it is ON TOP of this crazy election year.  (Note: it would be pretty helpful to watch LAST season before starting this one.  Otherwise you'll be totally confused.)

Crash Course Literature
We've already been through Crash Course World History, and now we're working our way through Crash Course Literature.  It's like my high school English classes boiled down into 10-ish minute highly entertaining videos.  And I loved high school English class.  John Green (of The Fault in Our Stars fame) is so well-spoken and makes such great points about not only the works he discusses, but the purpose of literature in general.  It kind of makes me want to start writing thesis papers on all the books I read again...


Tagline: "looks at food through the lens of science and history".  SO INTERESTING.  I love listening to these episodes while cooking dinner.  The two women who co-host give a general overview about a food or related topic and also delve in deeper to the science and history behind that week's topic by interviewing historians, authors, and scientists.  I love books about food history, and this is food history in 45-minute podcast form.  Check out The Salt Wars, which I particularly enjoyed because I've also read the book.

One Bad Mother
I adore this podcast.  It's fantastic.  Biz and Theresa are SO relatable and hilarious (just wait until you hear Biz's laugh!) and help you realize that everything you're doing as a parent is just fine and normal.  Each week they tackle a topic together (everything from the existence of sand to parenting karma) and then interview a parent (usually an author, researcher, psychologist or some such person) on another issue.  They also share their parenting Genius and Fail moments each week, as well as a mom who calls in with a Meltdown.  The general takeaway is this: I AM NOT ALONE.  I love listening to their Genius and Fails and how REAL they keep this whole thing.  One of my absolute favorite episodes is Tired of Being President, so much so that I had Tyson listen to it as well and we've started to divide up our household presidential duties accordingly.  I'm so relieved to NOT be the president of prepping my morning coffee anymore.  As Biz and Theresa would say, I'm getting good at this.