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.


Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen
Mary Norris has been a copy-editor at The New Yorker for decades.  It's part memoir, part grammar lesson, and all woven through with a biting, sarcastic sense of humor.  She has OPINIONS on grammar, proper usage of punctuation, and the sharpening of pencils.  Fair warning that you're going to need to be a bit of a grammar nerd yourself to enjoy and even understand some of this book.  It also may make you (MORE) paranoid about your own grammar, punctuation, and word choice anytime you type out something even as mundane as a Facebook comment...

Stern Men
I enjoyed The Signature of All Things so much that I went for another novel by Elizabeth Gilbert.  Also loved this one.  Set off the coast of Maine among a bunch of lobster fisherman in the 1970s, there was just enough narrative twists and turns to make it a page turner.  Above all, I highly enjoy Gilbert's ability to create such entertaining, oddball, and yet relatable characters.  It's amusing and also had the best, most satisfying ending in a novel that I've read in a long time.

For the Love
Finally got around (aka finally got to the top of the "holds" list) to Jen Hatmaker's latest.  She is SO funny, and touches on a little bit of everything in our current culture from parenting to cooking to the leggings-as-pants phenomenon (which I may or may not be embracing out in public right now...).  I know she's under a bit of fire right now for a recent interview (which: chill), however I find her to be articulate, thoughtful, HILARIOUS, while weaving it all together with a healthy reminder of the Gospel.  She helps to articulate and give voice to a younger, more liberal (whatever that means, these days) Evangelical set, who are sick of hearing a black-and-white doctrine when there are so, so many shades of gray.


This is Us
Have you been watching?  I rarely get into TV shows (Mad Men and Downton Abbey have been the only two I've followed (and when I follow a show, I mean it gets a tad obsessive) in recent years, but they've both ended.  I'm pretty picky when it comes to TV; the writing needs to be thoughtful, a tad unpredictable, and yet humorous.  People keep comparing it to Parenthood, but I seem to be in the minority on that one.  I watched the first season, (of Parenthood), yet found many of the characters tiresome and a lot of it too annoyingly precious and unbelievable to stomach.  In my opinion, This is Us is a much stronger show, while still exploring the lives and ties and complexities of family life.  It's also the first time Tyson and I have ever had a show that's "ours" to watch together (he annoyingly came in and out of Downton Abbey...I had to instate a "you can watch but for the love of God keep your mouth shut and don't ask me what's going on" rule) so that makes it fun, too.


99% Invisible
This is a recent one for me.  I wouldn't say I'm an avid listener, but have enjoyed cherry-picking episiodes here and there.  The short (20 minute-ish) episodes are about the design of, well, everything.  Episode 232: McMansion Hell had me actually laughing out loud as I made dinner one night, and I couldn't get the kids in bed fast enough to go check out the McMansion Hell website.  In fact, add McMansion Hell to the "read" list since it absolutely sucked me in.  (It had me DYING both of laughter and incredulous designer shame.)  Not exactly funny but incredibly interesting was Episode 220: The Mind of an Architect.