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.


Burnt Toast Makes You Sing Good
Re-read.  A memoir/cookbook, which is a genre that I've stumbled upon and been devouring- pun intended - lately.  Okay, I admittedly haven't tried any of the recipes, but the family stories and the way they are told are soooooo well done.  Kathleen Flinn's writing is interesting, intelligent, and funny, and she has a knack for telling stories that I'm sure in her family are told over and over again.  It's engaging and light, for the most part, and is a fun read with the added bonus of the recipes.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
Let's call this a re-re-re-re-re-re-re-read for me.  One of my favorite books of all time.  I probably read it for the first time when I was 12 or so?  I couldn't even tell you but I just adore it.  Kathleen Flinn referenced it at the end of her memoir above, and I couldn't resist segueing right from Burnt Toasts Makes You Sing Good to A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.  It's an American classic, a coming-of-age story about Francie Nolan and her family living in Brooklyn in the early 1900s.  The characters are so vivid, the writing is beautifully descriptive, and it's just so honest that I fall in love with Francie all over again every time I read it.  It's also interesting to come back to books that I read as a kid, and remember how I used to relate to the younger characters but can now see so much from the adult side.  I haven't read it in years, so I'd forgotten all about Francie's last name - Nolan - and it made me all the more glad I have a baby boy named the same.  I can now claim that his name comes from a great literary work, instead of the lame "oh it was just a name we liked" answer I otherwise have to use. ;)

Honestly in the past month, I've mostly been reading things about the election.  (No wonder I needed to go through those feel-good re-reads above.)  It's hard to believe the election was over a month ago already.  The post-election coverage has been enormous.  If anyone still finds them helpful, and if you can stomach reading anything more that's related to the election, here are some of the best articles I've read in the past month:
Girls Can Be Anything, Just Not President
Don't Panic
Donald Trump's Demand for Love
Questioning Donald Trump
Donald Trump is Gaslighting America (Teen Vogue.  Seriously.)
Al Franken Faces Donald Trump and the Next Four Years

Though maybe the best thing I've read post-election, the thing that has really stuck with me, comes from a statement Bernie Sanders wrote on November 9th:
β€œTo the degree that Mr. Trump is serious about pursuing policies that improve the lives of working families in this country, I and other progressives are prepared to work with him. To the degree that he pursues racist, sexist, xenophobic and anti-environment policies, we will vigorously oppose him."
Amen to that.


The Crown
We're halfway through this series on Netflix based on the life of (the current) Queen Elizabeth.  It's fantastic - the costuming, the acting, the sets.  It really is just beautiful (their budget must be enormous).  Tyson and I have both been enjoying it and Google-ing and Wikipedia-ing different things to get us up to speed on historical events and people that are referenced.  I thought it was supposed to be a full sweep of her life from the time she took the crown up to the present, but we're 5 episodes in (of 10) and only through the first few years of her reign, so there must be more seasons to come.  That's definitely something to look forward to.

Good Girls Revolt
I'm a little over halfway into this one, too.  Set in 1969/1970, it's set at the fictional magazine News of the Week, but is based on real-life events that happened at (the real) Newsweek magazine.  Honestly, I'm kind of meh on it, you guys.  I'm invested enough that I want to finish this season, but I can't help but compare it to Mad Men.  And, of course, NOTHING ON THIS EARTH compares to Mad Men.  I'm really trying to rate this show based on its own merit, but the whole time I keep thinking how the costuming isn't as good (though it IS pretty fab), the dialogue isn't as sharp, and the character development is nothing in comparison.  So really, I should probably just watch Mad Men all the way through again.  In all my spare time.


The Cracked Podcast
Not something I listen to regularly, but the episode I linked to (What the F**k Just Happened You Guys?!) (Profanity!  Not a lot, but you've been warned) is specifically related to the election.  It was released the morning after the election and is a conversation between a couple very thoughtful, well-reasoned writers working through what happened in regards to the election and what led up to it.  They're processing it all just as much as anybody else was that day, but it was interesting and also insightful to hear everything discussed so calmly and rationally, yet with a healthy dose of "what the f**k?" thrown in.