Read, Watched, Listened

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

 Also: ate. Made this yummy  soup  a couple of weeks ago. The first day I was all  meh , but by the next afternoon it had done that magical thing that soups do as they sit and gotten all kinds of delicious and I think I ate like three bowls. So I recommend making it the day before you actually want to eat it, using only 6-8 cups of chicken broth, upping the amount of beans and/or tortellini, if you're into those sorts of things (which I totally am), and definitely eating it with a bialy from  Hot Bread Kitchen .  Do it.

Also: ate. Made this yummy soup a couple of weeks ago. The first day I was all meh, but by the next afternoon it had done that magical thing that soups do as they sit and gotten all kinds of delicious and I think I ate like three bowls. So I recommend making it the day before you actually want to eat it, using only 6-8 cups of chicken broth, upping the amount of beans and/or tortellini, if you're into those sorts of things (which I totally am), and definitely eating it with a bialy from Hot Bread Kitchen. Do it.

READ

Some Girls: My Life in a Harem
Jillian Lauren's writing is so honest and raw and real that I love it. In this, her first book, she recounts the months that she spent in a yes-for-real-not-kidding-it-really-was-a-harem in Borneo. It's interesting, slightly gossipy, and actually not too raunchy. She gives a face and a voice to some of her fellow, um...co-workers? Roommates. Let's go with roommates. 

Everything You Ever Wanted
While I enjoyed Some Girls, I had first been introduced to Jillian's work a few years ago through this memoir of her infertility and subsequent adoption journey. After finishing Some Girls I immediately went back to this one (Any other re-readers out there? Re-reader for LIFE). This one really resonates with me, especially on a parenting level; it's still honest and raw, and also powerful and descriptive and beautiful. She brings you right into the emotions of her journey in a very tangible way. If I were you, I'd skip Some Girls and go right for this one.

Hallelujah Anyway
I love Anne Lamott. While this work doesn't quite have the power of, say, Traveling Mercies (another book I could re-re-re-re-re-read), this one is a quick read, and a kick-in-the-pants reminder in that Anne Lamott way of the power of mercy and forgiveness.

The Leavers
I'm not really sure what to say about this one. It's a novel that I never really looked forward to reading, but once I began reading each night, I had a hard time putting it down. Part of it I think has to do with the plot; a pre-teen Chinese boy is unexpectedly left by his mother in New York City and has no idea where she's gone. There's just a lot there that is difficult for me to relate to (undocumented immigration, poverty struggles, life in NYC), but that's not really a great excuse because I read books all the time with characters that are nothing like me (aka kind of the point of reading). I think I also had a hard time actually liking the main character and his mother. In a way I didn't even want to root for them. But again, they did suck me in each time I picked up in the book to read, so I guess I had some sort of emotional investment in their story in spite of myself.

Object Lessons
This coming-of-age novel really pulled me in. It details the life of Maggie Scanlan during the summer of 1966, as she enters her teenage years. It's no hippie manifesto, but it details the intricacies of family dynamics so well. I can relate to and remember that age, that feeling of being a little bit of an outsider while also able to understand so much and yet not quite enough of the adult world. It's quiet and thoughtful, and I appreciated the character of Maggie's mother also finding her own voice.

The Hate U Give
Get thee this book. Or, if you're like me, go on your library's waiting list as number 382 and wait some months for it. Young Adult literature is having a moment lately and I am HERE for it. I would never have known this was Angie Thomas's debut novel. No way. Oh, right, so what is it about? No big deal, just the life of a black girl whose black friend gets shot unjustly by a police officer right in front of her. Ahem. Sound familiar? Starr, the girl, straddles both the black community in which she lives and the more privileged white world where she attends school. It is so well-written, raw and even funny at times. And just a little bit applicable to our current political climate. I almost lost it completely on the very last page.

WATCHED

House of Cards
A little dark, a lot intriguing. Tyson and I have been binge-watching this one. Well, at least binging as much as we can with three small children, which means we're about two months in and have nearly finished season three. The first two seasons were fairly depressing, though still compelling. I will admit to enjoying the third season the most so far as it's been more political intrigue than twisty drama.

LISTENED

For the Love Podcast   
Jen Hatmaker is bringing it in her new podcast. She's basically my spirit animal. I haven't gotten into every episode, but my favorites so far have been with Glennon Doyle and Nichole Nordeman. Both episodes have been filled with so much honest truth that you can't do much but sit there, folded laundry abandoned, as you nod along to all their words.

Note: any links to Amazon in this post are affiliate links.