Read, Watched, Listened

I love reading just about everything (okay, you won't see any mystery or sci-fi picks on here), watching things that make me think and especially if they make me laugh, and wholeheartedly embrace the podcast. I also enjoy hearing about what other people are reading, watching, and listening. Here's my two cents worth.

I got slammed with library holds the past couple of months - it took all I had just to try to keep up! Writing up quick reviews (ha!) this time, so I can get back to the other books loaned out to me.

  How I’ve been keeping up on reading lately: surrounded by small children, blankets, and stuffed animals during our afternoon screen time break.

How I’ve been keeping up on reading lately: surrounded by small children, blankets, and stuffed animals during our afternoon screen time break.

READ

Tell Me More
This book was so. good. Kelly Corrigan is such a wonderful storyteller, and I loved how she candidly interwove stories (by turns hilarious, sad, and serious) with the twelve words and phrases she is working to use more frequently.

The Book of Essie
I was really looking forward to reading this novel, but didn’t love it. It was easy enough to read, but I guessed virtually all of the major plot points long before they were ever officially revealed (er…surprise?). It did have a satisfying ending, in a rom-com sort of way.

The Opposite of Hate
A very interesting read given the tensions of our current political and social climate. Sally Kohn (a progressive commentator on Fox and CNN - I don’t watch the news but maybe you know of her?) walks through various expressions of hate, from childhood bullying to genocide, and wrestles with the roots of hate, racism, and, ultimately, forgiveness.

Happiness
This memoir about motherhood, illness, and relationships was so beautifully written. The author’s experiences in these areas were vastly different than me own, yet I couldn’t stop reading and relating to her anyway.

Like a Mother
I would have been more fascinated by this book if I had read it during my first pregnancy. Many of the things the author discusses (how miraculous breast milk is, the fact that a fetus leaves behind cells in a mother’s body and just what the hell are they doing there anyway?) were things I already knew about, so those sorts of revelations lost their power for me. I do think this book would make a great gift for a newly pregnant or first time mom.

Inspired
Overall I loved Rachael Held Evan’s new book. The idea of looking at the Bible through the lens of storytelling — and discussing the power of storytelling itself — is such an important one. I could, however, have done without the re-telling of Biblical stories at the beginning of each chapter. They didn’t add anything to the book for me.

That Kind of Mother
I had mixed feelings on this one. On the one hand, I enjoyed the writing and storytelling. On the other hand, some of the characters and plot (or lack of) didn’t do it for me. It was a story ripe for something to happen - white family adopts the baby of their black nanny after the nanny dies - but I don’t think it quite got there for me in the end.

A Spark of Light
I LOVE Jodi Picoult. Like, one of my top three all-time authors. I didn’t love this book. I may have known too much about the story already going in (see the podcast recs below), but IMO this was not her writing at it’s best. Also, as a book about a shooting/hostage situation, it was VERY TENSE, which may not have been the best choice of book to read in the last few days leading up to the midterm elections. #mybad

Glitter and Glue
A Kelly Corrigan memoir of her time nannying one summer in Australia. Her writing is interesting enough (though I don’t think this is a book I could ever read again - which is typically the hallmark of a great book to me), but what kept me interested was the narrative that came forward about her mother, and how getting away from her made her appreciate and understand her mother all the more.

WATCHED

Nanette
Watch it. Watch it now. And then do what I did and make your husband immediately watch it with you the next night. To say this is a comedy special does not do it justice. It’s a feminist, LGBTQ, #metoo manifesto.

Chef’s Table (Season 5)
You know I love this series. Watch it. Start at the beginning and watch it now. (Or at least after you’re done with Nannette.)

Lady Bird
We (or at least I) are not big movie people, so you know it’s a Big Freaking Deal when I list a movie on here. Tyson and I enjoyed this coming-of-age, mother-daughter-tensions, character-drive, drama-ish movie. It was up for a bunch of Oscars a couple years ago and it was free on Amazon Prime so win-win for us.

LISTENED

Pod Save America
I can’t believe I’ve never mentioned this one here before! These guys - former Obama staffers - deep dive into politics and the news of the week. I particularly enjoyed their recap this week of the midterm elections, where they had an insightful conversation on the meaning (or lack of meaning) of results on election night and the blue wave that was. (!!!)

For the Love
I’ve said before that while I love me some Jen Hatmaker, I’m not a huge fan of her podcast. That said, she had two STELLAR episodes recently. One with Kelly Corrigan, the other with Jodi Picoult. They were both chock full of wisdom nuggets on life and writing that I know I will come back to again.

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