Every month I post a round up of the best stories I’ve consumed. This is how I kicked off 2016.
Death, Sex, and Money is my favorite podcast in the history of podcasts. Each episode is an intimate listening session that catapults past small talk and deep into the bones of its guests. Host Anna Sale, in my opinion, has the best job in the world. We should all strive to be the kind of listener she is, part therapist, part detective, part story midwife. A few favorites I listened to in January are here, here, and here. The series covering the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina was beautiful and real in a way other
Anna Faris Is Unqualified is my guilty pleasure of podcasts. When I need my morning or afternoon commute to include lots of laughter, Anna Faris gets the job done. It reminds me of the morning radio shows I listened to growing up – silly, fun, and full of antics. Her latest podcasts with Michael Rapaport, Ike Barinholtz, and Justin Long are tops for me. For the love of all things piss in your pants funny, listen.
Another Round’s interview with Anil Dash (a stranger to me before I listened) is a must listen for anyone who a. is the offspring of immigrant parents and b. loves conversations about diversity. My favorite quote, talking about the TV show ER, “You have a hospital in a major city and you have no Indian people? That’s science fiction.”
And last, but certainly not least, Call Your Girlfriend. They can’t put out new shows fast enough for my taste. I’d list favorites but the truth of the matter is I have yet to listen to an episode I didn’t enjoy. My people, right here.
Clearly, female storytellers are tops for me
Based on true events, this film is tragic and beautiful all at once. It tells the story of a group of young dancers who live in a time and place where dance and self-expression are violently forbidden. I felt this one deep.
I love a good boxing movie. Plus, I’m a big fan of the cast. I grew up on Stallone, Michael B. Jordan has yet to let me down, and after falling in love with Tessa Thompson in Dear White People (totally worth your time), I’m down to support her work.
Scandal Season 2 & 3
I’m a gladiator, what can I say?
Sleeping With Other People
As the romcom queen, this one is a new favorite. It’s smart, well written, and full of characters that feel real (except for one which I have to believe was written to embody all the stereotypes of “men” women lust after for all the wrong reasons). Jason Sudeikis needs to make more movies. And I’m girl crushing on Alison Brie who is fantastic as the leading lady.
Infinitely Polar Bear
Anything I want to say about this is bound to sound over the top. Mark Ruffalo is nothing short of brilliant. Zoe Saldana is tender, hard, and human. I was mad at myself for not having seen it sooner. I fell so much in love with these characters I didn’t want to see the movie end. Also, the little girls in this are impressive to say the least. They added a layer of fragility to a film already heavy on the vulnerability.
Hello I Must Be Going
Confession: I love myself a movie about life after divorce. This one is subtle, like a raspy whisper. Melanie Lynskey continues to be one of my favorite actresses. Bonus: Blythe Danner has snuck onto my favorite actress list with charming roles like the one she plays here.
Z is for Zachariah: I had high hopes for this one but it caught me on an off night; I was multitasking and tired. I’m going to pick it up again and give it another go. Margot Robbie and Chris Pine really impressed me because their roles were so different from ones they’ve had in the past. Also? Chiwetel Ejiofor, holy talented hotness.
Take Me Home Tonight: The 80s girl in me wanted to be head over heels for this one. It was alright. However, it does remind me of other comedies that haven’t done it for me the first time around but then become addictive after multiple viewings.
Ted 2: I mean, Mark Wahlberg. And Boston. I had to. – SNF
When Breath Becomes Air – I knew going in this would be one I couldn’t put down and wouldn’t forget. I was compelled to read it after joining the masses in celebrating the author’s skillful writing and soulful insights in his New York Times article and later in a piece he wrote for Stanford Medicine. I could think of no better way to start off this year than by reading this book. It was an eloquent reminder to live. Also, I have a new and profound respect for anyone, like Mr. Kalanithi, who has a similar passion for their chosen profession and who so entirely devotes themselves to it in pursuit of not just hands on mastery but full bodied understanding of what they’re doing and it’s impact on others.
Carry On Warrior – I started this book last year and just finished it as I ushered in the new year. My copy is a mess; just about every page has long passages, and short ones, covered in orange crayon (my highlighter stand in). I want to make motivational posters of every word in this book. I want to hand this book to every one. It’s made me a better person, or at the very least a. made me aspire to be better and b. aspire to be gentler.
Wildflower – Drew Barrymore has held legend status since I fell in love with her as a young girl. I breezed through this one quickly and imagine it a perfect beach read you can jump in and out of with ease.
Sounds Like Me – I picked this up on a whim after coming across it every where I went. I didn’t really know who Sara Bareilles was until I looked up her music and discovered…oh yeah, I know who she is. Another light read full of wonderful moments that like they could have come from my life. She’s got a keen way of remembering and capturing her experience and it spoke to the young woman I once was.
Year of Yes – I was ready to love this one hard; but it just wasn’t for me. I like what she had to say but the writing wasn’t for me which was surprising since I love her shows. Having said that, I’m sharing because her message is a powerful one we could all use. And just because the writing isn’t for me doesn’t mean it’s not for you. Sometimes, even though we may need the same guidance, the delivery has to come in its own unique way.
Oh You Pretty Things – SNF (started never finished)
*SNF = Started, never finished…because I ain’t got time for that 😉