You know I enjoy a female auteur, and this indie film where nothing really happens but you really learn a lot was a favourite. It’s about a group of friends getting together for an intervention intended to ask a couple to divorce though of course, there’s a twist. There’s a sweet innocence to this that stuck with me, and again, women who are complicated like actual human beings. These are the kinds of films we need to support financially and with our clicks, so click to it!
West Wing love – podcast and, the poetry of Toby Zieglar yelling (yes, really)
I never thought a weekly podcast analysing an episode of a TV show could be interesting, but I was wrong. This is fascinating and essential for West Wing fans. Richard Schiff cried. The New Hampshire scenes were filmed on the set of the Gilmore Girls. They coined the term ‘Tella-Donna’. It also reminded me of this classic: the poetry of Toby Zieglar yelling. You’re welcome.
The Longform podcast, and particularly Ben Taub’s interview
I’ve been a Longform podcast listener since the very beginning (way back in 2012). Each week, one of the three co-hosts interviews a writer about their work. There are moments with the broey-ness irks me but on the whole, they ask smart, thoughtful questions which result in fascinating interviews. There are so many classics – Rukmini, Tah-Neshi (there are 3!), Jia, Leslie, Ann etc etc etc – but Ben Taub’s interview has been rattling around my brain for weeks. He talks about reporting on the war in Syria, the horrors that he’s seen and reported on. I’ve read his work but the intimacy of the audio format and the vulnerability in his voice made for very powerful listening. Highly recommend.
The Hunting Ground
This is brutal portrait of the sexual assault epidemic sweeping the States. At its most chilling, you see the indifference of campus’s to recognise the life-long impact of sexual assault. This is what grassroots activism looks like – hand drawn maps, living in your car, getting on the phone with yet another victim. Relentlessly pursuing something you know to be right, with only a tiny chance of success.
My reading system
I’ve mentioned it before, but my reading system is among my favourite inventions. I had some time this month to work through my backlog which was full of amazing stuff. My goal is to keep it under 50 ‘to be read’ though I rarely achieve it. Shout out to Diana for inspiring it. I never knew a reading system could bring so much joy, productivity and learning but there you go. I’m a nerd who learned!
Noise cancelling headphones
I’m an introvert who doesn’t like noise and yet have spent many hundreds of hours on planes listening to engines roar and not really able to hear my podcast. No more. Finally, finally, I invested in a pair of noise cancelling headphones and travel got instantly more pleasant. I didn’t want to spend a fortune (€350 are you kidding me?!) so I got these. For the price point, I’ve been very impressed with the noise cancelling ability and they only squish my ears a very little bit. Me of 2011, you shoulda bought these!
P.S. Check out more recommendations.