monthly recap | january 2022.

january flew by! i had 4 weeks to pack up my stuff and do all the things i wanted to do before saying farewell for now to memphis, and it was a whirlwind.

january highlights.

first hike of the year with the carroll family // grizz game with pat // memphis farewell tour // pajama party with corrinne and caitlin // slowly starting to run again // a few nights with my family // friend + kiddo visits on the way to nyc

january books.

my 2022 reading goals are here.

the startup wife by tahmima anam. i went into this not really knowing much of what the book was about and was quite pleasantly surprised by it. the descriptions of life in a startup, especially from the perspective of a woman of color surrounded by [mostly white] men, were at turns hilarious and frustrating and ridiculous and everything in between. good first book to kick off the year of reading.

call us what we carry poems by amanda gorman. i want to read more poetry this year, and amanda gorman’s recently-released collection felt like a great way to kickstart january. some are seemingly simple, and others are more in-your-face, but all have deeper meaning hidden beneath the surface. i find poetry even more subjective than books, but i liked this collection.

evvie drake starts over by linda holmes. this was a different kind of romance novel to what i’ve read in the past, and i quite enjoyed it. evvie is a widow in her mid-thirties, and dean is a baseball pitcher dealing with a career-ending case of the yips. i like a good friends-to-lovers story, and i thought this one hit that note well.

the thursday murder club by richard osman. this was a recommendation from ellie, and it was such a fun book to read. a quartet of seventy-somethings living in a retirement village in england fancy themselves amateur sleuths, and when a few people in their periphery are killed they throw themselves into solving the murders. the characters are such a unique bunch, and i flew through the story. there is a second book out as well, and i already have it in my libby queue.

the seven husbands of evelyn hugo by taylor jenkins reid. i didn’t read this when it first came out because the plot felt very similar to nora roberts’ genuine lies, but after reading and thoroughly enjoying both malibu rising and daisy jones and the six [highly recommend as an audiobook] last year i decided to give it a go. while there were some similarities to roberts’ book – an aging film star decides to dictate her life story to a handpicked writer in which she divulges all the secrets of her life and marriages – it was also very much its own story. i found myself drawn in by evelyn hugo and eager to learn more about her life, and while i guessed the “twist” and thought it was somewhat convoluted, i still thought it was an interesting read.

2022 book tally to date: 5

the best things i watched.

i finished season 2 of love life. it took me longer than the first season because marcus’ story felt heavier and i didn’t want to rush through it. it was an emotional roller coaster and was orchestrated so well [sorry for mixing metaphors there]. i really loved following marcus’ arc and growing and experiencing and learning alongside him. and if you have already watched, the podcast for colored nerds had a great discussion about the season [linked in the podcast section below]. streaming on hbo max

i finally watched the final season of insecure. i intentionally waited until all the episodes were released and then watched them all in a week. i didn’t bother avoiding spoilers and so knew bits and pieces of what transpired, but it was still a joy to watch it all play out. it was funny, it was stressful, it was sad, it was joyful, it was heart wrenching, and it was intense. what a great ending to a fantastic series. streaming on hbo max

the rewatchables podcast reran an old episode in which they discuss the fugitive, and i realized i likely had never actually seen the full movie. i’ve seen many clips over the years and have certainly quoted some of its lines, but i was intrigued enough to watch it for myself so i could then listen to the podcast recap. it was really funny to watch a 1993 movie through a 2022 lens, especially with how far technology has advanced, but i rather enjoyed it. streaming on hbo max

every year on india’s republic day [26 january] i rewatch rang de basanti. it’s one of my favorite hindi films, and i love this little tradition i have created for myself. it never fails to stir up all my emotions, and i’ll take any excuse to stare at kunal kapoor for a few hours. streaming on netflix

my brother and i rewatched creed so that i could listen to the rewatchables’ episode on my drive. i hadn’t seen it since it first came out in 2015, and honestly it is still amazing. i still can’t believe sylvester stallone didn’t win the oscar for best supporting actor, because he was fantastic. also i can’t believe that was only the second film ryan coogler directed. available for rent or purchase on itunes and prime

when i got to nashville on saturday all three wright children were flabbergasted that i had not yet seen encanto, so we had a movie night to correct my oversight. it is great and i will be watching it again soon. streaming on disney+

and i am still continuing my rewatch of criminal minds and am currently midway through season 5. first 12 seasons streaming on netflix

the best things i listened to.

packing and moving gave me a good opportunity to catch up on my podcasts in january so i will apologize in advance for the length of this list.

education is a fundamental right for every child | makhtoum abdalla . such an inspiring story of how education can change a person’s life trajectory.

hbo’s love life [for colored nerds, december 6]. eric and brittany discuss the second season of love life, which stars william jackson harper. i waited to listen until after i had finished the season, and it was great to hear them echo so many of my own thoughts.

4 steps to hiring fairly — and supporting criminal justice reform | nyra jordan . a look at who gets left out of company’s initiatives to hire diverse employees.

the weight of love [death, sex & money, december 15]. stories about navigating dating and relationships when also dealing with weight and body issues. great listen.

i’m the bad guy sometimes [call your girlfriend, december 17]. aminatou sow interviews nichole perkins and it is fantastic. perkins’ book sometimes i trip on how happy we could be was one of my favorite books last year.

those we’ve left behind (with shaka senghor & teresa hodge) [how to citizen with baratunde, december 30]. baratunde discusses how the tech conversation leaves out those who have been or are currently incarcerated and how we can close that gap. great listen.

stuttering with confidence: a conversation with a speech therapist who stutters [proud stutter, december 31]. this series is one that i learned about recently and i am really enjoying listening to their episodes, including this one with a speech language pathologist who stutters himself and how he approaches his work. highly recommend.

emotions are data…so listen to them [the happiness lab with dr laurie santos, january 2]. this episode covers how to navigate uncomfortable emotions so that you can gain greater understanding of the larger things that are happening in your life.

language shouldn’t be a barrier to climate action | sophia kianni . a young woman talks about her efforts to make climate activism more accessible by ensuring materials are translated into multiple languages so others can be a part of the movement.

talking while black [this american life, january 9]. stories of black people caught in the backlash of the racial justice movements of the last few years.

range: david epstein [wisdom from the top, january 11]. range was one of my favorite books i read in 2019, and i loved this conversation between author david epstein and host guy raz about the benefits of being a generalist in a world that is constantly trying to get us to specialize.

joy oladokun – look up [song exploder, january 12]. this was probably one of my favorite song exploder episodes — i loved listening to joy talk about the making of the song, and i really liked the full song, too.

no such thing as a free return [planet money, january 12]. online shopping has led to a plethora of online returns, not all of which can be resold in the same manner. this is a fascinating look at what happens to some of those items and how it has led to an entirely new industry.

why great leaders take humor seriously | jennifer aaker and naomi bagdonas . i feel like the name of the episode is pretty self-explanatory. well worth a listen.

the life and legacy of sidney poitier [the daily, january 14]. wesley morris discusses why he believes sidney poitier is the greatest american movie star and looks back over the impact he has left behind.

the unpredictability of covert stuttering and passing as fluent [proud stutter, january 14]. two covert stutterers share their experiences of masking their stutter and how they adapt to the world around them.

how moms shape the world | anna malaika tubbs . mothers never get the credit they deserve for how much they shape the world, and this talk explores the impact of three in particular: the mothers of martin luther king jr, malcolm x, and james baldwin.

written in the stars [committed, january 19]. the story of a swedish woman and indian man who fell in love in india in the 1970s and all the “happy accidents” that conspired to bring them together.

a whiteness that’s only skin deep . the stories of people of color with albinism and how their experiences challenge what people think they know about race.

book bite #22: racism costs everyone; how can we prosper together? [the next big idea, january 20]. heather mcghee shares the top 5 takeaways from her book the sum of us. the book is on my list to read [hopefully] this year, but in the meantime i really enjoyed listening to her share these snippets.

what if women built the world they want to see? | emily pilloton-lam . a very thought-provoking talk about what would happen if construction sites were more inclusive of women and gender-inclusive youth.

book bite #21: is devotion to your job ruining your life? [the next big idea, january 21]. sarah jaffe talks about the con of the idea of your job being a labor of love and how to create better boundaries and balance for yourself.

a couple walks into a house [this american life, january 23]. january's "if you only listen to one" selection. part 2 linked here.

how to be angry better [the happiness lab with dr laurie santos, january 23]. tips on how to separate anger from other emotions and how to learn from it.

a portrait of a paralympian who died by euthanasia [the daily, january 24]. this was such a powerful listen. my other "if you only listen to one" selection.

omicron is (still) confusing. two experts help untangle the covid chaos [sway, january 24]. kara talks to dr ashish jha and professor emily oster about what is happening with omicron and particularly about how schools are responding.

authenticity at work is a trap with jodi-ann burey [for colored nerds, january 24]. jodi-ann builds on her fantastic ted talk in this conversation with brittany and eric about authenticity at work and why we need to center experiences of disabled people of color. my final "if you only listen to one" recommendation.

throughline sleeps [throughline, january 24]. 30 minutes of deep audio to clear your mind and help you focus. i listened to it during part of my drive from memphis to nashville and it was awesome.

'go back to where you came from: and other helpful recommendations' from wajahat ali [it's been a minute with sam sanders, january 24]. sam talks to wajahat ali about is new book, and it is fantastic. excited to read the book soon.

playing pretendian . what happens when people lie about being native american to get into college or to get a job and how that impacts indigenous communities.

book bite #17: why do funny people live longer? [the next big idea, january 27]. building on their ted talk [linked above], jennifer aaker and naomi bagdonas share the top 5 takeaways from their book about taking humor seriously.

book bite #16: how would you react to a life-changing diagnosis? [the next big idea, january 28]. suleika jaouad shares the top 5 takeaways from her book which i still have yet to read.

the best things i read on the internet.

it's becoming more and more expensive to live in our country if you're single. and even more so if you're a single woman. vox via roxane gay

this modern love essay got me good. nytimes

what one woman noticed about herself when she decided to stop defaulting to nice. huff post

sometimes you have to hate exercise before you can love it again. nytimes

a lovely profile of sidney poitier. npr via code switch

who wants to hit up the faroe islands with me? cn traveler via cup of jo

virat kohli stepped down as india's test cricket captain. cnn

black children experience racism before white children learn about race. parents.com via hitha palepu

women are people, believe it or not. audrey hirsch via the audacity

childless man really thinks you should have kids. airplane mode with liz plank

some dos and don'ts for hosting a dinner party. apartment therapy via cup of jo

this wiki history trivia game is very addicting. via ann friedman

five people share their stories of life before and after roe v wade. the 19th*

the power of reclaiming a name. washington post via roxane gay

love this profile of sarita choudhury. the juggernaut

design mom's deep dive on organizing bookshelves. design mom

these stories of family estrangement were very poignant. anne helen petersen

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