march had so many things! i got more settled into new york, met some cool new people, and even scored some side hustle gigs. settle in, because this one is lengthy.
long weekend + grizz game in boston // a visit from sneha // making new friends // tank and the bangas concert // joined a new book club // impromptu visit from jen // 24-hour visit from jane // two dance performances + a play // lots of great phone calls and facetimes and whatsapp chats // my first new york dog sitting job!
now that i’m a little more settled, i got back into my reading groove in march and knocked out 9 books!
last tang standing by lauren ho. this was a cute and quirky romance novel in between some more serious reads, and it was a fine distraction. i liked that it was set in singapore and included a pretty international cast of characters, but otherwise i thought it fell flat in a lot of areas. the narrator felt very two-dimensional, and i found that she would spend an entire chapter agonizing about something seemingly inconsequential before then making a life-changing decision in an instant. it definitely nails the emotional blackmail power of the asian family, though.
you’re the only one i’ve told: the stories behind abortion by dr meera shah. this book gutted me in so many ways, but it’s also such an important read. dr shah, an abortion care provider, shares the stories of people who have had experiences with abortion, and interwoven into each anecdote is the history of abortion care and information on current attempts to limit access. the stories run the gamut of ages, races, religions, socio-economic statuses, and gender identities, and dr shah shares them with compassion and grace. i would love for everyone i know to read this book, because it is that important.
if i never met you by mhairi mcfarlane. i enjoyed this romance novel more than i anticipated. i appreciated the british humor, i liked the banter between the two main characters, and i liked the subplot emphasizing the importance of the main character’s best friend. as always there were bits that felt forced, but overall i found it to be one of the better ones i’ve read in the last few years.
one life by megan rapinoe and emma brockes, read by megan rapinoe. dillard recommended this to me when we were in cleveland, and i knew it would be one i enjoyed listening to. i knocked out the first half on my drive back from boston and then listened to the second half over the next few days. i knew a lot of rapinoe’s stories from reading articles and listening to interviews over the years, but it was nice to have everything laid out in such a linear fashion and to hear her evolution into the activist she is today. it’s clear that she has done and is continuing to do the work of educating herself on systemic issues in our country, and she is lifting up the work of others as well. i look forward to continuing to follow her career even after her time on the national team is finished.
a court of thorns and roses by sarah j maas. yes yes, i finally read the first book in the famous acotar fantasy series and i have to be honest: i’m not sure i get the hype. i have heard from a few friends that the second book is better and i am willing to give it a chance, but i spent most of the first book wondering why so many people are gushing about this book. maybe it just needed better editing? whatever the case, i’m hoping the second book blows me away, because this one left me feeling very underwhelmed.
yinka, where is your huzband? by lizzie damilola blackburn. i read this as a recommendation from ashley and quite enjoyed it. it’s a different kind of romance novel, focusing more on the main character’s relationship with herself and the internal work she needs to do before pursuing external romantic relationships. there were so many moments where i wanted to grab yinka by the shoulders and tell her that she’s better than her actions, and while it was frustrating at times i did enjoy following her evolution.
misfits by michaela coel. i have had this on my list for a while and picked it up on a whim when i saw it in my local bookstore a few weeks ago. it’s a very fast read – i finished it in about an hour and a half – and is centered around a lecture coel gave in edinburgh in 2018. she gives some background from the months leading up to the lecture, shares the lecture itself, and then shares some closing thoughts. in such a short tome she talks about issues of racism and sexual assault, and she also talks about what it feels like to constantly feel like a misfit. it has some very interesting tidbits in it, and i’ve been thinking about it a lot since i finished reading.
please don’t sit on my bed in your outside clothes written and read by phoebe robinson. i am a big fan of phoebe robinson’s, but i struggled listening to this. in terms of time, i think the audiobook was two hours too long; many of the essays could have been edited down and would have been much more powerful. robinson covers some very timely topics, from what it’s like to travel as a black woman to the costs associated with self-care to dating a white man from the uk, but there were too many tangents that detracted from the larger points of the essays.
the maid by nita prose. okay, i really did not get the hype with this one. very little happened for the first half, none of the “twists” were all that surprising, and it all felt very poorly executed. also the entire investigation and trial situation was incredibly far-fetched and i’m pretty sure inaccurate? this was a no for me.
2022 book tally to date: 17
the best things i watched.
maggie and i had a “momos and movie” night and watched tick, tick, … boom!, the biographical movie about the life of jonathan larson, creator of rent! both of us were expecting to like it, but even we were surprised by how much it blew us away. great acting all around, and especially from andrew garfield. highly recommend. streaming on netflix
i finished my annual rewatch of brooklyn nine-nine. it was amazing.
and a lot of basketball. between the college tournaments and finally springing for nba tv to watch the grizz, basketball was often my evening background entertainment.
the best things i listened to.
a playful approach to creating music . really enjoyed this conversation with musician jacob collier about how emphasizing play and passion can lead to greater creativity.
niecy nash is no one’s supporting actress [the limits with jay williams, february 22]. it was fun to listen to niecy nash recount her life and career and talk about how she has gotten to where she is today.
the rise and fall of ‘america’s dad’ . gene demby chats with w kamau bell about the legacy of bill cosby and our ongoing conversations about him.
anita hill takes on those 'trying to put black women in a box' [sway, february 24]. anita hills talks about what still hasn't changed in our judicial system.
trayvon, ten years later [it's been a minute, february 25]. sam sanders discusses what has and hasn't changed since trayvon was killed a decade ago.
mind reading 2.0: why conversations go wrong [hidden brain, february 28]. this conversation was fascinating, especially the segment on why mothers and daughters experience so much misunderstanding.
older and bolder (with rep maxine waters, glenda jackson, and sen mazie hirono) [you and me both, march 1]. talk about some powerhouse women. great conversations all around.
mabel fairbanks: the ice breaker . i learned so much i didn't know about the history of black figure skaters in the u.s.
conquering mount everest [everything everywhere daily, march 3]. a brief history of all things mount everest and how people got to the top.
for ukraine [monocle 24: the urbanist, march 3]. ukrainians share what makes their country special.
why us laws must expand beyond the nuclear family | diana adams . there are so many different kinds of family, but governments and economies often only recognize benefits for nuclear families. adams discusses why this needs to change.
you're so much more interesting than this with ijeoma oluo [going through it, march 7]. oluo talks about advice she received from a friend's older sister when she was a teenager and how that changed the course of her life.
"a seat at the table" isn't the solution for gender equity | lilly singh . yes yes yes.
broken heart park [99% invisible, march 8]. the story of a black doctor in st louis who had his land taken from him in the 50s while he was in the middle of building his home.
remembering dr paul farmer: how to fight for health equity [why am i telling you this? with bill clinton, march 10]. revisiting a conversation chelsea clinton had with dr paul farmer to honor his memory.
sam says goodbye [it's been a minute with sam sanders, march 12]. sam's final episode as host.
why this hollywood actor stays off social media (mostly) [sway, march 14]. kara talks to andrew garfield about the trajectory of his career and why reading the script for the social network inspired him to delete his facebook account. great conversation.
airbnb vs nyc | no reservations [business wars]. the most recent season of business wars focuses on the city of new york's fight against airbnb. i know bits and pieces of the story, but i am very much looking forward to learning more as this season progresses.
in the beginning there was adam... [wecrashed: the director's cut]. i've only linked the first episode here, but this 6-part series chronicling the rise and fall of wework was really interesting and was the basis for the new series on hulu. i will never understand how so many people continue to describe adam neumann as "charming", but the overall story is fascinating.
the best things i purchased.
i have been needing some new jeans for a while, so i finally took myself over to a madewell store to try on a few pairs and see what was what. i wound up getting two pairs, both of which i like: these 10-inch high-rise skinny jeans in bradfield, and these 9-inch mid-rise skinny jeans in blayton. and as a bonus, they have a tailor who does alterations, so i was able to get one of the pairs hemmed to my desired length. jeans shopping is never my favorite, so hopefully i won't have to do it again for another 5-7 years.
madewell also had their spring 25% off sale for insiders, which i used to purchase this sweater and this dress. the sweater i've managed to wear a few times already, and i'm hoping for maybe once more before i have to pack it away until the fall. the dress is essentially a shorter version of my favorite madewell purchase from last year, and i am very excited to wear it this spring and summer.
and speaking of sales. i wanted a lightweight parka for days when i want the leg coverage but don't necessarily need my bulky parka, and i scored a cotopaxi fuego down parka for $90 off and in the color i wanted. we had a cold snap earlier this week so i got to wear it a few times, and with it i believe my outerwear collection is complete.
the best things i read on the internet.
a different kind of love story. cup of jo
remembering dr paul farmer. npr via roxane gay
sam sanders left npr in march. npr
the story of an amazing little boy [note: i went to college with sam's parents, tony and maude]. advocate mag
the lasting sophistication of 'choli ke peeche'. the juggernaut
i never knew about chattanooga's rich music history. national geographic
all the things black people have to consider when planning travel. cnn via adventurous kate
why it all feels like too much. embedded via ann friedman
an ode to maggi noodles. the juggernaut
anne helen petersen shares her colonoscopy experience. culture study
what it's like to thru-hike the appalachian trail while trans. outside via ann friedman
this wheel of fortune clip is both infuriating and hilarious. via cup of jo
did you know you can write a letter to your future self? via ann friedman
ralph lauren's new collaboration with two of our country's most famous hbcus. washington post via elizabeth holmes
an elementary school in california has created a hotline that you can call when you need encouragement or a pep talk. i saved the number and call once a day. washington post via elizabeth holmes
the trans swimmer who won too much. new yorker
another article about lia thomas and the gender policing of female athletes. nbc news
i found this video of how pencils get made fascinating. popular mechanics on twitter via roxane gay
the history of astoria pool, my local neighborhood pool and the largest one in the city of new york. bowery boys
great poem from rio cortez. via roxane gay
on rejection. caroline donofrio
jordan calhoun talks about his time at a wework subsidiary. humans being
ijeoma oluo on the privilege of healthcare in our country. ijeoma oluo via adventurous kate