may was a weird month. i had covid the first week of the month and generally laid low through week two, but i made the most of the final two weeks.
fun adventures with maggie and katie // saw six on broadway // hannah gadsby show // quick visit from jen // planned parenthood march // breakfast with teal // ran my first nyc 5k // accepted a job!! // memorial day fun with churst
hook, line, and sinker by tessa bailey. i was really looking forward to reading this follow up to it happened one summer, and then it fell flat for me. i really enjoyed hannah and fox’s friendship and how they communicated, but i never believed them as a couple. i also felt like there was a lot more inner monologue in this one, which i generally don’t like.
the whisper man by alex north. i was not prepared for how engrossing this story would be, or how much parts of it would spook me. there were a few loose ends that i still have questions about, but overall it was very good. a little reminiscent of the chestnut man, a 2019 favorite.
go back to where you came from [and other helpful recommendations on how to become american] by wajahat ali. i have been reading and listening to wajahat ali for years and was so excited when his book was releasing. i still contend the title is a little misleading, but i found his life story fascinating and continue to enjoy his style of writing. if you’re south asian i think you’ll really enjoy it, but it’s pretty universally appealing for anyone.
book lovers by emily henry. i needed an emily henry win, and this one delivered. i wanted the action to happen sooner, but i appreciated the avoidance of a big conflict that then led to the final reconciliation. i read it in 2.5 days and will definitely re-read at some point in the future. but i think my favorite of hers is still a million junes.
how the word is passed: a reckoning with the history of slavery across america by clint smith. this one took me a while to read because i kept having to take breaks, but ultimately i’m glad i read it. smith visits significant sites related to the history of slavery and segregation in america [think whitney plantation and angola prison and yes, even new york city] and shares his experiences and insights and interactions with people who work there as well as fellow visitors. it’s infuriating in many places, but it’s also extensively researched and very well written. i especially liked how he tied what he had learned into his own family’s history and shared that at the end.
brown girls by daphne palasi andreades. i really loved this debut novel set in “the dregs of queens”. charting the lives of brown girls from elementary school through adulthood and all the ups and downs that come with it, i loved how the story was presented and how it handled the nuances and code-switching that come with being a child of immigrants. i’m excited to read more from andreades in the future.
the book of delights by ross gay. i first started reading this on my kindle last year but decided i would rather read the physical book, and i’m so glad i did. this collection of mini-essays on everyday delights was great to read each night before bed — each one was very short, and because they’re all about things gay found delightful in his day they put you in a good mood.
2022 book tally to date: 32
the best things i watched.
on katie’s last night in town we treated ourselves to a performance of six the musical, and it was phenomenal. it’s a rock retelling of the lives of the six wives of henry viii, and all three of us loved it from start to finish. currently running at the brooks atkinson theatre on 47th street
other things i watched:
- season 7 of grace & frankie [netflix — fantastic end to a great show]
- season 1 of our flag means death [hbo max — taika waititi as emo blackbeard fulfilled so many fantasies i didn’t know i had; fingers crossed for a season 2]
- season 1 of minx [hbo max — big yes]
- season 1 of abbott elementary
- meenakshi sundareshwar [netflix — skip it]
- zindagi na milegi dobara [netflix — a favorite that never disappoints]
- field of dreams [prime video — watched in memory of ray liotta and forever one of my childhood favorites]
- top gun: maverick [in theaters now — very good]
the best things i listened to.
‘a league of their own’ with bill simmons and mallory rubin [the rewatchables, april 26]. a great discussion about one of my favorite sports movies of all time.
the power in owning your ‘big feelings’ [it’s been a minute, april 26]. liz fossien and mollie west-duffy are back with a new book about emotions, and i loved this conversation with the both of them. loved the book, too.
it’s a small aisle after all [99% invisible, april 26]. the introduction of the “ethnic food aisle” in grocery stores and why and how it needs to evolve.
jeffery robinson on a truthful retelling of american history [into the mix, april 27]. great conversation with robinson, criminal defense lawyer and founder of the who we are project, about how racism seeps into every aspect of our lives.
the new gilded age [throughlline, april 28]. really enjoyed this history of how philanthropic foundations got their start and how they impact giving today.
breaking up with perfectionism [worklife with adam grant, may 3]. all about how the desire to be perfect is not productive or healthy.
arooj aftab — mohabbat [song exploder, may 4]. i first hear about arooj aftab at the beginning of the year and am obsessed with her voice, and i loved her breakdown of this song. highly recommend.
the most powerful untapped resource in health care | edith elliott and shahed alam . loved this talk from two of the founders of noora health! i got to meet a few other people who worked for noora when i lived in bangalore in 2015/16, and it was great to hear more about their founding as well as how they are doing today.
wesley morris & jenna wortham [partners, may 11]. still processing is one of my favorite podcasts, so listening to wesley and jenna talk about the blossoming of their friendship and how their show started was such fun.
yes, we still need to talk about cosby [intersectionality matters!, may 12]. kimberlé crenshaw and w kamau bell talk about his documentary series about bill cosby. great listen.
one million [the daily, may 13]. this collection of stories from people who have lost loved ones to covid was gut-wrenching but so well done.
‘e.t. the extra-terrestrial with bill simmons, chris ryan, sean fennessey, and mallory rubin [the rewatchables, may 16]. this episode was *very* long, but i couldn’t not listen to it.
the utang clan . this episode is about a filipino concept that roughly translates to the 'debt of the inner soul', but it's so relatable to most asian cultures and families.
kevin morby — this is a photograph [song exploder, may 18]. i loved learning about morby's creation of this song, and i especially loved learning about the memphis influence behind it and that he had stax graduates on the track!
before roe: the physicians' crusade [throughline, may 19]. alternate title: how white men ruined women's healthcare. part 1 of 2 and my may "if you only listen to one, listen to this one" recommendation.
culture: how successful groups work [the next big idea, may 19]. i admittedly spaced out a little because it's a long episode, but most of this conversation about building team culture was quite interesting.
can athletes ever be movie stars? [still processing, may 19]. wesley morris and bill simmons discuss athletes who tried to cross over into movies and why it hasn't really worked out. great listen.
the best things i read on the internet.
author andrea beaty on the importance of empathy. elizabeth holmes
molly jong-fast on what the potential overturning of roe v wade means to the women who thought the fight was done. wait, what?
a piece from 2018 about the importance of a woman's right to choose what to do with her body. the atlantic
this bombay overview made me very nostalgic. scott's cheap flights
adam grant on how to get constructive criticism. adam grant thinks again
this article about a family coping with the loss of a son on 9/11 is very long and very good. the atlantic
an illustrated guide on the costs of breastfeeding. vox via design mom
great map showing the future of abortion access in america. the cut via roxane gay
safomasi just released their new himalayan collection and i have my eyes on a few of the cushion covers. safomasi