monthly recap | december 2022.

as i mentioned last week, this is the final monthly recap that’s going to look like this. settle in for this final installment!

december highlights.

st jude memphis marathon weekend // quick visit to nashville to see my kiddos // many memphis reunions and lots of yummy food // mother-daughter grizzlies date // holiday party at arjune’s // long overdue chat with ellie // mitchell came to town // work wife alex came to town // signed up for a half marathon // holiday fun with maggie and gina // maggie birthday adventures // saw the music man // christmas eve dinner at abi’s // relaxing week off work // upstate adventures with friends

december books.

when we were sisters by fatimah asghar. i’ll keep this one quick — this was one of the best books i read this year. from the unique format to the story to the lyrical storytelling, it was stellar all around. asghar is an incredible talent.

what my bones know: a memoir of healing from complex trauma, written and read by stephanie foo. i listened to stephanie foo share her experience of being diagnosed with complex ptsd and how she continues to work to overcome her childhood trauma. i thought the first and fifth parts were excellent but found a few bits in the middle dragged. overall it’s a great listen and provides insight into an added element of ptsd with which i wasn’t previously familiar.

shit, actually: the definitive, 100% objective guide to modern cinema, written and read by lindy west. i love lindy west’s essays, and i especially love listening to lindy west read her essays. that experience is made even better when she is recapping and commenting on movies and comparing them to the fugitive. this was an absolute joy to listen to and made me want to go back and rewatch a lot of the movies she discusses. highly recommend the audiobook experience for this one.

and yet: poems by kate baer. i wasn’t able to make kate baer’s event in november but finally made it to books are magic to pick up my copy of her recent poetry collection. there were a few that i really liked and a few i didn’t quite understand, which i am finding is par for the course when it comes to more contemporary poetry.

tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow by gabrielle zeven. i loved this book and did not want it to end. it’s a beautiful story of friendship, love, humanity, coming together and falling apart, loss, heartbreak, conflict, and finding peace. this is one of the few that i think lives up to the hype.

lessons in chemistry by bonnie garmus. this was a delightful final read of the year. i’ll admit i was skeptical when this book first released, but i’m so happy i listened to friends and read it for myself.

final 2022 book tally: 63

the best things i watched.

honestly, the world cup final was the best thing i watched in december and possibly in all of 2022.

season 2 of the sex lives of college girls was such a delight i watched it in one day. i love this show and am already excited for season 3. streaming on hbo max

other things i watched:

the best things i listened to.

andrew luck breaks his silence [espn daily, december 6]. i loved this interview with andrew luck about why he chose to leave the nfl, what he’s been doing, and what his future plans are. he’s such an interesting human and i would love to be his friend.

when book bans came to small town new jersey [the daily, december 7]. very, very good listen. frustrating at points, but worth it.

is this relationship over? with jane coaston [work appropriate, december 7]. how to know when it’s time to leave that job.

‘all this could be different’ grapples with the beautiful chaos of post-college life [npr’s book of the day, december 8]. sarah thankam mathews’ novel was my favorite fiction read last yeaar, and i loved listening to this interview with her. my crush on her continues to grow with each passing day.

pediatricians caught in a political crossfire [the assignment with audie cornish, december 8]. a conversation with two gender affirming care providers about the importance of the work they are doing and how they handle the vitriol they face.

PINK CARD episode 1: red girl [30 for 30 podcasts, december 8]. the first of four fantastic episodes about the lengths girls and women in iran go to in order to have access to soccer.

how great leaders take on uncertainty | anjali sud and stephanie mehta . on the importance of leading with humanity and flexibility.

farewell to trevor from the correspondents [the daily show with trevor noah: ears edition, december 8]. trevor noah’s final show as the host of the daily show.

remember the blue & yellow: soccer, war, and the pride of a nation [espn daily, december 9]. recounting the ukrainian men’s national soccer team’s journey to qualify for this year’s world cup in the face of war. definitely on the “if you only listen to one” list.

rocky flintstone revealed [my dad wrote a porno]. one of my favorite podcasts came to an end last month, and for their final episode they spoke to the man who started it all: rocky flintstone, author of belinda blinked. i cannot tell you how much joy this series has brought me over the years, and i will truly miss it.

min jin lee [design matters with debbie millman, december 12]. long but very interesting listen.

the unique challenges of living in the arctic circle [townsizing, december 12]. one of my “if you only listen to one” recommendations.

tony reali on 20 years of around the horn [espn daily, december 13]. when i tell you i was obsessed with tony reali in my early 20s, i mean i was obsessed. i rarely missed an episode of around the horn and usually recorded the ones i did miss, and somehow 20 years later this show endures. this was a great little walk down memory lane.

episode 515: clint smith [longform, december 14]. clint talks about his experience researching and writing both his book how the word is passed and his recent cover story for the atlantic about monuments.

road to partition [throughline, december 15]. i know i shared a lot of partition episodes in my august recap, but honestly this might be the best one. it provides so much historical context as well as information about continuing repercussions and is definitely an “if you only listen to one” episode.

goodbye earl [what would ted lasso do]. they’re back with season 2! i’m still not sure i like the male host, but i continue to like these recaps of ted lasso through a lens of positive psychology. and they’re great while i wait for season 3 to release.

the case against movie trailers [today, explained, december 19]. my friend michael has a vendetta against movie trailers [mostly that there are too many and they are too long], so i have had many conversations around this topic recently. i like a trailer, but they all make some good points.

the lives they lived [the daily, december 21]. big content warning on this one. this episode remembers and honors three victims of gun violence from 2022 and is such a hard episode to listen to and also a very important one. if you listen, make sure you are in the right headspace to do so.

519 — balikbayan boxes [99% invisible, december 21]. this was such an interesting episode and i learned about something i have never before heard of, the tradition of sending balikbayan boxes back to family in the philippines. great listen!

when diet culture comes to work with virginia sole-smith [work appropriate, december 21]. a very interesting episode about how to handle discussions of diet and weight in a professional setting.

climate warrior [kalki presents: my indian life, december 23]. loved this interview with an indian tribal activist.

feelings: the secret power of embracing emotions at work [the next big idea, december 29]. you already know if there is an interview with liz and mollie, i’m going to share it. this is from when they released their first book, no hard feelings, and it is great.

the best things i made.

the cold weather got me in the mood to make some of my tried-and-true favorites:

…and also inspired me to try some new ones:

  • loved this braised chicken with tomatoes, cumin, and feta from nyt cooking

the best things i purchased.

got my 2023 planner! i ordered this one for the first time last year and really liked it so here we are again.

also technically these hiking boots were a christmas gift but i like them a lot and so i’m sharing them here.

the best things i read on the internet.

lovely piece about one of my favorite former students. daily memphian

the most popular ted talks of 2022. ted

the beauty of friendship love. caroline donofrio

how tall is too tall when it comes to buildings? the atlantic

some love for the grizzlies. memphis magazine

gus’s fried chicken is the best fried chicken chain in the country. the daily meal

why do rich people love quiet so much? the atlantic

how well can you guess these faces of 2022? ny times [couldn’t figure out how to do this one as a gift link, sorry]

loved this modern love essay. ny times

happy 2023, my friends! thank you for adventuring with me.


as always:

  • the book links are bookshop links, so you’ll support independent booksellers if you use the links to make a purchase
  • all new york times links are gift links with the exception of the “faces of 2022” quiz

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