Read Watch Listen: Recs from a Slacker

It’s been an odd couple of months for me, and I’ve broken my regular cadence of book-reading and movie-watching in favor of more easily digestible podcasts and TV shows. Work has been just enough crazier than usual that I haven’t really been in the mood for anything requiring too much emotional investment. On top of that, I’ve been setting aside most of my spare time to relax in the kitchen or work on a personal project.

I do, however, have a couple of things I’ve been able to invest in that I highly recommend. In addition, I’ve got a read, a listen and a watch at the top of my “Get To It Immediately” list. 

Newly Consumed: Pick it Up

onthemedia

I’m always looking for new, palatable ways to digest the news that doesn’t make me cringe and hurl my phone across the room, and I’m only about 20 years late on this one. What I love about On The Media, hosted by Brooke Gladstone and Bob Garfield, is that it considers current events, as well as older stories and interesting media artifacts, through the lens of media coverage.

Rather than telling you another depressing spin on the news, it considers how stories are being presented by the media and what is or isn’t being coverage. A recent episode included everything from narratives around the Greek financial crisis to the vitality of the famous “A dingo got my baby” line.

Can you tell this podcast reaches to the deepest trenches of my media and communication nerd soul?

grove

Pick up this book and read it, because it is distressingly relevant to the current state of race relations in this country. This took me an embarrassingly long time to finish, in part because I would read a few chapters and then get depressed at how familiar the cycles of racial violence and police misconduct felt.

Gilbert King tells the story of the Groveland Boys case and Thurgood Marshall’s defense of the three men falsely accused of raping a white woman in Lake County, FL. It’s an engrossing narrative that serves to highlight our country’s horrifying (recent) past and our history of racial police brutality. As my brother pointed out, it’s hard to imagine a time in the 60 years since the Groveland Boys case that this story wouldn’t feel at once familiar and relevant. 

On My List

between

I need to give myself a short respite from nonfiction since Devil in the Grove took me far too long to finish, but as soon as I’m ready this is at the top of my list. It is one of several books from the last year, including Ghettoside and The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace, that deals with what it is to be black in America. I’ve heard mixed responses about the format-Between is written as a letter to Coates’s son, and something of a follow-up to his 2008 memoir-but everyone seems to agree it’s an important and poignant read. 

misssimone

I tried to make it to see this documentary about Nina Simone at the San Francisco International Film Festival when I was volunteering there, but the timing never worked out. Luckily, it’s now on Netflix so I can watch it without leaving my house. Many thanks to Glen Weldon of Pop Culture Happy Hour (an NPR podcast of which I am a devotee) for his glowing review, and for reminding me of the incomparable Simone song “Four Women.”  

anotherround

Buzzfeed and I have a complicated relationship, but I’m totally excited about one of their podcasts, “Another Round” with Heben Nigatur and Tracy Clayton. I follow Clayton on Twitter and think she’s tremendous (follow her!), and am always looking for new podcasts to add into my rotation since I have the attention span of an easily bored 9-year-old. Plus, how can you not be excited about a podcast with a segment called Drunken Debates? 

My September Five

So it’s happened. September is upon us, and with it the onslaught of Fall-themed magazines and sales at stores. I happen to love September since it still feels like summer, but you start to get a hint of fall. Plus the fact that it’s my birthday month doesn’t hurt.

In honor of September, I shopped a ton while I was in Philly this weekend (is that a thing? can you shop “in honor of” a month?). It was so great to see friends again, since I’m a little bit going crazy at home, and obviously the perfect thing to do when seeing friends is to shop for things you don’t need. To be fair, I did buy a lot of things that I could wear to my hypothetical future job that doesn’t exist yet. And some items that are a little more difficult to justify (oh hay, apron from Anthropologie).

All that shopping got me to thinking about the things I want most this September, so I’ve put together my September Five, the five things I’m particularly lusting after right now.

1.) A great watch

Right: Marc by Marc Jacobs Amy Watch; Left: Nixon’s Kensington Leather Watch

This is one of those things you can try to justify by calling it a “back-to-school” purchase, because everyone needs a several hundred dollar watch to kick off the school year. Alas, I’m no longer in the land of back-to-school purchases, so I’m just pining after watches because, well, they’re pretty and they like me (they told me so). The Marc by Marc Jacobs watch is nice because it’s got some heft but isn’t so big that it would overwhelm my arm, but I really like the leather on the Nixon watch.

2.) Silence & Noise Boyfriend Blazer

Silence & Noise Boyfriend Blazer in Grey

For the non-working of us who don’t understand the concept of a blazer as a component of a suit, blazers are perfect for throwing over summer dresses to make them a little more “early fall.” I like the slightly textured feel to this one, and the gray is a nice change since I tend towards black blazers.

3.) Anthropologie Graphic Begonia Shirt Dress

Anthropologie Graphic Begonia Shirt Dress

Come fall I love finding dresses that work with and without tights to make the summer-fall transition with. I love the colorful, playful print on this one, and shirt dresses are great since they work well spring through fall, depending on what you pair them with.

4.) J Brand Brocade Skinny Jeans

J Brand Brocade Skinny Jeans

I was torn on this trend at first, but the more I see the brocade jeans the more I like them. In general, I’m loving the brocades and patterns that are in this fall, as well as the abundance of burgundy, white and gold.

5.) Yoga Mat

PROlite Yoga Mat

I’ve been looking out for a good yoga mat and for some reason this month has got me itching for one. This mat is a little on the expensive side at $72, but I need good cushioning for my old lady knees, and this one is less heavy than other joint cushioning mats.

Alas, I probably need a job before I can dig into my 5, but that’s neither here nor there. Any other lust-worthy September items?