Media I’ve Loved This Year (So Far)

I’m taking a break from heavy thinking this week to share one book, one TV show, one movie, and one podcast I’ve loved so far this year.

Media I’ve Loved This Year (So Far)
Photo by Karsten Winegeart / Unsplash

Psssst: If you live in North Carolina, you should become a Double Shift member! I’m organizing more IRL hangouts, and the next one is at March 25 playground meetup! Become a member if you want the deets!

I’m taking a break from heavy thinking this week to share one book, one TV show, one movie, and one podcast I’ve loved so far this year. These choices are not shiny 2023 releases, but they are new to me. Most people who read this newsletter are parents, and let’s be honest, it’s hard to keep up on the latest Oscar winners while raising humans. I’m aiming these picks to be interesting and engaging but not too dark. We have the news for nightmare-fueling content needs. 🙂

Book: The Golden State by Lydia Kiesling. This is the kind of novel where you feel like you are in a relationship with the characters and it’s a force in your life as you are reading it. The stunning realness of Daphne, the book’s protagonist, as she navigates disorientation around new motherhood paired with an identity crisis and slow breakdown is both relatable and revelatory. But this book isn’t in the vein of Very Dark Portraits of Motherhood, a genre gaining traction right now. It’s funny and complex and just a pleasure to spend time with. This one came out in 2018, and I’m excited for Kiesling’s next book coming out in October.

Podcast: Death of an Artist is from Pushkin Industries and hosted by Helen Molesworth. This limited series was recommended by Double Shift member Anna in one of our members-only threads. I binged this story that examines if the famous sculptor Carl Andre was involved in the death of his up-and-coming artist wife Ana Mendieta in 1985. I know very little about the art world and I found this investigation fascinating. It’s not simply “true crime," but weaves in many feminist perspectives, explores if we can separate art from the biography of its creator and investigates the special treatment we give to men who are deemed “geniuses.” I also enjoyed learning about the meaningful artistic legacy of Ana Mendieta, and the space she occupied in a field dominated by white men.

Documentary: Won’t You Be My Neighbor? I missed the 2018 Mr. Rogers boat and did not fully appreciate what a tremendous cultural impact he had until I watched this film. What I especially loved was understanding that Fred Rogers was actually a radical behind his puppets, introducing mainstream America to new-to-the-time concepts that children’s development and emotional lives were worthy of attention and respect. He promoted integration and peace, and didn’t shy away from engaging children in some of life’s toughest lessons around death and national tragedy. This doc is a good one!

TV Show: I started watching The Flight Attendant on HBO Max somewhat randomly, but this series of hijinks, espionage, and some whodunits is the perfect engaging escape. There is some murder and violence but it’s not graphic or too stressful and there’s plenty of dark comedy featuring a hot-mess protagonist and supporting characters played by Zosia Mamet and Rosie Perez. Only downside is most episodes end on a cliffhanger that encourages you to keep watching when you should be in bed.

Bonus Rec for Kids: If you have a video game obsessed elementary kid like me, I have a game I actually recommend. It’s called Untitled Goose. It features gentle classical music, and your character is a goose. Your tasks are things like moving a picnic to the lake or getting a gardener to turn on a hose. There are no fighting or races, and it’s less expensive than many name brand games. It’s actually pleasant to have on in the background, and my toddlers are wildly engaged watching their older brother play. It’s on computers, Nintendo Switch, Xbox and PlayStation 4.

And... a 'lil self promotion: Did you know that I do corporate keynotes, workshops and "fireside chats" for ERGS focused on caregiver and working parent issues? I got great feedback earlier this month at my talk at Paycor. It was a blast. Email me if you'd like to me to come rabble-rouse at your workplace!

For his week’s members-only thread I’ll be asking, what’s the best professional decision you’ve ever made? Change is hard, decisions can be tough and I want to hear stories from our community about taking a risk or making a change that you feel like worked out really well. To get in on these fascinating conversations, become a member.

Members-Only March Hangout

March 23rd 8pm EST

Let’s Start Dreaming Bigger

Our February hangout was SUCH a big success that I want to offer it at a different time of day (evening EST) so a different group of people can attend. I got great feedback on the format, and we'll do some breakout rooms so YOU ALL can get to know each other. (My dream.) So here’s the deal: reading about our feminist foremothers has made me want to encourage us all to dream bigger about what care and motherhood COULD look like in America, not just focus on tiny incremental changes. Join me for an inspirational, collaborative workshop/conversation with other Double Shifters. If you typically can’t come to events during the workday, this hangout is for you!! Members will get a cal invite in their inboxes.

March 25th we're doing an IRL playground meetup in Durham. So much fun this month!!

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