Because I rarely watch, read or listen to the news anymore, I’ve spent a lot more time trying to find new podcasts and reading long-form (non-newsy!) essays. Also this year I’ve stopped being the girl with 500 tabs open all day and instead just save interesting articles on Pocket to read later. It’s amazing how much you can read while breastfeeding. Anyway, here is the media I was consumed by this year. (This was my life last year, btw.)
The two podcasts that have stuck with me the most this year are from Strangers: “The Truth” and “Lex.” They are totally engrossing, haunting narratives.
Gender is endlessly fascinating and exploring the life of a transgender little girl through the struggles of her supportive mother in How to Be a Girl makes me think that gender is more of an instinct than a construct. But I’m still trying to figure this out.
As a new mom, I crave stories from other moms, like the journey of a single, Australian lesbian who used a sperm donor and in vitro fertilization to have the baby she always wanted in Not By Accident.
Long Form + Think Piece
Bear witness to the dying of a woman, 34, a wife and mother, from an essay by her husband, that is really about their mutual friend who stopped his life to help theirs in Esquire‘s “The Friend: Love Is Not a Big Enough Word.”
Remember when Trump talked about women getting abortions in the ninth month? Well, Trump, please read this story: BuzzFeed‘s “I was Pregnant, And Then I Wasn’t“.
We can all be a little kinder to women, don’t you think? Let New York Magazine‘s Heather Havrilesky tell you how in “Ask Polly: Why Do Women Obsess About Babies and Fertility?“
I was old enough to remember where I was on Sept. 11. And every year on that day I read a remembrance. This time it was Esquire‘s C.J. Chivers’s “12 Days at Ground Zero.”
“My President Was Black,” is a powerful commentary on the life of Obama and how our lives changed because of him by The Atlantic‘s Ta-Nehisi Coates.
“This morning 20 women committed suicide in order not to be raped,” a quote from a story about Aleppo by Michael Weiss, Roy Gutman and Alex Rowell in The Daily Beast.
“Are Jews White?” asks The Atlantic. No, says an Israeli teacher in The Times of Israel.
Why is “Starboy” from The Weeknd so damn addicting? (Also, I’m ashamed I still haven’t seen/listened to Beyonce’s Lemonade, though I read plenty of thinkpieces about it. I apologize.)
I don’t spend nearly enough time reading novels, though I always finish a handful or so each year. The only one I can’t stop thinking about and has permanently changed my worldview is Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. It’s a gorgeously written, heartbreaking and hopeful tale about a young Nigerian woman as she moves through life in Africa and America. And, Ms. Adichie on Michelle Obama is fodder for fans of the First Lady.
Jane the Virgin is such a good time (and sneakily ropes in very important issues like immigration and postpartum depression). BoJack Horseman is dark and funny and messy and beautiful and smart and silly and pretty much perfect. Transparent is a show done so well that its crazy, intense characters are so real to me that I actually feel emotionally gutted after watching. I know these aren’t new, but I’m still watching.
Food + Drink
Of course I’m obsessed with reading about other restaurant critics: “Pete Wells Has His Knives Out” by Ian Parker in The New Yorker.
Nick Paumgarten investigates an impossibly booked, intimate, amazing, other-worldly restaurant. Or is it? The New Yorker‘s “The Most Exclusive Restaurant in America.”
I also apparently need to read all of these stories.
I adore cookbooks, but I rarely cook from them. I made three recipes for one party from A Super Upsetting Cookbook About Sandwiches by Tyler Kord. They were all fantastic, especially his spaghetti squash salad because I hate spaghetti squash and now I don’t.
(Also, Mr. Kord, if you’re listening, you write, on page 62, that The Huffington Post named your roasted cauliflower sandwich one of the best sandwiches in America. That’s actually false. While the story was cross-published on HuffPo, the original content came from the blog, Endless Simmer: “America’s Best New Sandwiches 2012.” Disclosure: I was co-founder of that blog. Just letting you know that if Frances Lam and Clarkson Potter decide to reprint your book, this should probably be corrected.)