Five Things I Loved in February

It’s a week late, kittens, but February was a grand month for culture and I have a scrumptious bundle of #content to recommend you. I’m still trying to put my thoughts together on the subject, but while I’m still consuming news voraciously, I’m also trying deliberately to supplement if not overtake that consumption with other alternatives. Otherwise I’d probably be wandering around in a state of constant anger or despair and that simply would not do.

Sadie, by Courtney Summers

This book is visceral and devastating. It’s definitely not going to be for everyone, and contains very tough subject matter so know what you’re getting into before you start – but it’s brilliant. Hannah recommended it to me and I enthusiastically pass that rec on to you along with her advice: listen via audiobook if you can. The narrative framing device includes a podcast – very 2020 appropriate and a comment itself on our true crime loving culture – and the audio production brings this to life in a way that really adds to the experience. And makes you question how our society still treats the girls we lose to poverty, predation, and indifference.

Parasite, by Bong Joon-ho

We only happened to watch this at our local indie cinema ON Oscars night, and it was a delight to wake up the next morning to see that it had made history by winning best picture. This film is phenomenal. To talk too much about it is to betray the major plot points, but I cannot recommend it enough. It’s about money and class, people and sterotypes, avarice and disdain, desire and disgust – and just when you’re sure of the genre you’re watching, the film twists and surprises you.

Snoh Aalegra

I’ve started another music project of listening to an album a week for a year and already I’ve found an artist who I regret the years I’ve spent not knowing. Check out her recent Tiny Desk Concert here and then do yourself a favor and go through her back catalog on Spotify or your preferred platform. Her voice is beautiful.

Fall of Civilizations, podcast

Are you a student of history who thrills to soothing narration and longform investigation? Of course you are, you adorable member of Small Dog Nation! I have just the podcast for you. Each episode covers the collapse of a culture and explores the various circumstances, actions, and accidents of history that brought it about. The production value has always been high but the host is particularly good at commissionning or getting permission to use native language sources and performances to really contribute to the listening experience. It’s a great treat and lovely alternative to my usual rotation of (exhausting) current affairs.

 

Planning travel

Between jaunts with friends, summer travel to see family, and trying to link up with pals doing the Grand Tour here in Europe, we’re doing the thing we always talk about but don’t follow through on nearly enough: GOING. At time of writing our first jaunt to Paris is complete with another on the horizon and we arranged for our travel to see Jeff’s family in June. Moreover, for the first time in my UK working life, I booked all my legally mandated holiday in the current working year and have a bunch of dates off in March as a result. I mean, I’ll still be working because of the coronavirus but still. This is a monumental breakthrough for an imposter syndrome laden workaholic.

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