My February has been full of positive, interesting, fun, and thought provoking content for my mind and body. Rather than keep it to myself, I want to share what I have been reading, watching, listening to and eating this month that I think you will also find interesting.
First off, what I have been reading
I love the Libby app. It allows me to download ebooks to my kindle from my local library. I know what you’re saying…but real books are so great, turning actual pages is the best, the smell of a book makes you feel warm and fuzzy. I feel the same way about actual books with actual pages and I adore my local library but many times I need the ease of finding a book to read at 10:00 pm, or I want to slip my slim little kindle Paperwhite in my purse, or I’m not yet convinced that I should spend actual money on a particular book. That is where the Libby app comes in.
This month I’ve read two books that I highly recommend.
This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel
It is the story of a couple raising five boys. The twist being that the youngest son shows signs at a very early age of being a girl on the inside. The parents love their child fiercely and just want her to be happy but struggle how to do that in the world we live in. It’s the story of how they handle the ups and downs of raising a boy on the outside who is a girl on the inside, how they love their child, the mistakes they make as they charter unknown waters, the relationships made, broken and remade.
If you are uncertain about transgender children, read this book. If you’re affirming, read this book. If you don’t have an opinion, read this book. It’s heartbreaking and it’s beautiful and it speaks to the heart of the unconditional love a parent has for a child.
Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
I’ve never seen any of the movies nor have I read anything by Agatha Christie so I didn’t really have an idea of how this would turn out. Turns out it’s delightful. It a little bit like reading a Wes Anderson film. To the point exposition, dialog driven narrative, and quirky characters. As much as I love reading the newest novel that everyone is talking about, sometimes the you just need a classic mystery novel to snuggle down with.
What I’ve Watched that I love:
The Two Popes on Netflix.
The Two Popes is inspired by true events involving the transition between Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis. Even if you’re not Catholic, this is a fascinating peek into the Vatican. Even more interesting was the story of Bergoglio’s early involvement in a turbulent Argentina during a government coup. I took away a sentiment that while you think making a deal with unsavory characters is justified in some cases, it’s still compromising your beliefs which never ends well despite your good intentions.
Three must-listen podcasts
I love podcasts. They are my jam. I like to think of them as the old-fashioned radio show given a new lease on life. The first one is my one of my go-to podcasts when I’m not sure what to listen to. For The Love with Jan Hatmaker
Jen always has really interesting and dynamic guests. This episode, A Faith That Leaves Room For Questions w/ Andy Stanley is for both well churched and un-churched listeners. Those who know the church well will recognize Andy Stanley as the son of beloved church leader, Dr. Charles Stanley. I love this conversation because they talk about growing up as a preacher kid, under a microscope, but how his father gave him room to be his own person and develop his own faith. The un-churched, or those who are sick of the church, would find Andy Stanley refreshing in is approach to loving people no matter who they are or where they are in life.
Pantsuit Politics is a podcast by two women who hold different political ideas but believe that if we lead with grace and humility we can still treat each other with decency and not agree on everything.
February 7 episode: Iowa, Acquittal, and the State of the Union covered their experience reporting from the Iowa caucus. If you’re as confused about the caucus process as I am, this is a great place to start. It’s not a cut and dry democratic procedure. It ebbs and flows until a delegate chooses a candidate and the very nature of the process is messy. They likened it to being in charge of a nursery school playground…keeping track of who is on the swings, who is on the slide, who is on the jungle gym and where they go next. Kids don’t stay in one place for long. The caucus process is sort of like that.
Lastly, Dolly Parton’s America
I’m as much a fan of Dolly Parton as the next gal. This eleven episode podcast can easily be binged in a week. It’s a fascinating look into how Dolly Parton became such a beloved figure and how she can appeal to vastly different groups and rise above political barriers.
What I’ve Eaten
Okay, this last thing is shameless plug for Recipe Archaeology but it really was very yummy.
A couple of weeks ago Christine and I made beef heart for the YouTube show. It was a big heart so we had a lot left over. Because Christine loves pate, and because the heart had a liver quality, I decided to make pate out of the heart. It was delicious. I’ll admit, buying and cooking a heart is a commitment but if you are having a really fancy-shmancy party this would be the thing to do. Find the recipe for beef heart pate on our website recipearchaeology.com.