Pop Culture Picks: May Edition

At the start of each month I write a post detailing my current pop culture obsessions; the things I'm watching reading and listening to that are "giving me life". Feel free to add to the conversation by leaving your own suggestions in the comments. You may see something you suggested feature in the future!

Currently Listening (podcast):

Terrible, Thanks For Asking: If you have ever been asked how you are when you're in the midst of some really horrible stuff this is probably the answer you wanted to give instead of the "Fine thanks how are you?" response that polite society dictates we usually say. This podcast deals with trauma and grief in a poignant, understated and yet totally believable way. For those who have experienced such trauma you will see yourself so clearly in each story presented and find relief in them. For those who have not experienced such trauma you will better understand how to be present for those in your life that have. 

Currently Reading (book):

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas: I read this young adult novel in one day and it took my breath away in the best possible sense of that phrase. The label YA has been both a blessing and curse for writers and readers. I think sometimes the label can be a stumbling block for certain people who think they don't need to read "kids books." The fact that the YA label is usually given more readily to books by female authors than male (The Catcher in the Rye is definitely YA people...Holden Caulfield belongs under the same label as Katniss Everdeen this is not up for debate) which can lead to them being read less by the "literary elite" is a discussion for another time. Having said that, don't let this book escape you because it looks like a "teen book". It is a teen book. And you still should read it. The novel follows a young African American woman as she navigates two worlds; her mostly white elite prep school and her mostly black neighborhood and the stress that comes from living in both. Add in the element of police brutality affecting her directly and you have a book that frankly if you are white you need to be reading. What's even better about this book? It covers an important subject but it's told in such an enjoyable readable way. The best stories teach us something without preaching at us; and this book does that in spades. Read it now. 

Currently Watching (TV):

Veep on HBO: Shows about politics have always been a genre I enjoyed. And then the election of 2016 happened and suddenly I couldn't watch my favorite ones anymore. House of Cards evilness was too depressing, but Parks and Recreation and The West Wing's hopefulness was just as depressing in completely different way. Enter Veep. The show is cynical and oftentimes foul. It is full of ridiculous self centered people doing ridiculous self centered things and it makes me laugh so much. Modern politics today can slowly chip away at my soul, the relief filled laughs I experience while watching Veep put some of those pieces back together again. Warning...this clip has bad language. Please don't judge me for loving this show anyway. 

Currently Listening (music):

The Search for Everything by John Mayer: Over ten years ago John Mayer released his album Continuum. No music he has released since them has come close to replacing that album in my heart as my favorite Mayer record...until now. The Search for Everything is giving Continuum a run for its money. The song Moving on and Getting Over is the one I am currently playing over and over because it combines the things I love best in John Mayer songs; a stellar guitar groove that matches perfectly with its lyrics. "Moving on and getting over are not the same it seems to me. Cause you've been gone and I'm growing older. But I still can't seem to get you off my mind and I do believe I feel you all the time." That right there? Is one of those lines that captures truth in the most perfect and cruel way. The line stings but the lead guitar line under it lessens the hurt just a little bit. This album is melancholy music at it's finest.  

There we have the picks for May. Join the conversation by leaving your own pop culture suggestions in the comments and I'll be back in June with more Pop Culture Picks!

 

Janelle SaaybeComment