I spent the last week in a cold medicine fueled fugue. I typically prefer to consume only naturally sourced foods, teas, and products. When it became too difficult to suck down enough air to cross a room without being dizzy, I gave up and went to the doctor. I felt honest-to-God joy when she gave me an inhaler and a prescription for an industrial strength cough suppressant, and I'm counting down the minutes until I can dose myself with NyQuil Severe Cold and Flu and set up my humidifier. The one positive to being sick is that I can finally relax and give myself permission to do absolutely nothing. My week was spent binging on Netflix, consuming books, and easing back into work. I found a few gems I thought I would pass along.
Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown
Anthony Bourdain's approach to travel is one I appreciate. The areas he covers have experienced deep, often recent, trauma. He'll try any food and not look down his nose at it. He also tends to abide by local customs. There are a few unusual reasons I love this show. Systemic lupus and a list of food allergies makes traveling difficult. Living with a dysfunctional immune system piles additional risk to exposure to bacteria and parasites foreign to what I'm accustomed to, making travel to South America and much of Asia problematic. I'm content to watch Bourdain try foods I'll only dream of from the comfort of my couch.
I squirmed through the first episode on marriage. Handler's disdain and jaded view of marriage were extreme even for me, but I appreciated her approach. Her episode on racism was thought provoking. She didn't deny her position of privilege and questioned her own view points while rigidly maintaining others. I appreciated that she faced several groups who had protested her humor and had an open discussion without it escalating into a room full of yelling people. I feel the material she shared and viewpoints she highlighted were relevant and even necessary. I wish more people would face awkward conversations and challenge their own thinking.
The Great British Bake Off
It may seem very strange that a Celiac loves watching people make foods she'll never enjoy, but the contrasts between American and British society fascinate me. The baked Alaska incident highlights my meaning. Where Iain ultimately blamed himself for an emotional outburst after finding his ice cream removed from the freezer and thoroughly melted into his glorious sponge cake, I would have drained what I could and kept it as evidence of malicious conduct by a competitor. When winning is at stake, I don't see a problem with throwing someone else under the bus (if they were at fault, of course, and she was).
Concealed in Death by JD Robb
A few chapters in, I was convinced I knew who the killer was, but I didn't anticipate the twist at the end. I totally knew who the killer was, but it didn't impact my enjoyment of the novel. I have to say I really enjoyed Susan Erickson's narration.
Who needs another crime series? Apparently, this girl does. While it's yet another middle-aged white guy with a traumatic past, the story line was compelling and fast paced. Was it on par with True Detective season one? Of course not. It's still good enough that I would recommend it to crime mystery fans of the CSI and Law & Order vein.
I've also been watching and rereading some of my favorites. I'm rereading Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series. There are some things I would do differently (I say the same about my own first book), but the concept is hilarious and her descriptions are fantastic. Supernatural has jumped the shark so many times the poor creature went belly up, but there are still moments I enjoy. I'm currently listening to Anonymous Source by A.C. Fuller on Audible and reading Bel Canto by Ann Patchett.
Do you have any current favorites you would like to pass along?