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Currently | Frozen in Real Life

currently february 22

Time and Place | 8:00 a.m. on my couch, with my warmest fleece blanket on my lap.

Reading | It’s been a really fantastic week of reading. I finished three books: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, Being Mortal by Atul Gawande, and Americanah by Chimamande Ngozi Adichie. They were all great, in their own ways — I’m hoping to have reviews up within a few weeks. I just started The Lost Boys Symphony by Mark Andrew Ferguson (out in March from Little, Brown). It’s delightfully weird so far.

Watching | The boyfriend and I went to see The Imitation Game last night. It was pretty good — excellent acting, but the script felt a little lacking.

Cooking | My favorite new Whole30-approved meal is a homemade marinara sauce with ground beef, served over spaghetti squash. I’ve eaten this almost every day for the last two weeks and have no intention of stopping. My plan today is to do another whole chicken in my crock pot and make more marinara sauce.

Blogging | This week I reviewed Eye on the Struggle by James McGrath Morris (a biography of journalist Ethel Payne) and shared three podcasts I’m into right now.

Promoting | I’m starting a new feature over at Book Riot — IRL: Nonfiction to Read if You Love XXX. This week, I shared some nonfiction recommendations for Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven, one of my favorite books in 2014.

Sharing | On the same day I posted about podcasts, both Shannon (River City Reading) and Heather (Capricious Reader) also posted about podcasts. Great minds think alike!

Hating | Right now, the actual temperature in my town is -17 degrees. With the wind chill, it feels like -44 degrees. That is just the worst.

Loving | This year I decided I was going to deliberately slow down my blogging, posting just three times per week (“Currently” on Sundays, with other content on Tuesdays and Thursdays). That more relaxed schedule has been great for me.

Contemplating | Earlier this week, a prominent book blogger who took her blog offline at the beginning of the year because she had plagiarized many blog posts (and guest posts for other bloggers), finally offered a public apology for her actions. I want to be really clear: I’m not sharing this because I want to contribute to a public pile on, for the plagiarist or the bloggers who were most public in bringing her plagiarism to light. I want to share it because the situation has brought up a lot of issues I think are worth talking about. How should we as a blogging community respond to someone who violates one of our core values? How do we “out” someone for behaving badly without it turning ugly? (A lot of what it seems went on behind the scenes — I certainly don’t know all or even most of it — was a result of individuals trying to avoid a public pile on, but maybe that’s what needs to happen…) And what is a correct response from someone who has stolen words from many other people? I’m still forming my own thoughts on these questions, and I hope our community can have some civil, generous, honest conversations about this in the coming weeks.

Anticipating | Despite the Hoth-like temperatures, I am still going to try to get to the gym today. My favorite sign there is the one used to show the direction for the walking track. It often feels like an odd day.

Happy Sunday, everyone! What are you reading today?


Three Things: Podcasts in My Earbuds

Three Things is a new occasional series where I’m planning to write about – gasp! – things that aren’t actually books. It’s based on a blog I’m a big fan of right now, 27 Good Things, where interesting people share three things to read, watch and use. I’m hoping it’ll be another way of sharing the stuff that currently has my attention.

three things podcasts

In last Sunday’s Currently post, I mentioned that I’m having a hard time with audio books, in part because I’m finally into a good rotation of podcasts that I enjoy. I’ve been getting to the gym more regularly, and the length of podcasts seems to fit into the time I’m there really well. So I wanted to share three that I’m particularly enjoying right now, plus a few extras.

And as an FYI, I’m an Android girl and listen to most podcasts and music on my phone. My current podcast app is BeyondPod (a paid app after a free seven day trial).

Pop Culture Happy Hour

Pop Culture Happy Hour, an NPR podcast on pop culture and entertainment, is the podcast I’ve been listening to the longest. Anchored by NPR writers Linda Holmes, Stephen Thompson and Glen Weldon, the topics on this podcast vary pretty widely from movies to television to radio and yeah, a bit into books. Most weeks have a current topic (the movie Jupiter Ascending), an evergreen topic (a discussion of on-screen chemistry), and a segment called “What’s Making Us Happy This Week.” I love that the show is generally upbeat, but that the hosts aren’t afraid to be critical of cultural items that miss the boat in small or large ways. It’s just a lot of fun.

Dear Sugar

Dear Sugar is, I think, the newest podcast on my list – not surprising, since it just started at the beginning of 2015. Dear Sugar was an advice column that ran on The Rumpus, authored initial by Steve Almond and, more famously by Cheryl Strayed. Many of Strayed’s columns were gathered together in the wonderful book Tiny Beautiful Things. This podcast brings together Almond and Strayed to field questions “no matter how deep or dark” and respond with the “radical empathy” and advice that Sugar became famous for dispensing. There have only been four episodes – it runs biweekly, with shorter episodes on the off weeks – but I’m already hooked. It’s so thoughtful filled with generous advice. I always seem to find a moment that speaks to my own life.

Elise Gets Crafty

Elise Blaha Cripe is a craft and lifestyle blogger that I’ve been reading for a couple of years now (she’s the designer of this habit tracker I shared on Instagram). Last spring she started Elise Gets Crafty, a podcast on “blogging, business, creativity, inspiration and motivation,” which has been really interesting. Elise talks to bloggers, makers and other DIYers about how they work and what they do, topics I think are fascinating as I too think about building a career that is meaningful to me. I don’t listen to every episode, but do really enjoy listening to those where she interviews bloggers or other interesting people about their work and life habits.

Bonus Recommendations

  • The Book Riot Podcast: I’m not a super regular listener of this podcast, but not because it isn’t great – I just get tapped out on book discussion after a bit and want to focus on something else. But when I do listen, I love getting updates on the latest bookish news and new releases.
  • Planet Money: I am, most certainly, not the first person to recommend this NPR podcast on issues that affect the global economy. I’m a very new listener, but am so far enjoying the fact that it covers offbeat topics (the global cocoa shortage or the growth of the pot industry) and is relatively short (usually less than 20 minutes).