Despite the easing of lockdown restrictions, things still feel very much up in the air. So, to rekindle some semblance of normalcy, I thought I would bring back my traditional Little Things posts…
Ever since handing in my final university deadline, I’ve been stuck in a rut: I’ve sent countless emails and job applications but to no avail, my motivation to sit down and write is non-existent, the daily rhythm seems to gravitate a little too much towards Twitter, and my quarter-life crisis saw me applying for a 2-month internship in Tokyo next year. It’s safe to say I’m feeling lost right now.
That being said, I’m trying to concentrate on the little things I know I will find solace in. Fortunately, I come prepared from a lifetime of seeking comfort and burrowing myself into little nests of good books and TV.
W A T C H I N G
This week I finally caught up with Season 2 of Succession and what a show. The finale was quite possibly the most incredible hour of television I’ve ever seen. Jesse Armstrong crafted the perfect blend of comedy, gritty, gripping drama, and Shakesperean betrayal. If you haven’t watched this show yet, do it.
On the other end of the scale, I recently upgraded my phone and, as if the world knew I needed comforting shows and nostalgia, a bonus Disney+ subscription came with it. This past week I’ve taken a trip down memory lane to re-visit the shows I remember running home from school to watch. That’s So Raven is exactly the kind of funny, silly content I need right now.
I’ve also taken it upon myself to watch all the Marvel films in chronological order. Yes, as with most major film and book series, I’m late to the game. I think I’d actually only ever seen the first Avengers and the first Iron Man movie a few years back. Wish me luck?
R E A D I N G
The first week of June saw social media light up with book recommendations by BIPOC authors. However, as the noise on social media quietens, we must ensure we are continuously doing anti-racism work. That said, this month I read two non-fiction books that I believe should be required reading for everyone: Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates—a powerful, erudite essay in which Coates captured and exposed the sad state of race relations in the USA—and Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi—an epic work of nonfiction that traces the history of racist ideas in America. Like many others, I intend on continuing to educate and enlighten myself through reading. Be it books on black history, fantasy fiction, romance stories, anything: it all helps to decentre whiteness and extend the privilege to all.
“I was made for the library, not the classroom. The classroom was a jail of other people’s interests. The library is open, unending, free.”― Ta-Nehisi Coates
This has also been an incredible week for fiction. I finally read the highly acclaimed Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens and the naturalistic descriptions were nothing short of stunning. I also read How Much of These Hills Is Gold by C Pam Zhang. This is a powerful work of historical fiction woven with Asian folklore. With lyrical prose and evocative imagery, I can call that this book will be everywhere in a few months; topping the prize lists and starring in scores of ‘books of the year’ roundups. But, my favourite of the week? Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison is a true literary sensation and I now want to buy, read, and treasure everything she has ever written. Scrap the book-buying ban.
L I S T E N I N G
My eternal favourite podcast, The High Low, is still bringing me joy each week. I also recently discovered So Hot Right Now, a podcast that changes the narrative around nature and climate reporting. The hosts learn how we can communicate better about these topics from some of the biggest names in the climate conversation including Sir David Attenborough. A quote I took away from his episode was ‘Coronavirus pandemic has swept climate change off the front pages’ which I found deeply unsettling. Of course, it’s important we stay up to date about the virus. But the climate catastrophe is continuously being rendered to feel like a distance issue when in reality it is becoming more urgent by the day.
What have you been watching, reading and listening to lately?