Hi! So here’s a weekly link roundup that I’ll be sharing only with paid subscribers starting May 6th, but until then, all are welcome to check it out and see if you might want to become ultra beloved paid subscribers and help me get one step closer to making this newsletter my full-time job (which would mean more childcare, which would mean more time to invest in deep research which would mean more capacity to write pieces that require sustained, deep thought).
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Pods I’ve been loving
I am passionately in love with everything Jamie Loftus touches, and while I have not yet listened to her brand new pod, Ghost Church (hi, you had me with the title alone), I plan on doing so during today’s toddler nap time and can’t wait to learn all about the history of American spiritualism. Jamie’s other must-listen pods include The Bechdel Cast, where she and cohost Caitlin Durante examine movies from an intersectional feminist lens; My Year in Mensa (spoiler - Mensa is fucked!); Aack Cast, which explores the history and feminist impact of the Cathy comics; and the Lolita podcast, which digs into why one novel still holds such power over our collective imagination. I am a Jamie Loftus superfan. Join me.
I was lucky enough to discover You’re Wrong About late in the game, which means I’m still relishing a slew of backlog eps, and this week I’ve been lost in the four part series on the D.C. Snipers which has made me reconsider the lore of serial killers in America and how we choose our “villains.” This particular series is not an easy listen but Sarah Marshall and Michael Hobbes approach everything they do with such humanity and empathy and I always feel like a fuller human somehow when I consume their work.
What I’ve been reading
This Jessica Winter piece on the phenomenon of gentle parenting which includes validating-as-fuck lines like this: “What is bewildering about some tenets of gentle parenting is their presentation of a validated child as a solitary child, and a mother as only Mother.” I recently recorded an episodes of Virginia Sole-Smith’s pod where we discussed this piece (and gentle parenting momfluencers in general), and it’s just so, so good.
This gorgeous and provocative Rachel Cusk piece about parents’ desire to photograph their children (“The mother uses the baby’s image as a way of changing the basis of this importance, and of proving that she created—and is still in the act of creating—the baby.”)
This Emiko Davies piece on the demonization of sugar as it pertains to our kids. I love it because it celebrates the joy of sweetness and also debunks some of the fear-mongering stats about sugar so frequently launched at parents.
This Anne Helen Petersen piece on the supposed immorality of junk food. “Food is delightful, and food is fuel, and food is culture.”
This Niina Pollari poem which Leslie Jamison tweeted on “expecting” which utterly destroyed me.
As for books
In this moment of silent anticipation, for the first time since my son was born — having spent each day since feeling invisible to the mainstream world, over the hill, like a Swiffer on legs, wiping his nose with my hand and not having sex and generally functioning as a kind of automated milk-and-comfort-dispensing machine — I began to entertain a thought …
Is it possible I’ve been on a hero’s journey this whole time? Is it possible I am on one right now?
Whilst podcast-listening, I’ve been knitting this sweater for my cousin, which has taken forever but is comfortingly easy in terms of technique.
What have you been listening, reading, and looking at lately? If you found this little round-up valuable and want more recs post-May 6th (and aren’t already a paid subscriber), here’s that adorable little subscribe button one more time. Thank you!