Catch Up & Curl Up
If you’re like me, 2019 went by in such a blur that it was difficult to keep up with the books, TV, and music that everyone was talking about. Last year brought us Lizzo and Billie Eilish, not to mention the final season of Game of Thrones and Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments. With so many incredible options over the past year, it’s entirely likely that a few key cultural moments may have flown under your radar. No fear; I’m here to make sure you don’t miss out.
3%: The Best Netflix Show You’re Not Already Watching
The opening moments of 3% introduce us to a world that doesn’t seem like too distant a reality: A young woman living in poverty in a town in South America gets a notice on an earpiece that lights up; she has somewhere to be. We learn that once a year in this dystopian future, every 20-year-old competes for a better life with 3% of them being chosen to live their lives in a separate society with no poverty or struggle, creating the ultimate divide between the haves and have-nots. 3% was filmed in Brazil but is overdubbed in English. While the voice acting is not always on point, the compelling story and complex characters will have you hooked by the third episode.
Dear Girls: The Book For Anyone who Has a Daughter — or is one.
Like many, I was first introduced to Ali Wong through her Netflix comedy special, Baby Cobra, which she filmed while extremely pregnant with her first child. Touring while pregnant had to be difficult, but it proved to be a genius move, ramping up the hilarity of her offbeat humor, and opening the door for other projects — including a second Netflix comedy special and a feature-length film. Now, Ali Wong has penned her first book, Dear Girls: Intimate Tales, Untold Secrets, and Advice for Living Your Best Life, and it is exactly what you might expect — a poignant and heartfelt look at motherhood and womanhood sprinkled with Wong’s sense of humor.
Dua Lipa: The New Voice that Feels Like Your Favorite Jeans
At the age of 24, it is no wonder that Dua Lipa’s fanbase skews young. But there’s something about her smooth voice over disco-inspired dance tracks that feels both comfortable and very new and sexy at the same time. While the lovelorn lyrics of many of the songs on her self-titled debut album might betray the inexperience of her youth, the fun dance beats and beautiful melodies will have their hooks in you before you even know what’s happening.
My Lovely Wife: The Delicious Beach Read that You May Have Missed
So many great books came out during the first half of 2019 that I missed out on My Lovely Wife until late October, which worked out perfectly since this fictional tale of murder and intrigue turned out to be ideal for the spooky season. The concept is deceptively simple: a husband and wife find that killing young women adds a little something to their marriage. My Lovely Wife is the debut novel by new author Samantha Downing. She is set to release a follow-up in April, and I will be devouring it as quickly as I can get my hands on it.
Mercy Bell: The Self-Titled Album That’s As Personal as it is Polished
Mercy Bell is not a new artist, but her self-titled album released in October, feels more vulnerable than any of her previous work. With relatable lyrics and a folksy sensibility that has been compared to Linda Rondstadt, it is no surprise that Mercy Bell’s songwriting has been gaining in popularity. Reviewers love to talk about the artist’s unique voice as both gay and Filipino, but the fact is, the identity of her music doesn’t belong to any group; it is all her own.
P.S. Blogs and books to help you get your mind and body back on track.