Category: Media (Page 1 of 4)

Librarians Read (Listen?): Conviction Podcast

This podcast I heard about from the Reply All podcast, one of my favorites.  Reply All delves into techie things, and they have a great segment called Yes Yes No.  They take a Twitter message and break down all the information about it into digestible moments, explaining all the inside jokes of the interwebs.

Conviction, this other podcast, follows a bounty hunter-type-man who is trying to solve the trouble of this young man who was wrongly imprisoned for his crimes.  There’s drama, some serious matter, but the storytelling is just stellar.

I highly recommend this podcast.

Librarians Read (Watch?): Oscar Nods and Winners

K was trying to see a bunch of Oscar films in advance of the awards and some were better than others.

The Green Book was interesting to watch, but I didn’t appreciate the story focusing on Viggo’s character as opposed to Mahershala’s character, who I found much more interesting.  I only made it to the middle of the movie before I fell asleep, and I don’t have much will to return, even though it won the Best Picture Award.


The Favourite was spectacular, a film about a queen and two servants and the fights that they have with one another.  I loved everything about this film, from the editing of the film, to the camera work, to the acting.  Olivia Colman won the Best Actress for this one, and it was well-deserved.




I enjoyed Bohemian Rhapsody as well, but not nearly as much as the awards lent it credence to.  I enjoyed the music and the story, though it didn’t hit me as hard as I would have liked.  Still, a worthwhile film.


Other great films to see:


This film was stellar, and everyone should enjoy it!!

Podcasts of Interest

I’ve been listening to podcasts like mad right now!

In addition to my all time favorites (see previous podcast posts), I’ve just enjoyed a few episodes of the following new ones.  I’ve been enjoying the break from politics into something new, and the sound of rich voices in my home that are not part of a screen.

Perhaps you want to explore these as well.


20k Hertz has a superb episode about the THX sound that plays at the beginning of movies since the 80s.  This was the brain child of George Lucas, who was looking for his new movie Star Wars to be played with great sound across the country.




Serial has had 2 previous seasons.  The first season was amazing, a crime murder mystery.  The second season was less fine.  This eason is a deep dive into the criminal justice system in America, and it is fascinating what she is finding.





Slow Burn is a new-ish podcast about Watergate.  It’s a long form podcast, with tons of information that puts this story in the context of characters and people and drama.  It is spectacular.

Librarians Listen: Last Seen

Image result for last seen

I hadn’t heard about the huge art heist in Boston before this podcast, but it has certainly sucked me in now.  At the Gardener museum in Boston, 13 irreplaceable works of art were stolen 28 years ago.

This true crime podcast dives into the characters, the places, the situations, giving us a true sense of the crime and the impact it has left.

I’m loving the editing and radio-like atmosphere of this podcast, and highly recommend it for most ages.

Librarians Listen: Ologies

Image result for ologies I have been absolutely loving this podcast called Ologies, with Alie Ward.  It is an independent podcast about science and scientists, and the host (Alie), spends one episode on a different branch of science.

I got hooked from a recommendation from a friend who told me to look up the postcards ology, which was perfect for a letter writer like myself.  I was sucked in with Alie’s humor, side bars, entertaining backstory, and her asking dumb questions to smart people.

I highly recommend this podcast if you are looking for a way to escape some of the political news and find something more joyous.  She does have the occasional curse word, so be wary with too young children!

Podcast Special: Opportunity Costs

I’ve greatly enjoyed this series recently called Opportunity Costs.

This podcast series deals with class and opportunity in five short episodes and conversations. One deals with class and fertility, one about education and work, one about the 1%, and one about divorce.  I found the conversations to be fascinating given the world that we inhabit, and the class that I come from and have found myself in.

If you’re interested in hearing something about class and opportunity and the challenges that it presents, give it a listen.

K’s Holiday Reads

K read a handful of books over the holiday, both in audiobook and in print, and here are some of the reviews!

Audiobooks and Podcasts:

Dissect Podcast
This series of Dissect is dedicated to Kanye’s album My Dark Twisted Fantasies. Dissect does long form. complex analysis on the popular hip-hop of today.  His first season dealt with Kendrick Lamar, and he brings information and history from a variety of sources to give a new found understanding of the music and the style. His critique is excellent and well-produced despite him being just a guy on his own.

The Daily by the New York Times
This podcast gives a half an hour of morning news (often focused on one or two topics) from the NYT.  The episodes that I enjoyed the most over the break, though, were the year in review episodes.  They devoted one week to revisiting their year’s stories and one episode to This Year in Sound, which was phenomenal.

The Heart Podcast: No Series
This series deals with consent and the grey areas that surround it.  She talks about her experiences with men at various ages, with being pushed farther than she wanted, with her discomfort with the word no, with her partner’s views of how they were with her.  It’s short and has a beautiful story arc that I couldn’t stop hearing.

The Notorious RBG (Ruth Bader Ginsburg)
I had no idea how incredible this woman was, and how much she brought to the law through her work.  I had become interested in her with another podcast (More Perfect, by Radiolab) talking about how she argued her cases in a way that 9 men would be keen to support, and followed up with this book.  It was fantastic and full of anecdotal stories.

Red Moon Rising: Sputnik and the Hidden Rivalries that Ignited the Space Age
If you are interested in the space race and the remarkable stories that built it, this book would be for you.  The man who designed and ran the Sputnik exploration was such a personality, full of temper and fire and passion for the shiny satellite that he had designed.

Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers
Mary Roach is always a favorite, with her well-researched and authentic information texts.  She talks about cadavers as donations for medical science and research, through the death business, with pets, and in other research.  There are pieces about the history of the cadaver business, and about how it became what it is, and the whole book is interesting, if at times gory.

Juvenile and MG Books:

The Witches of Benevento:
Sweet and delightful, this book is set in the villages of Italy, with artwork and fantasy that moves the story line.  It would be perfect for a young reader interested in reading something of fantasy that doesn’t shy away from the dramatic.

Sit: Stories by Deborah Ellis
Each of these stories starts with a child sitting.  One sits at a diner watching her family argue silently.  One takes a seat at a park bench avoiding her abusive parents.  One walks through the radiation to save her mother’s pet. It was heart-wrenching and diverse and full of beauty.

Adult and YA Books:

What Girls are Made Of
The front cover of this book has a mention of the “gore of grace of growing up female” and I find that to be remarkably accurate of this book.  At times, it was messy.  At times, you didn’t understand what was being told or why.  But the end hits in a certain way that makes you appreciate the story as a whole.  The girl at the center is a mess, full of mistakes.  Her mother is a similar and different sort of mess.  Her friends are the same.  And it is not all sugar and spice and everything nice.  Recommended to mature YA readers.

Labyrinth Lost
This book was on one of the top lists and I decided to pick it up for its diversity and interest.  The lead of the story is a bruja, a female witch from a long line of Mexican witches, and she is about to have her Death Day, where she will welcome the members of her ancestry to protect her and watch out for her.  But, of course, nothing will be so easy with all the power she wields, and she may find herself in an alternate realm protecting them from evil. Recommended for any YA reader.

The Fact of a Body
This book was also on several lists as a must-read non-fiction book.  I found it to be my favorite read of the holiday.  The story is written by a lawyer, a woman with a strong mind and long family history.  She talks about her belief against the death penalty, her will to fight it at any cost, her opposition to the very idea of it and where that comes from.  She talks about her childhood, which had exposure to both good things and bad things.  And she talks about the case she worked on as a law intern: where a man with a history of pedophilia strangled and killed a boy in a small town in Louisiana.  Mostly, though, she talks about the intersection of all of those things and how they overlap to a complex and working narrative. Recommended only to adults or mature readers.

The 57 Bus
This book was a stunning non-fiction read, full of suspense and detail that was unexpected.  This book’s catalyst was a crime, between two teens: one a young black man, and one a gender fluid white person.  On the bus, he sets their skirt ablaze, and it results in a hate crime.  But there is so much more to the story, and this book fleshes out the lives and worlds of both of these people and where they come from.


New Podcast to Try!

In listening to some of my favorite podcasts from WNYC Studios, I’ve heard some adverts for a new podcast for kids: This Podcast Has Fleas.

WNYC Studios makes spectacular podcasts like Radiolab and Death, Sex, and Money.  Now, they have a comedy podcast for kids from the perspectives of a house cat and a house dog, competing against one another in the same house.  Check it out wherever you get your podcasts!

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