Tuba’s 2019 Recommends
Figured I should share my thoughts with the world and not just leave it in the Notes app for once. I know we don’t need more people with opinions in this world but telling people the things we love requires vulnerability and I’m trying to be better with that.
Podcast series *not a regular edition:
Binge Mode Harry Potter, then BM Game of Thrones and lastly, BM Star Wars (if you love fantasy and want to nerd out with people who help you learn and laugh, and have the same reverence/questions about these imagined worlds- this is for you), No Second Chances (on the glass ceiling and cliff that continues to exist for women featuring all 12 women who have been first ministers in Canada, it’s heartbreaking, and enraging, and a must), the Gravy Train (fascinating take on Rob Ford, populism, media, and the public and definitely a story made for podcasting), Slow Burn S3 (I loved S1 and 2 on Watergate and Clinton impeachment and wasn’t sure about the pivot to the murders of Tupac and Biggie, but it was thought-provoking, and really really fun).
Watchables (no particular order after the first):
2019 Raptors season (Loved joining the bandwagon in April and what a joy!!)
Knives Out (a fun, clever, and very original movie), the Farewell (very relatable, emotional, and weird), Booksmart (a new take on a coming of age story), Frozen 2 (hard to say how much of my Frozen love is from my 5 yo niece’s obsession but this was a good movie about sisters, bridging cultures, the influence of the past, and hoping against odds), Little Women (a rare adaptation that actually feels worthwhile), Avengers Endgame (it is tough to land a story that so many are into without it feeling cheap but this payoff felt worth the 10 years of investment), How to Train your Dragon: The Hidden World (endearing, emotional, and another well-told story).
Books: Definitely the section I was most excited by. I read (including re-reads over 100 books this year), mostly physical books, about 40 e-books, and 5 audiobooks. I split my recommends into categories since I have a hard time comparing within categories.
Me Too: Robyn Doolittle’s Had It Coming (Canadian context, easy to follow, breaks down rape culture really well, includes great reflection on redemption and what that can look like), Ronan Farrow’s Catch and Kill (this is written like a mystery and it is very thrilling even knowing how it ends), Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey’s She Said (heartbreaking, riveting, vulnerable, and so incredibly powerful). All 3 of these books make the case for why we need good journalism in amazing ways.
Different Worlds: Richard Wagamese’s Embers (centering and reflective in ways I usually am not, very deep and moving when I let it be), Suzanne Methot’s Legacy (I cried a lot, and learned about intergenerational trauma, and why indigenous people suffer disproportionately, but it also outlines some tough paths forward, excellent read), and Ta-Nehisi Coates’ the Water Dancer (a story about slavery, magic, the people you can save, and how cruel we can be to each other).
Political Autobiography: Kamala Harris’ The Truths We Hold (not my fave presidential candidate at any time but the most refreshing and relatable of the candidate books I read), Beverley McLachlin’s Truth be Told (very rare for me to think about Canadian justices and I learned a lot from this), Susan Rice’s Tough Love (captivating, funny,eye-opening, and very inspirational), and Samantha Power’s Education of an Idealist (amazing story of family drama, assimilating, struggles of actually getting change done in the White House).
Non-political autobiography: Tara Westover’s Educated (an insight into a world I know nothing about and it made me reflect on privilege and intersectionality, and the prism in which I usually see education).
Mystery: Oyinkan Braithwaite’s My Sister, The Serial Killer (I love mysteries, and this is not the best mystery but the most unexpected one, it’s funnier than I anticipated, weirdly relatable, and slipped in some lessons about Nigeria alongside).
Imagining a Better World: Ady Barkan’s Eyes to the Wind (basically every interview of Ady is the most inspired and emotional I feel in a while and this book made me very conscious of my privilege and want to fight for better) and Rutger Bregman’s Utopia for Realists (probably the most radical book I read this year, it’s a rare easy read that made me re-think things and feel a little hopeful).
Anthology*: I don’t know what category this goes in but Toni Morrison’s The Source of Self-Regard is incredible. It is a collection of essays but perfectly laid out, and definitely feels like a conversation with the icon herself on almost every topic you can think of.