Here’s a quick recap of the books, TV, movies and online content that captured my attention in June. Be sure to share YOUR favorites in the comments.
While I started a couple of novels this month I didn’t like any of them well enough to finish. Most of my June reading consisted of trolling cookbooks looking for recipe inspiration. Borrowing cookbooks from the library (or browsing in a bookstore) helps me decide if I want to purchase them. The good news is that I found a few really good ones:
Lexi’s Clean Kitchen – a super accessible cookbook based on the popular blog of the same name featuring 150 delicious paleo, grain-free and (mostly) dairy free recipes. I have a feeling if Lexi lived closer, we’d be BFF’s.
Against All Grain Meals Made Simple – Danielle Walker is another blogger I follow on Instagram and I’m eager to try some of her gluten-free recipes.
Won’t You Be My Neighbor -Mr. Rogers was a quintessential grownup. The fact that he’s always referred to as “Mister” is indicative that the friendship he offered his young fans, without ever being condescending, resulted in mutual respect. When he greeted us, he shed his suit jacket for a cardigan and traded his loafers for sneakers. But his tie stayed on, and his warmth carried a gentle formality. Mr. Rogers wasn’t shy about being a role model or a benevolent authority figure. On the contrary, he took the responsibilities of adulthood seriously. I fear he might have been the last of his kind. This was by far the best movie I saw in June. You can read my full review here.
Ocean’s 8 – A “girl power” update, this is a silly lighthearted summer movie that is worth seeing for the star power and the fashion alone.
TAG – I had higher hopes for this movie as I loved that it was based on the true story of a group of friends who have been playing the same game of tag for 30 years. However, the movie was a mess. It couldn’t decide if it wanted to be a buddy picture, a superhero flick or a slapstick comedy. Skip it!
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom – I loved the first Jurassic Park movie (and the book) but the premise has just gotten so ridiculous and absurd that now I find the films boring.
Somebody Feed Phil (Netflix) – I know I’m super late to the party here, but if you’re not watching “Somebody Feed Phil” on Netflix you need to check it out … stat! I’ve had it on my watch list for ages, but this weekend my mom gave me a nudge and reminded me that season two was out. I started with season one and now I’m in that weird place where I want to binge watch all 12 episodes yet I don’t want it to be over.
If you’re not familiar with the show, it features … Phil Rosenthal creator of “Everybody Loves Raymond.” The kind-hearted and wide-eyed Rosenthal (the textbook definition of a mensch) travels to a far-off destination — Thailand, Israel, Mexico City — where he meets locals, eats food, learns about the culture and shares his thoughts on the destination. Wherever he is, he never fails to Skype with his parents on a daily basis so that they can share his experiences.
Despite his show’s title, “Somebody Feed Phil” isn’t about the food. It’s about everything else. For those of you who don’t know me personally, I spent a year (1982) traveling the world with the student educational group Up With People an organization that seeks to build bridges of understanding between people of different backgrounds, culture, religions, etc. “Somebody Feed Phil” drives home one of the fundamental things I learned in my multi-cultural year on the road … that ALL of humanity is fundamentally the same. We all want the same things for our children. We all want to be seen and understood. And we all love to eat! “Somebody Feed Phil” is delicious food for the soul.
Billions (Showtime) – Paul and I both loved season 3 of Billions. It’s full of richly complex characters and a plot that has tons of twists and turns. Sometimes it can be a little bit hard to follow. If you can handle the tension you might want to binge watch, rather than waiting a week between episodes. Either way it is definitely “must see TV.”
Ali Wong Comedy Specials (Netflix) – If you like female-driven raunchy humor (and who doesn’t?!) I thought both of Ali Wong’s specials were hilarious. Her first one – Baby Cobra was filmed in 2016 when she was pregnant, and her follow-up – Hard Knock Wife, was released a month ago. Warning: These are not for the kiddos (although I watched them with my grownup “kids” and we laughed our asses off.)
Also on Netflix, I’m loving the new seasons of:
- Queer Eye – the new “Fab Five” are fantastic and every episode makes me cry.
- Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee – there’s a great lineup of comedians in the latest batch that was just released.
Rachel Cargle #dothework – I’ve started participating in the #dothework campaign, a series of daily emails and prompts that attempt to unpack white privilege and some of the roots of racism. Confession: Some of this material makes me uncomfortable. But I think that is even more of a reason to tackle it head on. Take a peek at the video below and use the link if you’re interested in signing up. I’m grateful to @melissa_hartwig and @glennondoyle for making me aware of this opportunity.
What were YOUR June favorites? Tell me in the comments below.