What to read, watch and listen to this month

I always have a long list of books to read, podcasts to listen to and movies or shows to watch. My lists seem to get longer and longer-—but it’s not the worst problem in the world to have.

Read “The Broken Girls” by Simone St. James

Genre: Mystery

Broken GirlsJournalist Fiona Sheridan cannot stop thinking about her sister’s death. Twenty years ago, her body was found at Idlewild Hall and now there are plans to restore the grounds. Fiona-—who may too personally invested in the story for her own good—plans to cover the story despite the opposition she faces.

The chapters go back-and-forth to focus on Fiona in present day Vermont in 2014 to when Idlewild Hall was an active school for girls in 1950. The school is attended by girls who no one wants such as troublemakers, illegitimate or considered a shame to society. Four roommates bond over trying to survive mean teachers and a haunted school when one friend goes missing.

As Fiona digs deeper into her sister’s death, the story begins to overlap with the four friends at Idlewild Hall for a twist readers won’t see coming. The ghost story aspect wasn’t the strongest part of the book but added to the mystery and intrigue. “The Broken Girls” was a creepy, page-turner—especially reading it right before I went to sleep. The author St. James is known for her ghost stories and I plan to try out more of her books in the future.

Listen to the “Hysteria” podcast by Crooked Media

Genre: Political

HysteriaCrooked Media aims to provide a no-bullshit conversation about politics to its listeners. Since 2016, they have launched many popular podcasts like “Pod Save America” and “Lovett or Leave It.” On June 28, they released “Hysteria,” hosted by Erin Ryan and her six co-hosts. There’s the NY squad (Blair Imani, Alyssa Mastromonaco and Ziwe Fumudoh) and the LA squad (Kiran Deol, Megan Gailey and Grace Parra.)

The podcast is 100 percent women from the hosts to production to the cover art. The hosts are from widely diverse backgrounds to give fresh perspectives and cover all the angles. While it may sound like a podcast for women, there are many men listening as well. One of their segments, “Dude You Asked,” features the ladies answering questions from male listeners.

Another popular segment is “The Week in Sorry.” Women often apologize too much and when unnecessary, so the hosts say that as women, they have some expertise in the area. They look at people, corporations and celebrities who apologized for something this week—or should have—and if we should forgive them or not. In episode one, they covered Roseann’s apology for her racist tweet about Valerie Jarrett and the woman who called the police on the eight-year-old girl selling water.

As I listen, I nod my head in agreement, learn new viewpoints, laugh along with the hosts and are angry at the same topics they are. They’ve been covering great topics so far like Anthony Kennedy’s retirement, reproductive rights and the drama at the border. I’ll definitely be tuning in to new episodes every week.

Watch “Set It Up” on Netflix

Genre: Romantic comedy

Set it upNetflix movies are often hit or miss—usually in the latter category to be honest—but they finally produced a pretty good one.

“Set It Up” is a romantic-comedy about two overworked assistants, Harper (Zoey Deutch) and Charlie (Glen Powell) who hatch a plan to make work easier, less hectic and have a better shot of moving up in their careers. They secretly set up their bosses (Lucy Liu and Tase Diggs) with each other and make them fall in love by planning dates and sending gifts.

Meanwhile, Harper and Charlie are actually the ones falling in love and I loved their back and forth banter on screen. The movie also features a couple of short scenes with the beloved Tituss Burgess from “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.” Overall, the movie was a bit predictable but aren’t most rom-coms? It was funny, cute and light, and that’s exactly what I was looking for.

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