A Dark But Unforgettable Book and a Must-Watch Show

This one goes out to all my "indoorsy" readers!
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It's impossible not to sound like a broken record when—three-and-a-half months into quarantine—it feels like we're exactly where we started, with no signs of quarantine ending in the near future (potentially upwards of a year, if we're waiting for a vaccine—and yes, this is my plug for you to wear a mask). On the plus side, I'm getting better at being "indoorsy," and have mastered an entirely new skill set that includes: Creating dinners out of beans and little else (same goes for canned tuna), finding desks in unlikely places (as I type, my laptop is duct-taped to a shelf-turned-standing desk), and inventing new conversation topics with Jonah. Just me? This List goes out to all the other recently indoorsy people:

1

Bryn Greenwood's novel All The Ugly and Wonderful Things builds slowly until the dramatic ending—just like the disturbing relationship at the heart of the novel. What begins as a potentially inappropriate relationship between an ex-con and a neglected child evolves into a twisted and disturbing, but tender, love story. The book is difficult to read, with graphic sex scenes that involve the young protagonist, Wavy (if you couldn't get through Gabriel Tallent's My Absolute Darling, I don't recommend you read this novel), but is also stunningly written, nuanced, and impossible to put down. Greenwood tells the dark story unflinchingly, reworking the roles of victims, heroes, and abusers until each is unrecognizable. It will chew you up if you give it the chance—and I highly recommend that you do (and then read this interview with the author). 

2

Nicole Cardoza calls herself "an anti-racism practictioner, not an educator," but her Anti-Racism Daily newsletter is a digest of actions, insights, and resources that keep the momentum of anti-racism education and work at the top of your inbox. I've only been a subscriber for a week (when I first heard about it), but have already learned more about racial disparities in healthcare treatment, read illuminating answers to reader-submitted questions, and learned more about the biases in facial recognition software (and how to take action). Check out the archives here!

3

In middle school, I spent hours making magazine collages. It's an activity that's evolved with me from slumber parties, into a visual journal I've had since college and the cork board I keep above my desk (catch a glimpse of it here!). In the video above, mixed media artist LorriMarie Jenkins walks us through how to create the grownup version of the collages I slapped together as a kid, in an oddly comforting tutorial.

4

It took me far too long to watch Devs, the Hulu show created by Alex Garland, director of Ex Machina (one of my favorite movies), but about five minutes in, I knew I'd landed on something special. In it, Lily Chan (played by Sonoya Mizuno, who you may recognize from her disco scene with Oscar Isaac), works at a fictitious Bay Area tech company, Amaya. When her boyfriend disappears after being recruited to the company's top secret team, Devs, she sets out to put together the pieces. The show unfolds like any good thriller, while exploring mind-blowing concepts like free will. 

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1. An excellent resource for finding Black-owned businesses (particularly in the beauty and wellness spaces!). 

2. How fun are these colorful Tevas? (Spotted on the Girls Night In newsletter last week!)

3. Last week, Jonah sent me an email with the subject line "You're gonna love this!" and a link to the recording artist KAMAUU inside. He's not wrong!

4. Speaking of Jonah... he recently relaunched his Taco App, with 50% of proceeds going to a different charity each month that supports BIPOC and immigrants in L.A.

5. Very excited for this movie to come out. 

6. There have still been no charges in the death of Breonna Taylor—let's change that. 

7. A very cool bot that will recommend a book written by a Black author depending on the genre you’re interested in.

8. Definitely going to see a drive-in movie at The Rose Bowl this summer!

9. Done with 2020

10. A site that allows you to buy and build a custom house online (woah).