I want to share this with you but I also feel hesitant for fear of adding to our prevailing social messaging that more ingestion is more better.
Really, though, our minds are like sieves and we learn more when we slow down and allow for repetition.
Still, I ingested some bits and bobs in 2023 I wanted to pass along, media that I found particularly meaningful, provocative, and/or entertaining.
David Steindl-Rast: Essential Writings (the story about Brother David the Dishwasher has been one of the most influential bits of reading in my year)
The God Equation: The Quest for the Theory of Everything by Michio Kaku (while I struggle to understand physics, the effort informs my definition of spirituality and this one was particularly on the nose on that front)
The Anthropocene Reviewed: Essays on a Human-Centered Planet by John Green (this started as a podcast and is, in turns, funny, thought-provoking, and deeply moving)
Wordslut: A Feminist Guide to Taking Back the English Language by Amanda Montell (not only was this informative in the sense of teaching the history and evolution of language; it also opened me up more to how younger people are using language that I considered verboten)
The Island of Missing Trees by Elif Shafak (I read many wonderful novels this year; this was the most beautifully-written of the bunch)
Why Fish Don’t Exist: A Story of loss, love, and the Hidden Order of Life by Lulu Miller (in the back of my calendar, where I keep notes on such things, I wrote, “beach read for those of us often close to existential crises”)
The Five Invitations: Discovering what Death Can Teach Us about Living Fully by Frank Ostaseski (the cofounder of the Zen Hospice Project, this is a beautiful demonstration of how reflections on death move us closer to life)
Lincoln’s Melancholy: How Depression Challenged a President and Fueled His Greatness by Joshua Wolf Shenk (a lucky find at a library book sale just after my little-d realization; it was validating, comforting, and inspiring)
Can You Really Conquer Hate Through Love? Father Gregory Boyle on 10% Happier
The Cataclysm Sentence on Radiolab (there is a sung harmony on there that makes my hair stand on end every time)
The Thrilling New Science of Awe, Dacher Keltner on On Being
F*cking Cancelled with Clementine Morrigan on I Weigh with Jameela Jamil (heads-up, both the host and guest on this episode are a lot and what they said was important enough to me to occasionally slog through the a-lot-ness)
We watched a lot of fun and/or provocative shows and movies in 2023 but the only ones that feel important to me to share are:
We Feed People, Ron Howard’s documentary about World Central Kitchen
Reservation Dogs, a funny and powerful show focusing on a group of friends coming of age on a reservation in Oklahoma
Now I’m curious, *|FNAME|*, what you’re all up in – and what you’d like to get into in the New Year.
In fact, I created a little year-end reflection for you; it’s like my New Year zine only with fewer typos and you’ll get a copy in your email after you complete it!