We coined the term Beet Salad for a rapid-fire mix of recommendations that cover what we’ve been into recently. Send us your favorites!
🎧 Fireline Podcast: Exploring what wildfires mean to the West, our planet, and our way of life. This is a six-part mini-series from a University of Montana Professor. A great mix of on-the-ground reporting, science, politics, and history. Wildfires are likely to be a topic of conversation before fall rains come - listen to this to drop the knowledge bombs when it does. (Recommended by: Adam)
📺 To All the Boys I Ever Loved Before: Coming of age story of a high school girl. Her younger sister sends 5 love letters that she wrote to 5 different boys she had crushes on in middle school. Watch for an easy an enjoyable 90 minute romance/comedy flick. There are a few sequels as well. Great content for air or train travel. (Recommended by: Helen, but really by my sister who told me about this)
📺 Centaurworld. We just finished this two-season animated Netflix series with the kids (elementary school-aged). A seemingly irreverent series about a horse looking to find her rider after being thrown into a fantasy world of magic. Do some research to read about how it’s an allegory for fitting in during school - otherwise, it seems very strange and far out. A few fart jokes and adult-themed songs (“I’ll crush their skulls”) are unfortunate, but the soundtrack has been on repeat for weeks and includes stellar Broadway-level belters. If you get beyond the random strangeness, you find themes of redemption, finding your passions, supporting friends, and resisting societal pressure. (Recommended by: Adam and Helen)
📖 Gideon the Ninth. I suspect you’ve never read a book about lesbian necromancers exploring a haunted palace in space before. This has been heavily recommended by a Sci-Fi/Fantasy friend group for a while but I’ve been putting it off as I thought it might be too dark and death-focused. It wasn’t. It was an immersive, world-building page-turner with characters you both adore and hate. Tamsyn Muir clearly had fun writing it and exudes a confident, not-going-to-go-mainstream writing style. It’s a mix of Cryptonomicon (you are thrown into the world and have to just figure it out) and Spinning Silver (female-lead magic systems). With a mix of Murderbot (sarcastic narrator) thrown in. (Recommended by: Adam)
📖 Summer reads by Jennifer Weiner - I’m on the waitlist to read Jennifer Weiner’s latest novel That Summer, but in the meantime, I have blown through 4 of her other novels, including: Who Do You Love, Mrs. Everything, The Summer Place, and Big Summer. Her writing is approachable and while the themes are at times heavy, the books mostly leave you upbeat. Small plug for library apps if you don’t feel like buying - Libby. It connects to my to my library card and then I get book (almost) automatically sent to my Kindle. (Recommended by Helen)
Recommendations for summer reading for elementary age kids? (7-year-old)