1) First up on the list, I like to listen to podcasts when I do my four mile beach walk when in Longboat Key. An NPR This American Life podcast from 2010 titled Petty Tyrant was riveting. It tells the story of the head of maintenance for the Schnectady, NY school district who terrorized the people who worked for him and how he got away with it for so long. It's a crazy story and you can find it here.
2) I volunteer at the Book Cellar, a used bookstore located in the basement of the Webster Library branch of the New York Public Library. (Our proceeds benefit branch libraries of the NYPL.) All of the items we sell are donated, and sometimes we find something really great. In one of our recent donations, we found a copy of Hamilton, the Revolution, a book about the phenomonal Broadway production. What made this so special is that is is signed by Liin-Manuel Miranda. A few weeks ago we discovered a signed copy of George W. Bush's book Portraits of Courage. We're on a roll!
3) I went to see a revival of Lanford Wilson's play Burn/This on Broadway. Keri Russell (whom I loved in TV's The Americans) and Brandon Uranowitz (whom I saw in An American In Paris and Falsettos on Broadway- he was wonderful in both) play NYC roommates whose third roommate died in a boating accident. When the dead man's larger-than-life brother barrels his way into their apartment, he causes problems when he won't go away. Adam Driver (nominated for an Academy Award this year for Blackk Klansman) plays the brother and he will probably get a Tony nomination. He was astounding, playing all shades of a very complex character. It's only on Broadway through July, you can find more info here.
4) Season two of Good Girls (Monday at 10pm on NBC) is so addictive. Christina Hendricks (Mad Men), Mae Whitman (Parenthood) and Retta (Parks & Recreation) play three Detroit suburban women who rob a grocery store out of desperation, only to find that the store was laundering money for a group of thugs. They get themselves in deep in season one, and in season two each episode just gets more and more tense. My stomach is in knots (in a good way!) the entire time I watch it. Retta plays a mom who used the money to pay for her young daughter's kidney transplant and she just breaks my heart as she struggles with the morality of her actions. If you liked Breaking Bad, give this one a try here.
5) I read two wonderful books this week- Elinor Lipman's Good Riddance is about a young woman who throws her mother's yearbook away in the recycling bin and what happens when her neighbor picks it up and creates a podcast out of it. It's funny and clever and pure Lipman.
I also read Helen Ellis' book of essays Southern Lady Code, about her adventures living in NYC (in my neighborhood). Helen is from Alabama, and she recounts the words of wisdom her mother gives her about things a southern lady says and does. I loved Helen's last book, a short story collection titled American Housewife that is demented and delightful, and Southern Lady Code lives up to that one in laughter. (Full reviews on both to follow.)
What did you do this week? Let me know in comments.