Weekend Reads #288

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jane theodore thunder loud
Jane Theodore, Thunder Loud, 2024

It's a long weekend, so I have a nice and long Weekend Reads for all of you! If you're doing some sale shopping, be sure to check out my picks for the best sales. Also, when you shop, first visit this link to see if I have an exclusive promo code that will save you additional!

A Memorial Day sale I forgot to include yesterday was Everlane, which is having 25% off sitewide. The Everlane Breton tee is a winner; this gauze off the shoulder dress is begging for sunsets and clinking glasses, and this linen dress, especially in the floral, is perfect for staying cool, looking chic, but remaining covered.

Target also has some good sales this weekend, with 30% off select fashion at this link, and up to 50% off patio and garden at this link. I have this dress (size Medium) and love it; you can see it on me at this link and for less than $25 it's a great summer buy. These linen shorts are an amazing deal and the perfect throw-on to go out in the garden, lounge around at home, slip over swimwear and they're only $14. And this knit midi dress gets rave reviews and is under $20 this weekend!

Weekend Reads

Without the boss nearby, who can resist placing that Amazon order? (Wall Street Journal – gift article)

Is it ever okay to film strangers in public? (Vox)

Google promised a better search experience — now it’s telling us to put glue on our pizza. (The Verge)

Could Miss Teen USA and Miss USA resignations be the tipping point for pageant culture? (CNN Business)

The executive who revived Barbie has a new long-shot mission: save Gap. (Wall Street Journal – gift article)

Mara Hoffman, the CFDA’s 2023 Environmental Sustainability Award winner, is shuttering her namesake label. (Vogue)

Inside Reese Witherspoon's literary empire. (New York Times – gift article)

The panic over smartphones doesn't help teens. (The Atlantic – gift article)

Not all shorts are created equal, but if you want a pair of elevated yet comfy and easy-care shorts this season, I highly recommend the Spanx Perfect a-line short and the Spanx Perfect trouser short. I recommend going one size up from your pants with all shorts; they just seem to lie better. For these shorts I chose XL and it's a great fit, not too snug or loose.

70 years later, schools — and moms — are still fighting segregation. (The 19th)

Student debt is taxing young people's mental health. (Teen Vogue)

I have a family history of Alzheimer’s disease. I wanted to understand my own risk. (CNN)

If, after reading that article, you want a pair of toe spacers, I bought this set last year for my husband and me, and, they're easy to get on and comfortable enough to wear around the house with slides or Birkenstocks.

Five steps to check your provider's advice about MHT. (The Vajenda)

Ancient Chesapeake site challenges timeline of humans in the Americas. (Washington Post – gift article)

The genomes of meerkats could help researchers solve some puzzles in human heart disease. (The Atlantic – gift article)

And a helpful hint/scary factoid for you courtesy of the amazing people in the Wardrobe Oxygen community on Facebook: if the clothing you ordered online smells like gasoline, it's likely because it was treated with formaldehyde resins. (oecotextiles) If the smell doesn't disappear with washing, these two methods may help. (WikiHow)


A Man in Full marketing poster

In the second half of last year, I got into audiobooks since my retina surgeries affected my eyesight. One audiobook that riveted me was A Man in Full by Tom Wolfe (read my review in this December Weekend Reads). At that time, I heard A Man in Full was in the works to be a miniseries on Netflix produced by David E. Kelley and directed by Regina King. Well, the series came out this month.

A Man in Full characters Wiz, Charlie, and Serena looking serious in an elevator

The Netflix series is everything I wished the book was. Modernized to take place in 2024 instead of 1998, A Man in Full on Netflix is not the same exact story, even added and removed some pivotal characters and storylines, but still kept the same concept and improved upon the ending. In December, I said the book was, “an anthropological look at men and the patriarchy” and this series was a visualization of ego and toxic masculinity.

A Man in Full character Charlie Croker receiving a gold football from Mayor Wes Jordan

Charlie Croker, played by Jeff Daniels, is a real estate mogul in Atlanta. Not only does he personify the phrase, “the bigger they are, the harder they fall,” but we see how his fall hurts so many others. And how the men in Charlie Croker's orbit also are affected by ego.

A Man in Full's characters Roger White and Wes Jordan standing in Jordan's election headquarters, standing and speaking to one another

Beyond Daniels, this is a star-studded cast with Diane Lane, Lucy Liu, William Jackson Harper, Bill Camp, Aml Ameen, Tom Pelphrey, and more. While Lane's character was in a bigger body in the book and Liu's character didn't exist, I found the casting great along with the costumes and the sets.

A scene from a man in full where characters Conrad and Jill Hensley are holding hands in a prison, Conrad wearing handcuffs

I have seen a lot of negative reviews for this show, and I wonder if it's because they never read the book. I had a lot of backstory from reading A Man in Full; I understood why the kind of loan Charlie took was so surprising, I understood why his risk was causing him to bleed money, I understood that his ex helped him become so successful which is why she was so incredibly bitter. I appreciated the modernizations, and how they were able to take a book that was 35 hours to listen to and turn it into six organized episodes. Reading the book first really helped me love this show.

A scene from A Man in Full at Charlie's birthday party with a crowd listening to his toast, including Lucy Liu as Joyce, holding a cocktail glass.

However, I do think eight episodes may have been able to better develop some of the characters, explain Lucy Liu's character better, explain why Croker thought it a good idea to woo investors at his plantation (and the reason it was called what it was), etc. Maybe two more episodes would have provided enough depth to improve the ratings.

A scene from A Man in Full where four men are looking up, wearing sunglasses and smug faces

But my husband, who didn't read the book, also loved it. It is entertaining, but it's also a message, it's meant to make you think, and it does such a good job of showing how men can be their own worst enemy.

the sympathizer on max

My husband and I have begun The Sympathizer (Max) and are really drawn to it, but haven't had time to really dig in past the first and a portion of the second episode. Have you watched this show? Worth it to continue?

hacks on max

We also finished Season 3 of Hacks (Max). SUCH a good show. Right up there with Schitt's Creek, The Bear, Ted Lasso as a must-watch. Start with the first season. It's smart and unique and I like every character.

bridgerton on metflix season 3

My husband will be away part of this weekend so I plan to finish up Season 3 of Bridgerton (Netflix). This is my favorite coffee and sourdough toast with butter cuddle with Oscar show, and I am glad to have some time (and poor weather) to watch it!

For Your Entertainment

Kansas City soul group The Freedom Affair

The Freedom Affair is a female-fronted nine-piece soul group from Kansas City. Seyko Groves, Paula Saunders, and Shon Ruffin share vocal lead. The band gained fame after their song, “Rise Up” was used in an Apple ad. You can hear more of The Freedom Affair on Spotify and enjoy this self-love anthem, “If You Don't Love Me,” in the video below:

A woman with curly hair wearing a plaid blazer holds a green fur coat over her shoulder on a city street.

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  1. Hi Alison, so many great articles linked! For some reason, the WSJ and Atlantic gift article links didn’t work.

  2. Alison, thanks for continuing to write these Weekend Reads for us! I always get something valuable from each one. This weekend, my son graduated from high school so my emotions are all over the place, to say the least. I may give Hacks a try tonight so I can laugh a little. I’m so happy & proud of my son but also struggling with knowing he’s going far away for college. Lots of changes coming to our home. I also plan to work my way through these articles once my brain settles a bit. Hope you enjoy this long weekend!

  3. There is still one one episode left in Hacks that airs on May 30th! Such a great show – I loved what they did with this season.

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