Weekend Reads #289

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Sofia Bonati, Anniki, 2021
Sofia Bonati, Anniki, 2021

Weekend Reads

Can Google give A.I. answers without breaking the web? (New York Times – gift article)

Vox Media and The Atlantic sign content deals with OpenAI. (The Verge)

The internet is a cesspool of misinformation, and the biggest blue-chip brands and their ad agencies are the ones funding it—by stuffing money into a Rube Goldberg machine no one really understands. (Wired)

Colleen Hoover is a wildly successful author. Why did she stop writing? (Texas Monthly)

The genius of Deborah Vance's ‘Hacks' wardrobe. (the Back Row)

How to become a celebrity in 2024. (Vulture)

Is pants sizing sexist? (New York Times – gift article)

Through Monday, Macy's has a Friends & Family sale taking place with an extra 30% off + 15% off beauty with promo code FRIEND. I am impressed by the brands included this time, such as Cole Haan, Lauren Ralph Lauren, Coach, Benefit Cosmetics, and MAC.

When healthcare crowdfunding fails. (The Baffler)

The woman who made America take cookbooks seriously. (The Atlantic – gift article)

A ‘rebrand’ for Lilly Pulitzer takes the classic resort label back to its roots. (CNN)

The loneliness of the American worker. (Wall Street Journal – gift article)

My daughter has sensitive skin and loves the newest Colleen Rothschild collection, which is specifically for sensitive yet blemish-prone skin. Lactobacillus ferment, niacinamide, and salicylic acid keep skin clear without irritation. This weekend, it's 20% off with code SENSITIVE20. However, at any time, you can always shop my favorites from this skincare brand I've used since 2016 with code OXYGEN20.

Is wellness culture fuelling a health anxiety crisis? (Dazed)

She made an offer on a condo. Then the seller learned she was Black. (New York Times – gift article)

After leaving the Wing in 2020, Audrey Gelman opened a small homewares shop in Brooklyn. Now she’s expanding the country-chic brand into hospitality, starting with an 11-room inn in the Hudson Valley. (Wall Street Journal – gift article)

Your favorite brand no longer cares about being woke. (Vox)

And for my fellow fans of Universal Standard, the size-inclusive fashion brand is back on the road with a series of trunk shows. You can read about my experience at a Universal Standard trunk show; I will attend the one happening in DC later this month and will be sure to report back. But Universal Standard is visiting a bunch of different cities this month; here are the cities, dates, and links to sign up to attend:

Hear/See/Read

bodkin marketing poster

This week, my husband and I finished the Netflix series Bodkin. Starring ‎Siobhán Cullen, Will Forte, David Wilmot, and Robyn Cara and with the Obamas as executive producers, Bodkin is about three true-crime podcasters who head to a small town in Ireland to report on, and possibly solve a mystery. This is considered a thriller and a dark comedy, but I just found it to be utterly charming.

The three podcasters in the Netflix series Bodkin, at a crime scene with a member of the Garda

Many reviews compare this to Only Murders in the Building, and I guess from the description you could assume similarity, but I felt it stands on its own and doesn't need to have some deep introspective review trying to find the faults and comparisons. Sometimes, we try too hard to find issue and don't allow ourselves to enjoy. And sure, I love Only Murders in the Building, but I also loved Bodkin and I didn't find the enjoyment of one to affect the enjoyment of another.

The character Dove walking through Bodkin during a festival in the Netflix series

Siobhán Cullen plays Dove, an antihero so frustrating I caught myself yelling at the screen. However, I haven't felt such emotion for a female antihero since Shiri Appleby in UnREAL. After each infuriating scene, I had to remind myself how I would react if Dove was a man? Because honestly, male characters like that are a dime a dozen but women… notsomuch.

Will Forte in the Netflix series, Bodkin, standing with several town locals

I appreciated the development of characters, relationships, and layers to the mystery. Some of it was obvious, some of it cliche, the ending didn't hit like I hoped it would, but like a British mystery series on PBS, it is enjoyable and comfortable and may make you question listening to murder-mystery podcasts.

For Your Entertainment

Eminem and Dr. Dre, March 2024

Guess who's back, back again? Marshall Mathers, better known as Eminem, is back, and likely there's no need to tell a friend because The Real Slim Shady dropped his video for his latest single, “Houdini,” on May 31st. It already has tens of millions of views and nearly as many think pieces dedicated to it.

With over a dozen guest appearances in the video (including his three kids), Eminem is back to his innovative, sarcastic, and irreverent self. References to his video, “Without Me,” and his 2000 MTV VMAs performance, Mathers envisions his 2001 self coming to wreak havoc on 2024 and only “Rapboy” can stop him. Using the 1982 Steve Miller Band hit, “Abracadabra” (which Miller liked), Mathers claims this single will not only kill off “Shady,” but make his career disappear. Personally, I'm glad to see him back and not taking himself so seriously.


I added this song to the post at the start of the week (Weekend Reads is something I work on all week long). I know there has been a lot of discussion about Eminem mentioning Megan Thee Stallion in this song (“If I was to ask for Megan Thee Stallion if she would collab with me/Would I really have a shot at a feat?”). This is in reference to being shot in the foot by Tory Lorenz in 2020. I dislike how she has been ridiculed and dismissed over this horrible act.

However, Eminem has always been known for his provocative lyrics and he doesn't target just women, or folks he considers enemies. Even his mentor Dr. Dre hasn't been safe from his lyrics. I feel a lot of this is by folks who are not familiar with Mather's music and his use of pop culture, wordplay, and the feeling that “we need a little controversy.” And it sure seems like he has gotten it.

I share songs in Weekend Reads because I feel they are important to be heard. Amazing music with an interesting video, new artists you should know about, and songs that are making waves and have become part of pop culture. Love him or hate him, fellow Gen Xer Eminem made waves in the 2000s and is still shaking things up two decades later.

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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3 Comments

  1. I’m currently on a trip in Europe & shopped in a French store yesterday. I had no clue what the sizes there equated to, so I just eyeballed the clothes. I also told myself that I will not google later to see how their sizes match up to American size. I’m just going to enjoy what I bought! I did notice that there were no shorter pant lengths in this particular store; not sure if that’s common for European sizes or not. Anyway, I do wish our own women’s sizes were better for us to find a closer match. It’s so frustrating to often need pants hemmed, among other issues.

  2. Just read article on Ulla Popken swim suits. I have purchased many plus size clothes in past years and I must say U.P. is by far the best made, consistent sizing, quality fabrics and (recently)the trendiest styles online.. I am a fan.

  3. The NYT article on women’s pants sizing has this truism:

    >>There is only one real answer to finding the best-fitting pants: Free yourself from the strictures of size and just try them on till you find a pair that feels right to you.

    Now, tell that to the online retailers who can’t understand why people buy and return, buy and return.

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