Weekly Top 5: Fun Friday Reads
Broadly speaking, there’s a lot of bad news constantly bombarding us these days: push notifications that come through on our phones, clips on the radio that weave their way in and out of our musical listenings, the nightly news that’s on television when we get home every evening. It’s no surprise that so much of the news is bad — It’s sensational! It’s fascinating! It’s the gritty kind of stuff that people, more often than not, will actually read, or listen to, or watch because it’s salacious and often so distant from the experience of our own lives; it’s like a soap opera. But with all the heavy, serious information forcing its way into our brains all the time, it can be such a relief to enjoy some fluffy, lighthearted, fun bits of reading every now and again. And I’m not talking about “The 10 Best Pumpkin Spice Recipes You Should be Making Right Now” or “How Taylor Swift Made One Fan’s Day with This Surprise Visit!”...I’m talking about pieces that dig a little bit deeper than that, without getting us all bogged down in the muck and crud; like a meal boasting ample nutritional value, followed by good old fashioned Snickers. (Speaking of Snickers...check this ish out.)
So, as a way of adding a little lightness and fun to the end of your work week, I went ahead and pulled together five good reads that will leave you feeling at least a little more right. Some will make you laugh; others will make you cry; and maybe some will cause you to pause and think. Heck, it’s Friday afternoon - go on and have yourself a good read!
The New York Times
Maybe it’s because I’m getting married this weekend (tomorrow, as a matter of fact.) or maybe it’s because I’ll always be a sucker for a good, old fashioned [sometimes twisted] love story, but I’ve recently become a fan of the New York Times’ Modern Love column. Offering “weekly essays that explore the joys and tribulations of love,” the pieces they publish almost always hold my attention and make me feel all. the. feels. This week’s edition, written by a former sperm donor who discovered both his offspring and a new love interest during the course of his internet investigations in the years following his donations, had me both laughing and crying — happy tears, of course.
The Nashville Scene
Beloved Preds players Pekka Rinne, Kyle Turris and Ryan Ellis grace the cover of Vol. 37, No. 34 of the Nashville Scene (last Thursday’s publication), but believe it or not my favorite portion of the ‘zine’s coverage about the Preds focused on a different kind of player than those who glide across the ice: I’m talking about the guy who plays the organ. Kyle Hankin is not only the organist for the Nashville Predators, but he also plays for the Nashville Sounds. And while it was baseball that initially sparked his interest in this imposing, piano-like behemoth of an instrument, it was hockey that really turned it into a career for him. This one’s the kind of piece we really love here at Broad Varieties: those that tell the untold stories of Music City’s most notable Nashvillians.
3) Mae & Me
I’m pretty sure the last time I read a short story was at some point during my senior year of high school — probably in English class; maybe in Spanish. I can’t say I remember any one story in particular, but I am certain they were a part of the curriculum. And to be honest, I’m not sure why I stopped reading short stories. Because, reading a short story is kind of like reading a book...but shorter. And as a relatively slow reader with a limited amount of time to devote to reading, short stories sound right up my alley! Truth be told, I randomly stumbled upon Mae & Me while clicking around on the internet, but the narrative quickly drew me in and had me hooked. The story is relatable, it’s moving, and it’s totally worth the 10-15 minutes it’ll take you to get through it; maybe less if you’re not as slow as I am :)
Look, I’m gonna shoot straight with you on this one: this story is three years old. I repeat, three. It was published on November 19th in 2015 and it appeared on — wait for it — Buzzfeed. As in, the creme de la creme of journalistic excellence. To be quite frank, this story doesn’t have any educational value. Reading this piece will neither pull on your heartstrings nor send you into a fiery rage. This investigation will most certainly not offer an assist when engaging in casual political banter. And overall, this story will have a very low impact on your emotional standings, the actions you take later this weekend, or your feelings about Donald Trump. But. It’s pretty freaking funny. I’ve read this one three or four times now, and I laugh — out loud — every. damn. time. Go on! Give it a go.
The New York Times
If you’ve been following along with Broad Varieties for a while, it’ll come as no surprise when I tell you I’m obsessed with HBO’s series, Insecure. From the realistic storylines, to the present-day politics and themes woven throughout, to the [honestly] drool-worthy guys they’ve cast this season in particular, I’m fully engrossed. So I found this read about their costumes — and the reasoning behind them — to be pretty fascinating.