Tag Archives: WBEZ

My Book Club is Famous, and other readerly things

First and most important, my book club is famous. Not People famous or CNN famous or even Jezebel famous, but it is Afternoon Shift famous on our local NPR station, WBEZ. One of our book club members is a reporter and captured some of our nerdery at last Sunday’s book club get-together.

A piece of her interview that didn’t make the air, but that brings me great pleasure, is our discussion of our “Rules of Book Club.” There are many, but my two favorites are:

1. Read the Book because, come on, this is not a wine club, nor a brunch club, though there might be wine and/or brunch. There are limits to what you can contribute and what you’ll get out of it if you haven’t read the book.

2. No Bookclubbing Before Book Club because we all hang out on any number of occasions and in any number of combinations before the designated discussion, save your thoughts and opinions (as best as you are able) for the larger group so everyone gets the benefit of your brilliance.

If you have book clubs, I would love to know how yours works! Ours operates on a nomination system (wherein, every month, anyone can nominate a book, and all the nominations go on a ballot, we vote for two apiece, and the winner is read).

In other random readerly nerdery, have you listened to the Tavi Gevinson Nerdette podcast yet? Also worth a listen:

And lastly, do you ever have that moment where you’re on your way to a new place, and you’re staring at your phone tracking yourself on the map and you’re like… it should be right here. And then you look up, and it it is right there, and if you had used the eyes in your head instead of the device in your hand you would have found it five minutes ago?

So that feeling, that is how I feel about this article about this Atlantic article about “the Netflix for books.” I’m like… um,… we have that already. It’s called the library. It’s actually cooler than Netflix, because it’s free. Also, it’s been around for hundreds of years…. So really, what you’re saying is that Netflix was a “library for movies.” Not the other way around. Respect.

Related Post: I talk about Lean In on the radio with Vocalo and the Morning AMp.

Releted Post: On the radio, talking about feminist dating.


Filed under Books, Chicago

Monday Scraps 95


1. DATING: Where do “missed connections” happen? In Illinois, on the train (duh), in Indiana, at home. Wait, what?

2. AUTHORS: Ugh. Ender’s Game was kind of my favorite thing for so so long. It still is, but I hate when the authors you love turn out to be raging homophobes. Dammit.

3. EDUCATION: This amazing investigative piece by WBEZ on the South Side’s Harper High School is incredible in basically every way journalism can be incredible.

4. KNOPE: NYMag has the inside scoop behind Amy Poehler/Leslie Knope’s amazing wedding dress.

5. SPORTS: For the very first time, a woman is participating in the NFL regional tryouts. Kicker Lauren Silberman will probably not play in the NFL, but that’s still pretty f’ing cool.

6. OSCARS: I would write about Seth McFarlane’s horribly sexist jokes, but Margaret Lyons at NYMag  nailed it so hard I’d just be paraphrasing. 

Related Post: Sunday Scraps 94: Bey, Connie Britton, Jane Austen and more.

Related Post: Sunday Scraps: 93: Guns, visiting Chicago, Margaret Atwood


Filed under Books, Chicago, Education, Gender, Hollywood, Media, Politics, Sports

Sunday Scraps 34

1. TOLLBOOTH: Fun NPR story from Norton Juster, about the accidental way his first novel, The Phantom Tollbooth, became a masterpiece still beloved 50 years later.

2. HALLOWEEN: Great WBEZ piece from Claire Zulkey imagining the internal monologues of Halloween costume models.

3. BEAUTY: 2 minute trailer for Miss Representation, the documentary about media representations of women. The sequence of images of political women and the ridiculous accompanying commentary is pretty impactful.

4. EURO: Absolutely awesome infographic from the New York Times about the Euro crisis. Now I kind of sort of feel like I understand what’s going on. Maybe.

5. BELUGA: I was afraid of this video of the Shedd Aquarium’s beluga whale giving birth, but it is remarkably awesome and not at all scary. Plus, they set it to music.

6. RACE: Really interesting graphs about explicit and and implicit racial assumptions in Hollywood casting calls. Ok, fine, I guess Harry Potter has to be white, but why can’t more people follow Shonda Rimes’ lead?

Related Post: Sunday 33

Related Post: Sunday 32


Filed under Body Image, Books, Chicago, Gender, Hollywood, Media, Politics

Sunday Scraps 13

1. DATING/GEOGRAPHY: An artist joined 20 online dating sites and then created a map called “A More Perfect Union” that maps the United States based on how we describe ourselves in profiles. City names are changed to reflect regional differentiators. New York is “Now,” Chicago is “Always,” Omaha is “Steak.”

2. COMEDY: Is Groupon supporting the next generation of Chicago comic masterminds? Smart Girls, Stupid Things writer Kate reports for WBEZ on the relationship between the Chicago mega-company and the city’s improv community.

3. FOOD: “America Feasts” is a photo series documenting America’s relationship with food, from drive-thrus to BBQs.

4. BOOKS: The Atlantic reports on why adults love apocalyptic young adult fiction. As someone who was recently obsessed with The Hunger Games, I can get on board.

5. THE FRENCH: I’m not usually a super fan of Maureen Dowd, but her column this week about French politics and sexual culture is pretty great. And the title, “Non means Non” isn’t half bad either.

6. EDUMUCATION: How relevant is student testing to measuring teacher performance? I don’t know. You probably don’t know. But here are a ton of smart people talking about it, which is pretty much about the most I can ask right now.

Related Post: Scraptastic links for Chelsea Handler, sex education, art vs. childsplay and other fun stuff.

Related Post: Scraptastic links for Charles Barkley, pubic hairs, prison food and tv scheduling.

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Filed under Art, Books, Chicago, Education, Food, Hollywood, Media, Politics, Really Good Writing by Other People