Short Recommendations For A Short Week


A short week has its advantages and disadvantages.

On the one hand, it’s one less day of contact hours, overrun meetings and awkward elevator journeys with that senior exec who definitely doesn’t remember your name even though you’ve met four times but will still ask you vaguely personal questions to infer that he does. On the other hand, we’re forced to condense a normal week’s worth of work into four days. Which can be mildly stressful.

If your current mindset falls into the latter category, here’s a mishmash of reading and listening recommendations to carry you through.

On your commute home tonight, plug in Modern Love’s podcast episode, “Manic Pixie Dream Girl”. The real-life, perfectly-crafted essay was first published on the New York Times in 2013 before it was performed by Alex Karpovsky, who played Ray on Girls, on the podcast in 2017 – therefore it’s since expired from the podcast app but luckily for you (and for me, because I’ve listened to it approximately seventeen times) it’s still on WBUR.

Speaking of Modern Love, I have two confessions. The first is that when Fleabag first came out on Amazon Prime in the UK, I was so desperate to watch it that I downloaded an application that let me change my Macbook’s “geographical location” so that it would think I lived in England and thus let me create an Amazon Prime account. How deeply sad is that. The second confession is that I recently used said-Amazon Prime account to binge the entire Modern Love television series (yes, inspired by the NYT column) and now I can’t stop thinking about Dev Patel’s – and I can’t stress this enough – hair. That’s a lot of information to give you in sixty seconds, I know. And if you haven’t seen the series this won’t make any sense, so I’ll let this article from The Cut explain.

Early last week, beloved British journalist and author Deborah Orr lost her battle with cancer at the age of 57, and in the days following, friends and colleagues responded with a flood of tributes online including sharing some of her best work like this beautiful article on homesickness and loneliness. She said, “The threat of loneliness is hardwired into modern life. Practical people doing practical things – travelling far for a job opportunity, opting for the accommodation they can afford, under unbending rules – learn the hard way that human beings can only take so much practical… Loneliness is an ailment of modernity.”

For an article guaranteed to make you cringe with nostalgia, this piece on Man Repeller asks 29 Gen-Z teens to divulge the secrets of their bedrooms and, more specifically, what the hell they do in there. The most surprising theme was how similar these teenager’s answers were to the way my girlfriends and I spend our downtime now, as young adults: watching Fleabag, burning candles, trialing new outfit recipes, “falling asleep by accident.” And lastly, if you’re anything like my superhuman girlfriends who can read an entire book in a single week then you’ll devour ‘How Do You Like Me Now?’ by Holly Bourne. It’s a funny and poignant story about a successful thirty-something grappling with the intense societal pressures that women face when they hit that all-important landmark. It’s unquestionably a piece of chick-lit but it’s sentiment and sincerity will catch you off guard. I think you’ll love it.

Header image by Holly Burgess for The Twenties Club