September 07, 2023

Three Things Thursday: Media

I used to write posts called "What I'm Reading, Watching, and Listening To" and I really liked them because readers would comment with suggestions of other books/shows/podcasts/etc. that I might want to check out. I've found some of my favorite media that way!

Last summer, I had so much going on. I literally had not read a full book since March, and before that it was November. I do tend to go through phases where I read a lot--several books in a row--and then I won't pick up a book for months. My head just hasn't been in it. Until now.

So, I thought I'd do my "three things" today about what I'm reading, watching, and listening to...

1) Reading

I happened upon this book when I looked up Oprah on Instagram a while ago because one of the kids' friends didn't know who she was and it made me feel ancient. But when I looked her up, her latest post was where she introduced a book for her book club: Demon Copperhead, by Barbara Kingslover.

Oprah's book club was how I'd discovered The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett--which is my favorite book of all time. There were a couple of other books she'd suggested over the years that made it to my top favorites, too. When she posted about Demon Copperhead, I was intrigued. It's an epic, which I love, and even better, a coming-of-age novel.

I'm not done with it yet, so I can't say whether I recommend it; but so far, I love it!

This is the description from the publisher:

Set in the mountains of southern Appalachia, this is the story of a boy born to a teenaged single mother in a single-wide trailer, with no assets beyond his dead father's good looks and copper-colored hair, a caustic wit, and a fierce talent for survival. In a plot that never pauses for breath, relayed in his own unsparing voice, he braves the modern perils of foster care, child labor, derelict schools, athletic success, addiction, disastrous loves, and crushing losses. Through all of it, he reckons with his own invisibility in a popular culture where even the superheroes have abandoned rural people in favor of cities.

I've reached the point in the book where I just want to keep reading and not stop until I'm done. There are little hints here and there of what's to come later, and it makes me very curious. It's written in first person, and Damon (the main character, who begins the narrative at age 10) will say something interesting, followed by "...but that's a story that I'll tell later."

After I read this, I may go through some of Oprah's old picks for her book club, because I've really liked what I've read of her suggestions.

2) Watching

Maybe part of the reason I haven't read a book in a while is because of my obsession with the show Criminal Minds. Holy smokes. I'd seen several episodes a long time ago, but I didn't really get into it right way. Earlier this summer, I was looking for something to watch (kind of in the background) while I was working on a project. Criminal Minds has a million seasons (actually 16, but it seems to go on forever), so I picked that.

The show is a bit dramatic in the way it's structured, but once you get invested in the characters, it doesn't make any difference. And it's actually a pretty dark show when they get into some tough cases. Basically, the show is about a unit in the FBI called the Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU)--a group of agents who do criminal profiling to catch serial killers. Each episode usually concerns one case, and then moves on to a different one in the next episode, but some cases are ongoing throughout the season.

I got SO hooked on it! I absolutely love the characters, who come and go through the seasons. My very favorites are Spencer and Penelope. I just finished the most recent season, which is why I decided to dust off my Kindle and finally read Demon Copperhead.

3) Listening To

I've written about my favorite podcasts several times, and the list doesn't change very much. My go-to favorites are still This Is Actually Happening, Sword & Scale, True Crime All The Time, and Stuff You Should Know. Oh, and Beautiful/Anonymous. While a lot of people listen to music, I like listening to podcasts and audiobooks.

Branching out from my usual and familiar sort of podcasts, I started listening to one called Feeling Good Podcasts with David D. Burns, M.D. I actually looked him up after my psychiatrist recommended a book called When Panic Attacks (written by Burns). I started reading the book but when I got to the "homework" part, I was kind of stumped in applying it to my life because my anxiety is so generalized.

However, when I found the podcast, I discovered all sorts of great mental health info.

Burns is a psychiatrist who has studied in depth about the effectiveness of medications for mental illness like depression and anxiety, and how it compares to therapy (both alone and/or with medication). He's written several books that focus on how his research has helped him develop ideal cognitive therapy approaches.

Aside from that, I just like listening to it because the episodes are full of helpful techniques we can use on our own to help with depression and anxiety (there are episodes about other mental illnesses as well, but a lot of the focus is on those).

I like to listen to it while I'm falling asleep; not because it's boring, but because it helps me to feel good. Haha, I just typed that and then realized that "Feeling Good" is literally the name of the podcast. Well, I can attest to that! It definitely makes me feel good and hopeful and motivated to work on emotions I'm going through.

And there you have it! I'm hoping that I'll continue to read more after I'm done with this book, so if you have more suggestions, please feel free to share them.


  1. Try The Poisonwood Bible- also from Barbara Kingsolver ( over 20 years ago) still one of my favorites of all times!

    1. The Poisonwood Bible is great! You might also like Back Roads by Tawni O'Dell, another Oprah pick. It reminded me a bit of Demon Copperhead. And have you watched Mindhunter? so good

  2. Totally thought of you when I listened to a Mel Robbins podcast the other day where she interviewed Dr. Daniel Amen about brain health and his research with over 200k brain scans over the last like 40 years (Episode: Optimize your brain). I also go through "spurts" of reading a lot and then not at all. Kind of in a lull right now. I like Criminal Minds though I've never watched it straight through. Not currently watching anything in particular.

  3. Thanks for the suggestions. I am going to try that book. I would suggest listening to the podcast Hidden Brain. There was a particular one about addiction (romance novels, electronics, food, whatever) this summer that I found mind blowing.

  4. I didn't watch Criminal Minds when it was first out but found it a couple of years later. I usually watch the re-runs on TV and my favorites are also Spencer and Penelope. I just adopted a rescue cat and her name is Penny (Penelope). I have to look up your podcasts as I usually listen to book or knitting podcasts.

  5. I watched a lot of Criminal Minds (until I ran out of available seasons when it was still on NF), and I discovered what worked best for me was to fast-forward through the violent crime scenes and just watch the parts where the investigators come in afterward. I never seemed to miss any actual plot points that way, and I didn't get nearly as freaked out.


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