Trying to find a new book to read, a different podcast to listen to or another show to watch? Look no further than this series of interviews with Falvey Memorial Library staff. Sharing their recent interests and activities, feel free to explore these recommendations and expand your popular culture palate.
I’m the librarian for English and Theatre at Falvey Memorial Library. August will mark my fourth year working at Falvey. I really enjoy teaching and working with students. I taught a one-credit honors course a little over a year ago focusing on superheroes as modern mythology. Recently, I worked with Laura Bang [Digital & Special Collections Assistant, Falvey Library] and Chelsea Phillips, PhD [Assistant Professor; Resident Dramaturg for Villanova Theatre] to organize two live readings of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. We also organized a campus-wide Harry Potter themed scavenger hunt.
Name a book you haven’t been able to put down.
The Secret History of Wonder Woman by Jill Lepore [available at Falvey]. It’s all about the creator of Wonder Woman and the historical contexts surrounding the development of the character. You don’t need to know a lot about Wonder Woman in order to enjoy the novel. I would also recommend Hunger by Roxane Gay.
What binge worthy television shows have you been streaming?
ALL OF THEM! I recently watched the first two seasons of the original “Twin Peaks” (ABC). Now, I’m watching the revival: I like the new “Twin Peaks” (SHOWTIME) episodes better than the old ones. I’m looking forward to the new season of “Game of Thrones” (HBO). I’m also watching a series on Hulu, “Top of the Lake” (BBC). It’s a crime drama based in New Zealand. Already getting good reviews, the second season starring Elisabeth Moss (“The Handmaid’s Tale”) and Nicole Kidman (“Big Little Lies”) is premiering soon.
Have you been to the theatre recently? Any musicals or plays you would attend again?
Last weekend, I went to see ShakesBEER in Pretzel Park: Twelfth Night. It was produced by the Manayunk Theatre Company. It was a really fun and silly performance. The company is producing another staged reading this summer. Admission is free and you can bring your own beverages and snacks. All proceeds support the Manayunk Theatre Company’s future performances.
Name a podcast you’ve been following.
“The Daily” by the New York Times. It’s a nice 20 minute podcast about the day’s updates and headlines. I listen to it in the morning to start my day. I enjoy “Buffering the Vampire Slayer.” Re-watching the series, hosts Jenny Owen Youngs and Kristin Russo discuss each episode; writing originals songs for each installment. I also listen to “Fighting in the War Room;” the podcast features a variety of movie and film reviews. “Witch, Please” is another favorite: the hosts converse about all things Harry Potter. I listen to “Code Switch” by NPR [National Public Radio], the moderators discuss a lot of issues surrounding race. I really enjoy “Nerdette” (NPR); it’s a really fun podcast: co-hosts Greta Johnsen and Tricia Bobeda examine all kinds of nerddom.
Speaking of listening, what musical artist(s) has been blasting out of your speakers?
I don’t listen to a lot of music. I listen to the podcasts I mentioned (plus a few more) and at least one audio book. However, I do like The Decemberists. The band recently collaborated with another artist, so I am looking forward to the release of that album. I enjoy their songwriting, they are great storytellers.
What is something you enjoy doing in Philadelphia?
I enjoy the outdoor spaces that the city utilizes during the warmer months. I live close to Wissahickon Valley Park, so I spend a great deal of time there.
Tell me about a dish you recently prepared. Would you share the recipe?
I recently made a strawberry shortcake for the Fourth of July. The recipe crafted more of a crumbly cake than an overly sweet cake that is usually paired with the dessert.
What summertime activities do you enjoy?
I like to swim. I’ve been looking for some fresh water lakes, as I grew up swimming in lakes in Michigan, it reminds of home. I enjoy hiking, there’s a lot of accessible hiking trails nearby. I like grilling in the yard and gardening…all the delightful summer things.
Name an app you’re crazed about.
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