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Friday Reads, Watches, & Listens



This week brought to you by sugar, love, friendship, Ireland, and some low-level animal trespassing.


Princesses, sky diving, and former President of Ireland Mary Robinson: This story of Sheikha Latifa's short-lived escape from Dubai, which was "planned over several years with the help of a Finnish capoeira trainer and a self-proclaimed French ex-spy," has so many words that don't make sense together that it was almost possible to forget that a grown woman is likely being held against her will. (Also - come on, Mary Robinson! What are you getting up to?)


This feels like the time my mother called me while I was away at college (400+ miles from home), and, without any greeting, asked me: "So, do you know how to get a goat off the porch?" Except, in this case, it was a horse in basement. Same same but different. (The answer, by the way, is that you grab the goat by its horns and lead it to wherever you want it to go.)


I. LOVE. The Great British Baking Show (or Bake Off, if you're watching it in the U.K.) and The Atlantic's "The Friendship Files" may be my new favorite running column (take that, Modern Love). This interview with Selasi and Val is pure gold. I will now be re-watching their season this weekend.

I remember I was doing my gingerbread [on the show], and it collapsed. I’m going “Ahhh!” and I think it was you who said, "I've got some glitter." You threw some glitter over to me and put icing sugar and glitter all over it and we just kept it going. And that's what bakers do. You shout out that you need a bowl or a whisk, and one of your baking friends will get it for you. You know those trenches in the war? It’s kind of like that. - Val Stones

Here's hoping you had a wonderful Valentine's Day! (Or are enjoying 50% off chocolate today, so you are still winning.) For the coupled or uncoupled, here are all of the relationship red flags that you should probably be keeping an eye out for. (Also - watch Crazy Ex-Girlfriend if you haven't. It's brilliant.)


And, to cap off today's post, my podcast discovery of the week, fitting in with my review of The Likeness: For the past few days, I've been happily reliving the insanity that was the Sweet Valley High series through the Double Love podcast. Irish writers/bloggers/podcasters Karyn and Anna wind their way through the series book by book, ruminating on the outfits (I still remember the tuxedo outfit that Jess and Liz both wear during Double Love), how often the twins' dazzling beauty is mentioned, Jessica's clear sociopathic tendencies, and Liz's status as the world's worst writer. I'm only on episode 3, but as a devoted reader, I know what twists are yet to come: cults, gambling addictions, many, many deaths, affairs (can you call it an "affair" if you're sixteen and have been dating your sixteen year old boyfriend for approximately ten minutes?), an evil doppelganger, an evil doppelganger's twin, and someone who tries to steal someone else's face. (This mentalfloss article has a good run-down of some of most outstanding crazy.) Dive in and enjoy!


Happy Friday!