five things I’ve loved, hated, read, made or heard this week
Hillbilly Elegy by J.D Vance
I picked this book up from the library a couple of weeks ago, as I had heard it mentioned a few times and I love memoirs. While from a literary standpoint it wasn’t the best I’d read (that award probably goes to Tara Westover’s ‘Educated‘) it was a very special insight into an under examined community. We hear the phrase ‘white working class’ thrown out a lot in politics right now, but rarely to we hear what that’s supposed to mean. Vance’s examination of his ‘hillbilly’ roots, the cultural, social, and economic issues of the Rust Belt and Appalachian Mountains is more personal than political, more ethnography than sociological study, though he does well sighting existing evidence to support the conclusions he draws. In a political landscape that seems to be lacking in empathy, this book is a good start to understanding lives seemingly so different from our own with compassion and patience.
Marbled Banana Bread – Smitten Kitchen
I love banana bread, and this plain one or the marbled one from Smitten Kitchen are unmatched in my book. This time I added instant coffee and a bit of cold brew to the chocolate batter, and I was sad to send the rest of the loaf with my sister!
Gaslighter – The Dixie Chicks
A much awaited new release to one of my all time favourite bands, I was excited for the first single off The Dixie Chicks upcoming album (due out in May). This lead single is a clear nod to 90’s and early 2000’s country, a contrast to the more ‘pop’ country sounds that have dominated country radio for the past decade or so. However The Dixie Chicks have a fraught relationship with the country music machine so it’s unclear if their return will be welcome in that corner of the broader music scene. But with this solid breakup track leading the way, I’m excited for more.
My smoothie kick actually started in December, when I showed up to cook Christmas dinner with a friend drinking an electric green smoothie that was more spinach than anything else. It has continued though, because nothing makes me feel healthier and also I hate breakfast. My go to is frozen berries (blueberry or blackberry are usually what we have around, peanut butter, orange juice, and as much spinach as I can fit in.
The Body Shop Vitamin E Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Sunscreen
I’m a big believer in daily sunscreen, but it doesn’t always sit well underneath makeup. I picked this one up in the big sale Body Shop was having a few weeks ago, and have been really happy with it. It absorbs well and doesn’t feel too greasy, and I don’t feel like its majorly affected how my foundation wears! As I have really sensitive skin, I’m pretty wary of a lot of new products and don’t get along well with many of sunscreens so I’m happy to have one this gentle around as the sun really starts to come out.