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What's got my attention this week

Things to read, watch and listen to this weekend

Last picture of Michelle Yeoh (for now) I promise. But how great is this shot of Yeoh and co-star Jamie Lee-Curtis victorious at Sunday's Oscars? #thisis60

Every month one Friday round-up is free to read – this is March's. I hope you enjoy it. If you're already a paying member, thank you. Your support makes this newsletter and The Shift podcast possible. Paying members get weekly newsletters, culture round-ups, access to the community and the full archive, and more. All for less than the price of a (large) coffee a month. Also, the prices will be going up at the end of April so, if you're interested, upgrade to paid now.

• The internet was quick to pillory Angela Bassett after she failed to smile politely when she was pipped to the Best Supporting Actress Oscar by Jamie Lee-Curtis. But why should she? (Opens in a new window)
• Loved these tributes to the "other mothers" (Opens in a new window) in our lives.
• How to think your way out of a worry loop (Opens in a new window).
• Dr Jen Gunter has some issues with Gwyneth Paltrow's ozone colonic (Opens in a new window)! 😂
• The book banning continues unabated in America, but what do they think they're protecting their children (Opens in a new window) from?
• GPs are far less likely to prescribe HRT to ethnic minority women (Opens in a new window).
• What is productivity paralysis (Opens in a new window) and have you got it?
• The things people say to a 54-year-old model (Opens in a new window). ("You must be the stylist..."!)

• This piece by Dina Nayeri about growing up in a different culture from your mother (Opens in a new window) is the best thing I've read in ages.
• The too-much trap. (Opens in a new window)
• As if you needed telling, money is power. (Opens in a new window) So why do we still not teach women about it? £
• Middle-age is looking decidedly different (Opens in a new window) for millennials.
Is male menopause a real thing? (Opens in a new window) (Put your cynicism aside for three minutes!)
"24 things time has taught me" (Opens in a new window)
• Loved this interview with Jennifer Saunders (Opens in a new window).
• When cancer devastates your sexuality (Opens in a new window).
• The woman who's embarrassed to be a bird-watcher (Opens in a new window).

(A note about the links: some links are behind a paywall, but almost all can be accessed free by registering your email address. The only publications this doesn't apply to are The Times, Telegraph and FT. These are marked £. However, the Telegraph almost always has a month's free trial going, and I use the FT Edit app (Opens in a new window), which is free for the first 30 days and gives you access to 8 articles a day.)


Other Women by Emma Flint (Opens in a new window) was February's pick for The Shift + bookclub members, but I loved it so much I wanted to make sure you all know how good it is! (Although, when I say "loved", I should stress that it's not a cheery read, in fact, it's likely to leave you raging. It certainly did me. Which TBF is not that hard.) Based on a real life murder that took place in 1924, Other Women is the story of two women: Bea Cade and Kate Flynn. Two women who would never have encountered each other, but for one man: Tom Flynn, Kate's husband and Bea's lover – and ultimately, her murderer. This is a brilliant recreation of Britain just after World War 1, an unflinching examination of the way women were (and arguably still are) judged by society in general and the judicial system in particular. I inhaled it, and several bookclub members said they read it in a couple of sittings. And if you've already read this and are hungry for more, I highly recommend Emma's Women's Prize longlisted debut, Little Deaths. (Opens in a new window)
(Bookclub members: if you missed out on last night's Bookclub Live with Emma can catch up on youtube soon. Keep an eye on your inbox for a link. And, if you fancy a free copy of our March pick, The Only Suspect by Louise Candlish, (Opens in a new window)I still have a handful left, so email me your address ASAP. And if you want to upgrade your membership to be part of the bookclub, you can do so here (Opens in a new window).)


Couples Therapy, BBCiplayer
I'm not really much for a fly-on-the-wall, so I am very late to this. (It first aired in the states in 2019 and on BBC2 at the start of last year.) BUT I had lunch with a group of friends who all have pretty diverse tastes and once one of them mentioned Couples Therapy, they all burst into life, so I decided I had to give it a go. The basic premise, as the title suggests, is that four diverse couples have (for some unknown reason) agreed to have their couples therapy with Dr Orna Guralnik filmed and then televised across the world. I know, right? I mean ,why even would you. But hey, I'm grateful to them, because even though I've only watched one episode, it's great telly. I'm hooked. There are three series on iplayer now.

• I've had a bit of an audiobook week. First I finished STFU by Dan Lyons, (Opens in a new window)which I mentioned last week. It will make you take a long hard look at how much you talk and, by extension, how much you (don't) listen.
• Then I piled through Killers Of The Flower Moon by David Grann (Opens in a new window), which is soon to be a Martin Scorsese film. Set in the 1920s, it tells the traumatic story of the multiple murders of the Osage tribe, who became rich after oil was discovered under their land, the conspiracy to conceal it and the subsequent birth of the FBI.

And on The Shift with Sam Baker podcast this week...
... I talked to novelist and memoirist Dani Shapiro about family secrets and how it feels to discover
you are your family's secret. We also discussed her allergy to Empty Nest Syndrome, why there should be a handbook for middle age, coming into your full potential at 60, "losing your looks" when you’ve been told they’re your currency and learning to count ordinary blessings.

• If you enjoyed this newsletter, why not join The Shift and get it in your inbox every week for the price of a monthly coffee?

Topic Friday round up