Best Weekend

Best Weekend: Michelle Obama’s Biography, ‘While We’re Young,’ + More

What we'll be listening to, watching, and reading to sate our pop culture needs.

We might daydream about being BFFs with Michelle Obama, but Peter Slevin’s new biography of the First Lady is probably as close as we’ll get. Reading it—and diving into the other picks on our list—is a weekend well spent.

‘Michelle Obama: A Life’ by Peter Slevin

This new biography, by veteran journalist Peter Slevin, casts Michelle Obama in a whole new light—much more a partner in her husband’s life than kowtowing to the rote role of First Lady. This look back at her past, including her defiance of the racism and sexism she faced in her Ivy League education, as well as how it affected her, focuses less on White House gossip and more on the culture and climate that made Michelle who she is today.

‘While We’re Young’

After 2012’s joyful and melancholic Frances Ha, Noah Baumbach is back with a film that looks at the wide mental and cultural gap between Gen-X-ers—in this case a staid married couple played by Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts—and Gen Y, free-spirited 20-somethings Adam Driver and Amanda Seyfried. While We’re Young is a perspicacious look at the fear and resentment of growing older in a culture that celebrates youth, with just the right amount of satire.   

‘Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit’—Courtney Barnett

The debut album from this Australian singer-songwriter is a catchy collection of observations, minute details of millennial life that Courtney Barnett infuses with wit, all backed by her guitar-driven pop melodies. If While We’re Young is the movie for Gen X-ers, Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit is the soundtrack of Gen Y-ers. One that can be appreciated at any age.

‘Hart of Dixie’ Season (Series?) Finale

This guilty pleasure of a fish-out-of-water CW show, starring Rachel Bilson as Zoe Hart, a New York doctor who moves to Alabama to work at a general practice, has had a good run. But with cancellation hanging over its head, tonight’s season-four finale is likely its final farewell. As much as we might hate to admit it, we’ll miss the show’s quirky small town vibe, heartfelt friendships, and rom-com like connections, so we’ll be pouring out a glass of pinot for its demise.

‘Night at the Fiestas’ by Kirstin Valdez Quade

In her debut collection of short stories, Kirstin Valdez Quade paints a riveting picture of life in New Mexico, through mostly Mexican-American characters, from the young pregnant woman who works in the office of her Catholic Church to the jobless dad whose estranged daughter shows up on his doorstep to the Stanford student, home on break but forever caught between the elite world she aspires to and the farm laboring past of her parents. They are people with real heartbreak, who you genuinely root for.  

It’s not just about the stories. Journalism is also about who is telling them.

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