What we liked this summer

A return to schoolwork entails an adjustment to our levels of consumption. In the spirit of endings, new beginnings and transitions, the Tribune weighs in on their favourite pieces of content from this summer. There’s plenty of time left until midterms for a few binges.

Book: The Authenticity Project

Suzanna Graham

In a post-pandemic world, it is easy to feel isolated from everyone around you. Clare Pooley’s debut novel, The Authenticity Project, explores this common sentiment, conveying that a simple act of kindness can bring people together. When struggling artist Julian Jessop deliberately discards his angst-filled diary, he has no expectations to later find a myriad of kind messages within its bounds. Over the course of a few months, the journal is discovered and passed between six strangers who choose to share their own struggles and attempt to help the writers before them. This feel-good novel proves that every person is looking for the same things: Love, community, and authenticity. 

Podcast: Are You Michelle From Skins?

Michelle Siegel

Starting as an Instagram TV (IGTV) series before becoming a full-fledged podcast, “Are You Michelle From Skins?” is a unique podcast on nostalgia, identity, and the complicated lens in which people view their past selves. Created and hosted by British actress April Pearson, who played Michelle on E4’s iconic teen drama //Skins//, podcast guests discuss their cultural relevance due to one role in their careers. Guests include James and Oliver Phelps, of //Harry Potter// fame, as well as Jessica Sula, who also played a character on a later generation of //Skins//. The podcast’s powerful focus on celebrating the holistic identities and experiences of actors—rather than only heralding and upholding their iconic roles— makes it worth a listen.

TV Show: White Lotus

Suzanna Graham

Written and directed by Mike White, White Lotus is a satirical ‘dramedy’ series detailing the shenanigans and adventures of several tourists, travellers, and staff at a Hawaiian resort. With a skilled cast, including hilariously over-the-top performances by Jennifer Coolidge, an ominous score, and masterful cinematography, the show is funny without compromising an edge that keeps the audience interested. Although the series explores serious themes of drug addiction, loneliness, and entitlement, it never loses its humour, thereby remaining both relatable and lighthearted.

Album: Blue Weekend

Anna Berglas

Blue Weekend, Wolf Alice’s third studio album released on June 4, 2021, features aggressive, fast-paced songs and excellent synths to capture the eeriness of life during a pandemic. On “Delicious Things,” the band’s singer Ellie Rosell delves into coming to terms with her womanhood in a man-centered society. The more lighthearted “Smile” features empowering lyrics such as “I am what I am and I’m good at it.” Ellie Rowsell knows her strengths, and one of these is vocal talent. The layering of her voice is ethereal, and each atmospheric musical intro is emotive and chilling. Blue Weekend speaks to the bravery needed to make noise, and the ability to push forward. 

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