Rachel Pyle's Christmas picks

November 29, 2016

Rebecca Traister gives an in-depth look into how single women have carved out a role for themselves in modern America in All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation (Simon & Schuster). Well researched and approachable, the book presents portraits of unhitched women and shows how their choices have added to society.

Perhaps the most talked-about piece of media this year was Beyoncé’s visual album Lemonade (Columbia Records). It marries an eclectic mix of musical styles with thought-provoking lyrics that range in theme from rage to forgiveness. The album doesn’t settle on one specific message. Instead, it reflects on (among other topics) racial discourse, the politics of gender, and the messiness of romantic relationships.

At first blush, the indie film Sing Street (written and directed by John Carney) looks like a typical story of adolescent misfits banding together to put on a show at their high school dance. The film spotlights ’80s music and fashion, but the story is bittersweet as it follows students negotiating their identities in the community while dealing with letdowns at home and in the classroom.

To give a great gift that ­doesn’t cost money, send someone a link to Sam Lamott’s blog Hello Humans (www.hellohumans.co). The online chronicle feels like a personal therapy session as Sam (son of Anne Lamott) processes the recent demise of a long-term relationship. Irreverent at times, Hello Humans contains some of the rawest, funniest, and most honest writing I’ve stumbled upon in a long time.

Read the other 2016 Christmas picks here.