When I was in my 20s, I used to wonder why the media ran so many stories about life-work balance, and specifically about life-work balance for women. Then I had children. Now I'm fascinated by news reports and articles about subjects such as "having it all" and "leaning in." I also like novels and memoirs about the challenges and delights of motherhood, work, and combinations therein. Here are three books I love because they acknowledge and even celebrate the messy way that most of us actually live.
Billy Crystal returned to voice the role of Mike Wazowski in 2013's <em>Monsters University</em>, sequel to the hit Pixar comedy that introduced the outgoing one-eyed scareball — sidekick to John Goodman's furry blue-and-purple star.
Credit Joe Klamar / AFP/Getty Images
Crystal and Meg Ryan co-starred in Rob Reiner's <em>When Harry Met Sally</em>, a Nora Ephron-written comedy containing perhaps film history's most memorable dinner-table scene.
Credit Castle Rock/Nelson/Columbia / The Kobal Collection
Weekend Edition gets a lot of emails that start like this: "Why don't you tell the truth about ..." The Kennedy assassination, Sept. 11, the Lincoln assassination, the birthplace of Barack Obama or John McCain, Pearl Harbor, Area 51, black helicopters or the moon landing — fill in the blank however you like.
Baz Luhrmann's first movie, Strictly Ballroom, was a cheap, independent romance set in the world of ballroom dancing. The 1992 film became an international hit. Since then, the director, writer and producer has become known for his lavish operatic movies like Romeo + Juliet, Moulin Rouge! and the recent The Great Gatsby.
<strong>Who's That Masked Marge?</strong> Jennifer R. Morris (left), with Sam Breslin Wright, Gibson Frazier, Colleen Werthmann and Susannah Flood, in the third act of <em>Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play,</em> a <em>Simpsons</em>-inspired fantasia of loss and remembrance by Anne Washburn.
Credit Joan Marcus / Playwrights Horizons
In <em>Mr. Burns, </em>the "Cape Feare" episode of <em>The Simpsons</em> morphs from a story shared 'round a campfire to include memories of a world-changing apocalypse — and over the years it becomes a shared cultural myth for surviving generations.
If the world as we know it comes to an end, will art survive? And if it does, what kinds of stories will be told after the apocalypse? The answer might surprise you.
The lights come up on a group of people around a campfire in the woods, trying to recall all the details of the hilarious Simpsons episode "Cape Feare," a parody of the Robert Mitchum and Robert De Niro movies, in which Bart Simpson is stalked by the evil but incompetent Sideshow Bob.