3 Things: Min Jin Lee, Stewart Lee, and North Korea / by Chris Duffy


Hi friends,

It's Saturday! Every week, I send out an email with my upcoming shows, one thing I think is great, one thing that made me laugh, and one thing I found interesting. 

 Upcoming shows

Three comedians try to guess what a leading scientist does all day and then find out why their research is important and exciting on You're the Expert.  Link

On The Payoff, Antonia Cereijido and I try to learn about money from a team of financial experts.  Link

TODAY Saturday, September 30 at 4 p.m. at Second City.  I'm in town for the Just For Laughs comedy festival! Come see a live recording of You're the Expert with Todd Barry, Sasheer Zamata, and the world's leading expert on raccoons. Link

Thursday, October 5 at 8 p.m. at Caveat.  You're the Expert has a new monthly home in NYC. Join me, Jo Firestone, Charlie Hankin, and a surprise guest at the beautiful new East Village theater Caveat. Link

My full calendar with all upcoming shows is online here.

 This week's list

1 Thing I Think Is Great:

I've always loved reading. I can remember being so excited when I walked into elementary school and found out that we were going to make sense of those squiggles on the page. That excitement has never fully gone away. According to some studies, reading literary fiction might not just be fun, it may also improve your brain's capacity for empathy.  With that in mind, my friend Maris Kreizman recommended some contemporary fiction that she predicted would "make you more empathetic." 

I took Maris up on her suggestion for a book that would help me understand Korea and ended up reading Min Jin Lee's beautiful (and sad) Pachinko. It's one of the most moving stories I've ever read. As you see more and more headlines about North Korea, here's a way to emotionally connect to the real humans who live there or had to leave.

(Bonus recommendation: If you're someone who's secretly writing a novel or dealing with creative rejection, here's Min Jin on her long road to critical acclaim. On Selling Your First Novel after 11 Years)

1 Thing That Made Me Laugh:

Stewart Lee (no relation to Min Jin) is a legendary British standup comedian. He's incredibly intelligent, amazingly funny, and able to tackle complex social issues in a way that people actually hear. Here's one of my favorite Stewart Lee bits about an argument he once had with a taxi driver: Stewart Lee on Facts (h/t Mollie)

1 Interesting Thing:

Doug Bock Clark has an amazing story in GQ his week about two women who thought they were being hired to star in a television prank show but ended up assassinating Kim Jong-Un's half-brother. The facts of the case are astonishing. 

"Two women had the most audacious task. Killing the brother of the North Korean leader. Right out in the open, using deadly chemical weapons in an international airport. And the craziest thing? They had no idea what they'd gotten into." The Untold Story of Kim Jong-nam's Assassination

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Have a great day,