Hawai‘i Public Radio’s Dabney Gough Shares Her 6 Picks for Fall

This fall, we’re asking people around town what they’re streaming, reading, watching and doing to give us all new ideas for entertainment for all that extra “me time.” This week, we spoke with Dabney Gough, Hawai‘i Public Radio’s director of marketing and communications.
Head Shot 2018 Dabney Gough

Photo: Courtesy of Dabney Gough



Read: The Talented Mr. Ripley

I’ve been doing a lot of armchair traveling (e-books from the library are such a gift!) and this novel was a pleasant surprise. Though I’ve seen the movie version, all I remember is picturesque scenery and a sun-kissed Jude Law. The book has plenty of languid pleasure baked in, but also goes deep into Tom Ripley’s psyche and raises interesting questions about identity and self-reinvention. Plus, it’s a delicious look at Italian cities in the mid-1950s. Author Patricia Highsmith also wrote Strangers on A Train, which was the basis for the Hitchcock movie. That book is next on my list.


Watch: The Casketeers (Netflix)

Watching an unscripted show about a funeral home may not seem like the greatest idea right now but hear me out. Like most reality shows, it’s not really about the setting, it’s about the people. The Tipenes are an enterprising couple at the center of the show who run a funeral home outside of Auckland. They’re charming and quirky, but also sensitive and caring, and they help demystify death in a time when, let’s face it, we’re all thinking about it a lot. And, thanks to their location and clientele, you get a fascinating window into the diverse funeral practices of Pacific Islander cultures. Come for the family, stay for the learning.


Practice: Meditation

I’ve dabbled in meditation before but came back to it recently on the recommendation of a few friends. I gotta say, it’s really refreshing to have 10 or 15 minutes in your day when your only job is to do nothing. Don’t think. Don’t plan. Don’t ruminate. Just sit and cultivate mental quietude. It’s the ultimate in unitasking. Apps make it easy and approachable and there are many of them, so try a few until you hit on one that speaks your language (some are more “woo woo,” while others are more practical). Some health plans include free premium subscriptions, so check that out too.


Listen: So many podcasts!

Podcasts are the essential accompaniment to my daily walks around Diamond Head. As an avid listener with eccentric tastes, I have two recommendations. Louder Than A Riot, a new podcast series that examines “the interconnected rise of hip-hop and mass incarceration,” is the first investigative series to come from NPR Music, and I’m pretty excited about it. It launched Thursday, Oct. 8. And, on the more frivolous end of the spectrum, Scamwow explores and delights in scams of all kinds. Start with the episode about counterfeit cosmetics—it’s entertaining and eye-opening.


Mingle: HPR’s Generation Listen

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Gen Listen as a source of fun both pre-pandemic and throughout this bizarre year. The volunteer-led initiative of Hawaiʻi Public Radio engages younger public radio nerds with the station and with each other, and they’ve really embraced virtual events in a way I haven’t seen others do. They’ve held Bar Talk events with local mixologists, virtual trivia nights (truly the most fun I’ve had on Zoom to date), and a video to help demystify voting for OHA trustees. Virtual podcast listening events and a Halloween dance party are in the works. Follow them on social @hprgenlisten.


Move: Online dance classes

I’ve dabbled in dance classes my whole adult life, but that has all come to a halt—kind of. It turns out that online dance classes are flourishing, and many are free or donation based. For a truly joy-filled escape, try Ryan Heffington’s Sweatfest (@ryan.heffington) or Mark Kanemura’s (@mkik808) classes, both streaming on Instagram. And, while I’m waiting for my local flamenco classes to return, I’m enjoying Experience Flamenco in Portland—instructor Laura Onizuka teaches live on Zoom but also makes videos available for download after the fact, which means I can take class on my own schedule. (This would be a good time to extend an overdue apology to my downstairs neighbors.)