There’s a light at the end of the tunnel that is 2019. Looking for
a book or movie to enjoy over the holidays? Want to make a
charitable donation but unsure where to start? Read on for our
Go to Christina’s pick
I went into the movie Knives Out blind to the premise and the A-list ensemble cast. Not the way I usually do things, but hey, the title was cool. Within minutes, I was enthralled; by the end I was in stitches. It’s part cozy mystery, part parody, but it makes every established detective trope original. It was a treat to watch and makes for a pretty great all-ages movie. The grand mansion somehow makes it perfect for Christmas.
After Brittany forwarded one of the Weekly Digest JSTOR newsletters, which featured an article on the lost city of Heracleion, I subscribed to this brainy, random, and almost always interesting newsletter. But I’m still waiting for more intel on lost cities from antiquity—10- to 18-year-old me ate dinner in front of the TV whenever a program about archaeology or forensic paleontology was on.
When it comes time for me to give back, I find it extraordinarily difficult to decide which charitable organizations are most worthy. So, I was thrilled
to discover that Dean Karlan, an economics professor at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, created an interactive platform, ImpactMatters, to help. The tool clearly explains its fact-based rating system and allows users to sort results by cause and city. An added benefit of ImpactMatters is that it can help charitable organizations learn more about each other. Karlan says his hope is for the tool to “push organizations to
share more information, learn more from each other, and be better stewards of the resources they’re given.”
Go to Heather’s pick
Go to Mimi’s pick
Go to Galina’s pick
Hanif Abdurraqib published two books this year, which is truly a feat. One of those books, A Fortune for Your Disaster, is my favorite poetry of 2019. The collection features nods to Marvin Gaye, Michael Jordan, and flowers, among others.
I want, mostly, a year that will not kill me when it is over.
A hot stove and a wooden porch bent under the weight of my people.
— from “If Life Is as Short as Our Ancestors Insist It Is, Why Isn’t Everything I Want Already At My Feet”
Abdurraqib’s style is so sincere and timely, even his Instagram stories have heart (@nifmuhammad).
Favorite festive beverage: