Wintry weather has forced almost all of us indoors, but we’re quite happy to catch up on reading and Netflix. This month, we’re
sharing the things keeping cabin fever at bay and what’s inspiring
us to venture outdoors anyway.
Go to Annie's pick
It's gotten mixed reviews, but I really enjoyed Black Mirror: Bandersnatch. I'm one of those people who eagerly awaits new episodes of Charlie Brooker's tech-phobic, nightmarish anthology series—and the meta-choose-your-own-adventure structure here felt both fun and innovative. Bonus points for references to some of my favorite music, including Eurythmics, XTC, Laurie Anderson, Tangerine Dream, and Depeche Mode.
Go to David's pick
What else we're reading:
The Fifth Risk
My Brilliant Friend
I actually slipped and fell on a patch of slush in front of our office building in January, but I'm a booster of winter walks when it's easy to become
a mole person. I'm lucky enough to live and work in walkable, interesting areas, and I always feel refreshed after a (brief and bundled-up) walk through the cold air. Sometimes you feel better just feeling your body interact with the physical world. It's hard to get that from a fitness class.
(I'm not courting death, so I'll be hustling from point A to point B anytime the highs dip into the single digits.)
– Michael Lewis
– Barbara Kingsolver
– Elena Ferrante
The Netflix docu-series Murder Mountain has it all: history, murder, mystery, vigilante justice, and a heaping spoonful of cannabis culture, which
can make for entertaining television. The series is creepy and fascinating, and I can't stop watching.
Go to Katie's pick
I'm a big reader of rock biographies and autobiographies, a clear violation of the "Love the art, not the artist" maxim. The one major with problem with this genre is that the quality of writing is generally pretty low. For every Bruce Springsteen or Pete Townshend, both known for being reflective and literate storytellers, there are legion of Sammy Hagars, who, even with the help of cowriters, shovel out one anecdote after another that cumulatively fails to tell the reader much about how the artists were able to come up with such indelible tunes. Petty: The Biography avoids this trap in large part because the author, Warren Zanes, used to play with the Del Fuegos. As a result, he's able to connect the dots and illuminate certain aspects of Petty's origin, development as an artist,
and long run of success in a way that never devolves into laundry lists of album tracks and tour dates. Sometimes it takes one to know one.
Go to Scott's pick
Everything Anne Lamott writes is delightful. She is accessible, honest, and humble, and every time I read her, I just want to be her friend. In Almost Everything: Notes on Hope, she writes about what she finds to be true in life, with chapters on topics such as family, food, and hate. It's full of quotable, inspirational lines that I want to paste all over my house, but I won't. And while she often relates things to her idea or experience of God, she somehow manages to do this with enough humor and humility that she doesn't ostracize her non-religious audience. A special shout-out to her chapter on writing because it's the best advice on the topic I've ever read—besides the other stuff she's written about writing.