As we enter day number blerg of shelter-in-place, some of us are starting to go a little barmy.
Outside my window, down the long, leafy corridors of Logan Boulevard, summer is in the air. Meanwhile, I seem to spend most of my time in the twilight of my dining room, tapping away on my laptop in sweatpants and an increasingly disappointing work-from-home beard.
I love to read, however, and books have continued to offer me a way to travel the world and meet all sorts of interesting people without violating social distancing protocols.
So, while I’m quite tired of hearing about the pandemic at this point, my ears do still perk up when I hear people talk about the latest books — or movies, TV shows or podcasts — they’ve been enjoying during these trying times.
In the spirit of lightening the proverbial load, following are some recommendations from the staff of LoganSquarist on the best stuff we’ve been reading, watching and listening to lately, all to help you stay sane (and safe) while you shelter in place.
Hannah Magnuson, staff writer:
I’ve been listening to Waxahatchee’s album “Saint Cloud,” watching “Mrs. America on Hulu” and recently finished “This Is Chance!” by Jon Mooallem — it’s a nonfiction account of the 1964 earthquake in Anchorage, the largest in U.S. history, and had a lot of parallels with today in terms of how communities react in times of crisis.
Tom Vlodek, photographer:
I just finished reading an old thriller by Martin Cruz Smith called “Stallion Gate” and am about to start on “Bad Axe County” by John Galligan. As for television, my wife and I finished the HBO drama “My Brilliant Friend: The Story of a New Name” and I am currently enjoying “Run” on the same network and “Ozark,” the other Netflix train wreck you can’t look away from.
The best film we’ve seen since the sequester: “Snowpiercer,” directed by Bong Joon-ho. It was like “Polar Express” meets “Mad Max.”
Michael Dhar, managing editor:
I’m reading Kazuo Ishiguro’s “The Buried Giant” right now. On the screen, I’ve been watching the NBA’s Facebook Live rebroadcasts of old games and using CBS’s free trial to watch “Picard” and old “Cheers” episodes.
Ariel Parrella-Aureli, editor-in-chief:
I am loving this new cooking show called “Home Cooking” that helps people create new recipes with food already in their pantry. Made to survive the pandemic, it’s hilarious and personal while bringing people together through food! And on the screen, I am watching “Little Fires Everywhere” on HBO. SO much drama and SO good!
Erik Island, staff writer and photographer
I’ve been keeping busy reading and writing. After three years of unemployment, I feel like I’m kind of primed for this moment in a weird way, so I’m really just continuing where I left off before I started working. These are the books I’m reading right now — “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck” by Mark Manson, “Stop Doing that Sh*t” by Gary John Bishop and “The 5 Second Rule” by Mel Robbins.
Pia Cruzalegui, events manager:
I am finishing up the book “American Nightmare” by Henry Giroux, and up next in line is “Sapiens” by Yuval Noah Harari. On the listening side, I am listening to the “Under the Skin” podcast by Russell Brand, and on Netflix I’m watching “Ozark.”
Grace Bierman, events marketing manager
I have loved the extra time to read, and just finished “Unfollow” by Megan Phelps-Roper. Beautiful and moving, I cannot recommend highly enough! Also taking a moment to be grateful for “The Last Dance” miniseries for bringing a little taste of sports back into my week. Long walks are a definite savior as well. I love admiring all the historic homes and architecture in Logan Square! I’ve noticed so many details around the neighborhood this last month that I otherwise would have missed.
Tim Frisbie, staff writer
As for yours truly, I recently finished Erik Larson’s excellent book “The Splendid and the Vile,” which follows the exploits of Winston Churchill during the London Blitz, and I just started a new podcast, “Wind of Change,” that explores whether the power ballad of that name by German rock band Scorpions was actually written by the CIA as a piece of Cold War propaganda.
Do you have a favorite book, movie or TV show to recommend? Let us know.
Featured photo: Elina Krima