Relaxing with a good book and show
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During winter break, the few days off at the end of the year is the perfect time to read a new book or binge a show. Read on for our recommendations for books to read and shows to watch this winter break.
Books to read
With many of us working from home this year and generally, with our phones glued to our hands, I think it’s safe to say that we could all use a mini detox. During the winter months, there isn’t anything better than burrito-ing up with a hot cuppa and a good book. It’s a surefire way to escape and get lost in another world for a few hours. If you’re looking for some novel recommendations, below is our round-up of books to add to your reading list this winter.
A Promised Land by Barack Obama. In his newly released memoir, Obama takes us along his journey from childhood to becoming the 44th President of the United States. Also, if you have Michelle Obama’s memoir, Becoming, these two books are going to look so good next to each other.
I Want to Be Where the Normal People Are by Rachel Bloom. Comedian Rachel Bloom will have you laughing out loud with her collection of personal (and very relatable) essays about how we're all just going through the same things no matter how “normal” people look on the outside.
How to Fail at Flirting by Denise Williams. A light, feel-good read, How to Fail at Flirting follows Professor Naya Turner, who lets loose and hooks up with a stranger after her entire department gets cut but things get messy when the relationship turns serious and starts to stand in the way of her career.
Single And Forced to Mingle: A Guide for (Nearly) Any Socially Awkward Situation by Melissa Croce. Introverts and socially-awkward people, this book will be your bible! This cheeky guidebook is chock full of hilarious but helpful advice on what to do with it comes to various awkward scenarios.
The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna. The Gilded Ones follows 16-year old Deka after she becomes an outcast because of her unusual intuition and gold blood and as she continues her journey, joining an army of girls akin to her to fight for the emperor.
Black Futures by Kimberly Drew and Jenna Wortham. A collection of art and media in the form of photos, essays, memes, dialogues, recipes, tweets, poetry, and more, Black Futures celebrates the immense talent of Black creators.
Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi. This intriguing novel follows four people who go to a hundred-year-old café that offers patrons the chance to travel back in time.
Crosshairs by Catherine Hernandez. Crosshairs depict a terrifying future where a government-sanctioned regime called The Boots is tasked to round up POC, LGBTQ+ community members, and the disabled into labor camps. The novel follows the protagonist and former drag queen Kay who leads an uprising.
The Good Girls by Claire Eliza Bartlett. Emma Baines was murdered, and the primary suspects are three of her classmates. Follow along as buried secrets are dug up to catch the killer before another girl suffers the same fate.
So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo. From police brutality to the mass incarceration of Black Americans, Ijeoma Olu takes us on an examination of race in America and gently guides readers on how to have important and honest conversations about race and racism.
Shows to watch
And if you’ve had your fill of reading and want to binge a season (or a few) of some good, quality television, we rounded up the must-watch shows this holiday season.
The Crown: Winter break is the perfect time to catch up on the newly released fourth season of the popular Netflix series, The Crown. The latest season covers the Margaret Thatcher era of British politics and delves into the infamously tumultuous relationship of Prince Charles and Princess Diana.
The Queen’s Gambit: Based on a novel of the same name, this seven-episode limited Netflix series follows chess prodigy, Beth Harmon, from an orphanage in Kentucky to competing with Russians in Moscow. We promise you don’t need to know chess to enjoy this seven-part limited Netflix series, but we can’t promise that you won’t want to google “How to become a grandmaster in chess” after watching it.
The Flight Attendant: Based on a novel of the same name, the Flight Attendant follows Cassie who wakes up hungover, next to the dead body of a passenger from her flight. The mini-series follows her as she attempts to cover it up while trying to piece together what happened from that night with the FBI closing in on her.
Saved by the Bell: Take a walk down nostalgia lane with the sequel of the popular 80’s series. The series features a new cast, as well as featuring many of the original characters.
The Undoing: If you managed to dodge the many posts on your feed and probably the spoiler alerts about this show, I applaud you. The Undoing is a psychological thriller that follows Nicole Kidman’s character as a successful New York Therapist whose life starts to unravel.
Dear White People: Based on a film of the same name, the series follows a group of students of colour who attend a mostly-white Ivy League college. It shows their struggles against racism and discrimination, with each episode delving into a character’s life and personality.
Money Heist: Originally a Spanish series that Netflix has dubbed for their audiences, this show is about exactly what the name suggests: a money heist. But the meticulously planned heist that seems to cover every possible scenario will have you literally on the edge of your seat.
Spinning Out: The series follows a figure skater who tries to get back into competition after a fall that left her with a head injury. The show brings to light the dark side of competitive ice skating.
Euphoria Special: Euphoria fans, rejoice! While we wait for the much-anticipated second season which was delayed in filming due to Covid-19, we’re getting a holiday treat in the form of two special episodes of Euphoria. The first episode which focused on Rue is already out while the second which will focus on Jules is set to be released in January next month.
Schitt’s Creek: If you haven’t watched Schitt’s Creek yet, winter break is the perfect time to get caught up on this lil Canadian show that swept the Emmys this year. The show follows the super-wealthy Rose family who loses all their money and is forced to move to Schitt’s Creek, a small town they purchased as a joke but is now their sole remaining asset.
Happy reading and watching!