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The best of what I’m reading, watching, and exploring (May 2022)

Posted in the following categories: Motivation

Thanks to those of you who voted in the survey last week to help me pick the title and cover of my next book. Stay tuned for updates!

From time to time, instead of my usual email with one big idea you can read in 3 minutes or less, I share with you the best of what I’m reading, watching, and exploring. Enjoy!

Books

The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz by Erik Larson. No one writes “nonfiction that reads like fiction” better than Erik Larson. And this book, like his previous work, is stunning. It’s about Churchill’s time as prime minister during the Blitz—Hitler’s relentless bombing campaign on Great Britain. Larson gives you a front-row seat to the action, showing you what it was like to live in Britain at the time. This might be my favorite Larson book yet.

The Anomaly by Hervé Le Tellier. Unputdownable thriller that I finished in 3 days. The less you know about it, the better. If you’re in the mood for a good summer page-turner, do yourself a favor and grab a copy. (Thanks to Elizabeth Barnhill at Fabled Bookshop for the recommendation.)

The Last Confessions of Sylvia P. by Lee Kravetz. A magnificent historical fiction about the life of Sylvia Plath, the author of The Bell Jar. I knew little about Plath’s life before I picked up this book, and I was hooked from the first page. (Thanks to my literary agent Richard Pine for the recommendation.)

Films

I say very little about the plot of the films that follow—in large part because I don’t want to ruin the fun. I refuse to watch trailers—or even read film descriptions—because I want to be surprised from minute one.

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. (HBO Max | Amazon Prime) Great cinematography, great music, great story, and really great ending. One of the most uplifting films I’ve ever seen.

Long Shot. (HBO Max | Amazon Prime) Hilarious rom-com with some of the best one-liners in recent memory. I smiled for 2 hours straight. Seth Rogen and Charlize Theron are a surprisingly great pair.

Shows

Formula 1: Drive to Survive (Netflix). I’ve never been into car racing, but I absolutely loved this documentary series about Formula 1. The series is really a study of human behavior and performance. And it has everything that makes for good watching—drama, conflict, revenge, redemption, fall from grace, and nepotism. I don’t binge shows, but I watched 4 episodes of this one back to back on a long flight. Highly recommended. (Thanks to Beri Meric of IVY for the recommendation.)

Euphoria. (HBO Max | Amazon Prime) Dark and disturbing, yet a strangely captivating show about teenagers making poor life choices. One of the most stunningly shot and acted series I’ve seen in recent memory. The show gets better as it progresses.

Yellowjackets. (Showtime | Amazon Prime) Another show about teenagers—this one featuring a team of soccer players who survive a plane crash. A dazzling mix of mystery and horror, it reminded me of the best parts of Lost. It has a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes—and for good reason.

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