Spend your holidays with a good book and cup of tea. Photo by Aga Putra.
Holiday vacation is on the horizon. The thought of curling up with a new book, settling in for an afternoon Netflix marathon, or making the most of a long car ride with a podcast series feels especially enticing. Here's a list of staff picks!
Spend your holidays catching up on our favorite books, movies, televisions shows, podcasts, and music from 2016.
Read: "Swing Time"
After listening to a podcast where author Zadie Smith read an excerpt from her latest novel, it shot to the top of my reading list. Two young black girls from the projects of North London lead very similar lives until they diverge in dramatically different directions. One struggles to make it as a professional dancer, the other goes on a wild ride as an assistant to a famous singer. – Berit, editor
I was transported to the island of Corfu with a six-part adaptation of Gerald Durrell's My Family and Other Animals. Sick of their dreary life in England, a mother and her four children move to start life anew. Set in 1935, the British series is wholesome, appropriate for all ages, has stunning scenery, and is laugh-out-loud funny. – Berit
The newest podcast to catch my attention comes from Fathom contributor Rita Mehta of The American Edit and Erin Husted of Hackwith Design House. The duo interviews small business owners and creatives behind young brands like Appointed, The Merchant Home, Industry Standard, and Wright Bedding. – Berit
This year's podcast surprise from NPR talks to thinkers, designers, and CEOs like Yvon Chouinard (Patagonia) and Herb Kelleher (Southwest Airlines). Most teeter around 30 minutes, perfect for listening during a commute or on brisk walk. – Kate, contributing editor
How about a podcast about all things culinary from the folks at Dean & DeLuca? Of course one of my favorite episodes was with Fathom co-founder Pavia Rosati, all about what happens to confiscated food at JFK airport. – Kate
I caught Miss Hokusai this fall at the Angelika Film Center in NYC and loved it. The movie follows the famous Japanese painter and his daughter during Japan's Edo period. (It's my new favorite non-Studio Ghibli Japanese animation.) The history is fascinating, the cinematography is beautiful, and the soundtrack is especially lovely. – Becky
The data geek in me was particularly delighted by this collection of postcards between two designers (one in Brooklyn, the other in London) who communicated via snail mail infographics every week for a year. My favorite? The week of cities. – Becky, assistant editor
Post-rock band Explosions in the Sky released their first non-sountrack album since 2011. It feels both intimate and grand, meditative and frenzied. My favorite listening experience (besides live in concert) is late at night, in my room, in the dark, with the speakers turned up. I like to follow along with the online visual companion the band put together from their travels around the world. – Becky
In my eyes, Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich can do no wrong, and the Radiolab team's first spinoff is no exception. Season one tells the stories behind six different Supreme Court cases. From the dynamic real-life characters to the untold consequences of the rulings, each episode is more compelling than the last. – Kim
An indie film that has inspired as many fans as naysayers, the dystopian dark comedy from Yorgos Lanthimos was so delightfully weird and evoked such a range of emotions that I had to watch it again. – Kim, editorial intern
Paul Freedman, a professor of medieval history at Yale, chronicles the ten most influential restaurants in the United States and through them the history of the cuisines we know and love — like fancy French, home-style Italian, American Chinese, power lunch, and roadside diner. The photo-heavy book is topping my list. – Daniel, editorial assistant
I’m obsessed with the new dark comedy that follows a group of self-absorbed Brooklyn millennials as they search for a missing college friend they never really cared about. The cast is fascinating, especially Alia Shawkat of Arrested Development and John Reynolds, who made a brief appearance in Stranger Things. The story is suspenseful but light-hearted. And the ending is something to behold. – Daniel
Brooklyn-based design studio Anton & Irene, co-founded by designer Irene Pereyra and 24 Best Travel Photographer Anton Repponen, just released an interactive documentary about co-living in 1980s Amsterdam. It's a fascinating look at what we're willing to share with others in our immediate environment, which could come as welcome perspective if you get cabin fever this holiday season. – Daniel
Power! Politics! Treachery! Royal succession! No, not Game of Thrones. Rather, The Crown, the story of Queen Elizabeth, the long-reigning English monarch. The first season on Netflix was towering debut — brilliant acting, historical accuracy, dramatic tension. Upcoming seasons will examine the Queen's life through modern times. They can't release it fast enough. – Pavia, CEO
The late-night Japanese sensation — which follows the lives of patrons of a small overnight eatery as they bond over a particular dish (tonteki, omlette rice, sauteed yam) — has made it to Netflix. I've only seen the first episode, which revolves around tanmen noodles, and I'm already hooked. – Daniel
When world news and current events drive me to a dark place, I seek out Krista Tippett for the light. The journalist and radio host of the On Being radio show and podcast explores questions of life, science, and spirituality with her thoughtful, meticulous interviews. Her measured tone and deep conversations with serious thinkers immediately bring my spiked heartrate down to human levels. Her new book is a buoy in this fitful sea of humanity. Hold on for dear life! – Jeralyn, editorial director