I can give you a long list of favorites, but who reads those
anyway? Here are the most recent picks to win my heart:
1.) The Fault in Our Stars (John Green) - Kate Rudd does the
narration for the audiobook, and she does a bang up job with this
poignant teenage love story.
2.) Next (James Hynes) - I really enjoyed Kevin Quinn's strange,
purgatorial walk through Austin (and memory lane), and the final 50
pages really moved me in so many unexpected ways. Also, it arguably
contains the best final line in a novel since Clive Barker's
3.) Things We Didn't See Coming (Steven Amsterdam) - Brilliant
short story collection about a post-Y2K world. (Hey, remember
Y2K?!) The author avoids the bleak post-apocalyptic scene and
focuses more on what it means (and what it takes) to rebuild
1.) Breaking Bad (Season 5B) - What more can be said about one of
the most clever, entertaining and heartbreaking shows ever made?
Kudos to Vince Gilligan & Co. for delivering such fun, weird
and twisted storytelling. It's certainly been a wild (and crazy and
sad and maddening and dreadful and shameful and just plain rotten)
ride for Mr. White -- and for all of us, too!
2.) Room 237 - The. Most. INSANE. conspiracy theories abound over
Stanley Kubrick's "The Shining". Definitely warrants a second
viewing now that I just finished rereading the book (in
anticipation of picking up the sequel).
3.) Miracle Mile - Smart, eerie and suspenseful apocalyptic film
that plays on Cold War paranoia yet remains wholly relatable to
this day. (Not an easy feat for most '80s films.) This is an ideal
popcorn flick to discover late-night on cable.
4.) The Day of the Crows (Le Jour des Corneille) - Simple, sweet
and beautifully animated French film about a young boy raised in
the wild who learns more about his family history when he dares to
enter the "outer-world". I caught this at CIFF last year and have
recently had the pleasure of introducing it to others.
5.) Orange Is The New Black - Smart writing, colorful (yet
relatable) characters and stellar performances from a large
multi-ethnic, multi-racial, multi-generational female ensemble.
This show is a HUGE
eye-opener in regard to just how much TV
is lacking in strong, savvy and dynamic minority characters. Best
season of any series this year.
My passion for music extends across all genres, but I'm mostly
rock-based and definitely lyrically-focused. Of late:
1.) William Topley & The Sea Gypsies / Aristocrats of the South
Seas - One of my all-time favorite songwriters. His best album in a
2.) Barenaked Ladies / Grinning Streak - BNL finally recovers from
the loss of Steven Page. Contains some of Ed Robertson's finest
songs to date. (Don't hate; this band consistently delivers the
most poignant and/or depressing songs with just enough pop
sensibility to get radio play. I'll make you a mixtape if you don't
3.) Biffy Clyro / Opposites - A beast of release (22 songs!) that
lacks cohesion but still bursting with gems.
Note: I've had the good fortune to interview a lot of great bands
big and small over the last decade on The Sound Of
You & Me
And speaking of Podcasts:
The Smartest Man in the World, Never Not Funny, Radio Lab, This
American Life, RISK!, Wait, Wait... and The Moth help kill a lot of
time at work.
Food (aka my favorite Chicago-centric meals):
Peanut Butter Shake @ The Brown Sack
worth living, dying and killing for. Seriously.)
Turkey Club @ The Rocking Horse
Ground Nut Stew and Smoked Gouda Mac 'n' Cheese @ Handlebar
Pantera @ Kuma's Corner
Sprecher's Root Beer(!)
Chorizo from my neighborhood deli.
I love breakfast! That said, I've lived in Chicago for nearly 15
years. Where can I get good hashbrowns around here already?!