This Weekend: Grow Your Own Farm and Find Zen in a Super Simple Game

This Weekend: Grow Your Own Farm and Find Zen in a Super Simple Game

Why you should care

The Weekender is a special collaboration between OZY Tribe members near and far to provide delicious recommendations for your valuable weekend time.

WHAT TO READ

Cyber Sexy — It’s Time to Rethink Porn. Think you know online pornography? Even if the answer is yes, yes, YES, this provocative book will likely teach you something about seeking sexy time on the internet. Author Richa Kaul Padte gets intimate with online sex cultures, probing issues like consent, power and pleasure. The result is a myth-busting and highly personal read about being comfortable with who you are, what you want and how to get it. (Recommended by Maroosha Muzaffar, Avid Reader)

The Light We Lost — All the Feels. Lucy and Gabe meet and fall in love in New York on Sept. 11, 2001. Right from the beginning, it’s clear that this romantic rendezvous is going to be emotionally intense, dramatic and … Shakespearean. Over the course of 13 years, these “star-crossed lovers” (as described by Reese Witherspoon, who chose this debut novel by Jill Santopolo for her book club) are repeatedly torn apart and breathlessly reunited based on life choices. It’s a page-turner — until the epic ending. (Recommended by Nicole Locantore, Romance Queen)

1947: Where Now Begins — Eerily Relevant. How one year can dramatically change the world. That’s the underlying message in this gripping nonfiction yet novel-like book by Swedish author Elisabeth Åsbrink. It’s 1947 — a watershed of artistic urgency and political divide and protest. It’s also when a 10-year-old Hungarian-Jewish boy, who lives in a refugee camp for children of parents murdered by the Nazis, is faced with a life-altering decision. Poignant history lesson? Yes. (Recommended by Patrick Rojas, OZY Reader)

WHAT TO PLAY

Wizards Unite — When Harry Potter Meets Pokémon Go. The world has fallen into a state of calamity, and it’s up to wizards and witches to “keep magic safe from Muggle eyes.” In Wizards Unite, a real-world augmented-reality game created by the makers of Pokémon Go, your phone becomes your map and magic wand. So, wizard up — and watch for traffic — as you cast spells, create potions, and swipe and tap your way through the story line to collect Foundables (special encounters) that the Confoundables (menacing guards) don’t want you to have (Recommended by Alex Lau, Magic Saver)

Stardew Valley — Grow Your Own. Farming can be a calming pursuit, but recent reports about its negative effects on the climate suggest we might want to get our farm zen online. Stardew Valley is a simple 16-byte role-playing SIM game you can play anywhere. You inherit a farm in the magical community of Pelican Town with virtual crops and livestock — no IRL water or land required. And then you can just lose yourself in the daily meditation of crop maintenance and townspeople relations, with added goodies (hidden treasures, monsters and romance!) as the game progresses. But really, it’s just practice for the coming environmental apocalypse. (Recommended by Ned Colin, Digital Green Thumb)

WHAT TO WATCH

The Farewell — The Big Little Lies We Tell. Sometimes lying is a good thing. Or is it? That’s the premise of The Farewell — a film “based on an actual lie.” Writer-director Lulu Wang tells the story of the lengths her family went through to shield her grandmother from a stage 4 lung cancer diagnosis. In Chinese culture, family members and health practitioners sometimes lie to terminally ill patients about their prognosis and take on the burden of truth collectively.

The big lie in The Farewell is a fake wedding — an excuse to gather the whole family in one place to say a final good-bye to their nai nai (paternal grandmother). Starring U.S. actor and rapper Awkwafina, the film is mostly based in Changchun, China (considered that country’s Detroit), and is a start-to-finish emotional roller coaster. In an interview at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, Awkwafina called filming The Farewell “an empathy orgy” — there was so much crying on set. We dare you to watch this intense, personal and sometimes even funny film with a dry eye. (recommended by Wade Best, Truth Seeker)

AND WHATEVER YOU DO, DON’T…

Let your guinea pig get lonely in Switzerland. You can have two or more of the cute creatures in your home, but Swiss law dictates that it’s illegal to have just one. Why? Guinea pigs are super sociable animals — they need others to feel happy. Thus, having a solo guinea pig is considered cruel (now don’t you feel bad?). As the world is becoming increasingly aware of animal emotion, the Swiss have been miles ahead with laws to protect critter well-being. FYI: Goldfish also require bowl-mates there, and you can’t boil lobsters alive.

SLIDE INTO OUR DMS

Do you have a killer potato salad recipe that you’d like to share? Think you discovered the next great jam band? Share your suggestions with us here at OZY! Email us: Weekender@ozy.com.

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If you’d want to drink it, eat it, wear it, ride it, drive it; if it’d be cool to see, listen to or do, we’re writing about it.