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
Dreyer’s English — Making You a Better Writer. This book is for nerds, but it’s also a best-seller, so it seems like a lot of us are grammar nerds. Random House chief copy editor Benjamin Dreyer shares his tricks of the trade in what may be the most sparkling book ever written about grammar. His list of commonly confused words alone will likely teach a little something to even professional writers (though not us, of course! Not at all). (Recommended by Fiona Zublin, Em Dash Queen)
The Gypsy’s Curse — Twisted Southern Gothic. Writers from the American South have a special sort of storytelling magic, but this 1970s Harry Crews gem is above and beyond. It follows Marvin Molar, a deaf-mute bodybuilder whose deformed legs mean he has to walk on his hands, and his torrid love affair. (Recommended by Eugene Robinson, Muscle Man)
Cooked — Play With Your Food. This love letter to home cooking, in which famed foodie Michael Pollan learns to cook (how did he not already know?) is a joyful meditation on what the process of cooking means for us (and our food). If you’re not into reading books, you can consume the docuseries version on Netflix instead. (Recommended by Mark Fiorentino, OZY Fan)
WHERE TO TRAVEL
Las Terrazas, Cuba — A Green Getaway. This Cuban ecovillage and nature activity center in the Sierra del Rosario mountains was originally created during Fidel Castro’s “green revolution” reforestation in 1968. It’s a one-hour drive from Havana (and a good midway point to tourist favorite Viñales), meaning you can go for the day and take in a tour of the forest canopy, or stay for a while and explore the local art community and café scene. (Recommended by Liz Smith, World Traveler)
Kōchi, Japan — By the Sea. A trip to this hot-spring-rich rural area is all about the food. The local specialities are varied and those peddling them are not messing around: Local green tea is massaged into udon noodles or ice cream, while locally caught bonito becomes the iconic katsuo no tataki at Hirome Market. Other highlights include the craft beer scene and Tosa wagyu, beef from a rare type of local cow. Kōchi is a 90-minute flight from Tokyo and thus a great getaway from the busy city. (Recommended by Alex Furuya, Eats Everything)
WHAT TO WATCH
What Happened, Miss Simone? — The Life of a Genius. If you want to appreciate Nina Simone, all you really have to do is listen to Love Me or Leave Me. Her soulful voice and the simple, emphatic lyrics put your brain on a high. You don’t need to know anything else. But if you want to, check out this documentary about the great singer’s life.
Three letters: W-O-W. Aside from Simone’s gospel-pop-classical-jazz hybrid style, she lived a traumatic and passionate life … not just as a musician but as a civil rights activist who left the U.S. in her 30s and lived in Barbados, Liberia, Switzerland and finally the south of France until her death in 2003. (Recommended by Leslie dela Vega, Music Lover)
AND WHATEVER YOU DO, DON’T…
Accept substitutes. A business in Nebraska called Fake a Vacation is offering customers doctored photos showing them standing at tourist destinations so they can pretend to their social media followers that they took a fun trip. Prices start at $20. It’s not the company’s fault people simultaneously can’t afford vacations and feel they have to fake it for their followers — but it sure is a grim symptom of twin cultural pressures. (UPI)
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.