It’s Friday. Looking for something to switch up your weekend, or to give you an excuse to relax a little? That’s what the Weekend Reset is for. Each week we’ll pull together five things to get your weekend started. Could be something to read or watch, something to eat or listen to, or even something to do. Enjoy the weekend fellas.
READ: The Abstainer
One of my absolute favorite books of the last five years was Ian McGuire’s The North Water, a savagely brilliant tale of a surgeon and a murderer’s encounter on a whaling vessel in the north Atlantic. Written in prose evocative of Cormac McCarthy and Joseph Conrad, the novel blew me away. McGuire’s new novel, The Abstainer, came out a couple of weeks ago, and I’m really excited to dive in. Whereas The North Water is a story set in the key of Moby Dick, The Abstainer sounds like McGuire’s take on a Raymond Chandler detective novel, pitting an Irish constable against an Irish freedom fighter in the mid-1800s. If you like your tales gritty and dark, this one’s for you.
WATCH: The Big Sleep
Speaking of Raymond Chandler detective novels: this 1946 adaptation of Raymond Chandler’s first novel is one of my all time favorite movies. Though aspects are certainly dated, it’s remarkable how well it holds up, even now, thanks to the crackling chemistry between Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, who were in the middle of their own real-life romance while the movie was being made. The plot is famously incomprehensible: Howard Hawks, the film’s director, once called up Raymond Chandler to ask him who committed one of the book’s central murders — and Chandler, who wrote the book, just shrugged — “I don’t know” — but it doesn’t matter. This is a film you soak up for its style and its characters. Rentable on Amazon.
It’s October, folks. We’re officially in fall. And for me, there’s nothing quite so comforting and relaxing as spending a fall Saturday morning in front of the stove, making a big stack of pancakes. There are a zillion ways to do this. Like your pancakes light and fluffy? Try Kenji’s involved but phenomenal recipe on Serious Eats. Like your pancakes thick and quick? Stella Parks has got you. Extra sourdough starter on hand? Check out King Arthur’s sourdough pancakes. Or make them from a mix. (I’m not ashamed to admit that I absolutely love Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Pancake mix.) I used to make small batches of pancakes just for me, but now I’ll make a full batch and freeze the leftovers in a single layer on a baking try and then transfer them to a ziplock once frozen — there’s nothing quite like having a bag of pancakes in the freezer, ready for weekday breakfast on a moment’s notice. Photo by Luke Pennystan on Unsplash
PLAY: Star Wars: Squadrons
Back in 1994, the Star Wars game TIE Fighter was the game to beat. You were given command of an an imperial TIE Fighter and tasked with completing missions to sabotage the Rebel Alliance. TIE Fighter is considered one of the greatest games ever made because of both its depth and its mechanics — this wasn’t a simple shooter — you actually had to master the ship’s shields and engine mechanics, too. Star Wars: Squadrons, which comes out today, is TIE Fighter’s spiritual successor, the first deep Star Wars space sim released in over twenty-five years. The game looks fantastic, and early reviews have been very strong. If you were the kind of kid who saw the giant space battles in Star Wars and thought, “I want to do that!”, this is the game for you. Now out on PC, PS4, and Xbox.
LISTEN: Shore by Fleet Foxes
For over a decade, Fleet Foxes have been making wonderous, sunny folk-pop. Their latest album, Shore, was surprise-released last week at 13:31 universal coordinated time on September 22nd — the exact moment of the autumnal equinox, when summer turns to fall — and the record is every bit as excellent as you’d expect. Full of lush vocal harmonies and warm acoustic guitar, this is the perfect album for a crisp fall weekend full of crunchy leaves and warm cups of apple cider.