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.
PLAY: Titanfall 2
Titanfall 2 is four years old — and in that time, it’s reputation has only grown. Made by Jason West and Vince Zampella, the same game designers who created the original Call of Duty back in the early 2000’s, Titanfall 2 is a first person shooter where you play both as a pilot and a mech-like Titan, and have a set of unique abilities that allow you to wall-run and parkour around the game’s crazy and innovative maps. This is widely regarded as the best single-player first person shooter campaign of the recent console generation, and it’s also refreshingly short, at around 6-10 hours. If you’re looking for a few afternoons of fast-paced fun: this is the game for you. Out on PC, Xbox, and Playstation.
READ: The Things They Carried
Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried is one of the most breathtaking and remarkable novels I’ve ever read — though to call it a “novel” is really a misnomer. O’Brien was drafted to serve in Vietnam, and The Things They Carried is a fictionalized chronicle of that experience — a set of interconnected short stories about war, camaraderie, and loss. Anchored by two of the greatest pieces of short fiction I’ve ever read (the titular chapter “The Things They Carried” as well as the chapter “How to Tell a True War Story”), this is a book that will take your breath away again and again and again.
BINGE: The Crown
The fourth season of The Crown premiered this week, and now is a great time to dive headfirst into this marvelously written, gorgeously cinematic show. Yes, The Crown is a costume drama, but it is so much more than that — Peter Morgan imbues these real-life characters with an incredible level of psychological depth, and reveals how the the chess-game of British monarchy can both lift up and bring down a nation. This is a show so full of breathtaking performances that it’s impossible to list them all, from Claire Foy and Olivia Coleman as Queen Elizabeth, to John Lithgow as Winston Churchill, to Gillian Anderson as Margaret Thatcher. Streams free on Netflix.
We’ve still got a few weeks left of fall — and Okkervil River’s The Stage Names is the perfect record for these waning weeks. Full of folk-adjacent anthems that feel meaty enough to fill a stadium and anchored at the end by one of the best Beach Boys covers ever, this is a great album to listen to after an afternoon of hot cider, raking leaves, and making pie.
Speaking of pie! Thanksgiving is less than a week away, folks. Which makes this weekend the perfect time to do some pre-Thanksgiving baking. Up until the pandemic, I’d never baked a single pie before — I always found making pie crust intimidating for some reason — but it turns out: pie ain’t that deep! I use Stella Parks’ flaky pie crust recipe, which is incredibly simple to make. From there, the pie-world is your oyster — from traditional apple and pumpkin recipes to more involved recipes like Stella Parks’ butternut squash pie, there’s a pie out there for everyone. One tip: I suggest baking your pie in a glass pie plate, which is both 1) reusable and 2) ensures the crust gets perfectly browned without burning it. And this mat can be helpful when rolling out your dough. Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash