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.
I first read Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom when it came out back in 2010, and eleven years later, it still sticks with me. It’s simply one of the best things I’ve ever read. A vast, expansive novel about America in the 2000s, Freedom focuses on Walter and Patty Berglund, a middle-class Minnesota couple whose lives are torn apart by betrayals and secrets. Written in gorgeous and yet straightforward prose, this is the perfect book to take on a long weekend away, or to bring with you out on the porch or deck with a warm cup of coffee. If you like deep, thematic character studies that grapple with American identity, this is the book for you.
It’s officially fall, and something about this time of year triggers my itch to bake. Cool weather + a warm oven is just delightfully cozy. Last weekend, I made Alison Roman’s Intagram-famous #TheCookies — aka salted chocolate-chip shortbread — and thanks to several neighbors (but mostly just me), they were all gone within 48-hours. This is a wicked easy, low-ingredient cookie recipe that will turn your neighbors into your best friends. No mixer? Try Sally’s Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies, or Stella Parks’ One Bowl Oatmeal Cookies. Photo by Food Photographer | Jennifer Pallian on Unsplash.
PLAY: Demon’s Souls
Holy hell, this game is HARD. Originally released on PS3 in 2009, the action RPG Demon’s Souls was considered a revelation thanks to its brutally difficult gameplay which uses death as a gameplay mechanic and teaching tool. Last year, Demon’s Souls was remade and rereleased for PS5, and my gosh it’s perhaps the most gorgeous-looking game I’ve ever played. The gameplay is the same though — you’ll die — over and over and over again, and yet there’s something deeply satisfying about learning an enemy’s attack patterns and finding an opening and FINALLY beating that boss or level that lead to your demise so many times before. For those who haven’t been able to snag a PS5 (which I managed to do thanks to the help of TechRadar’s Matt Swider) the Dark Souls games are just as good — and just as brutal.
LISTEN: Montero by Lil Nas X
Lil Nas X was somehow a mega-star even before releasing an album. Old Town Road, his 2019 hip-hop/Country crossover single, managed to spend 19 weeks at the top of the Billboard chart, the longest leading number 1 single in history. Montero, his first full length, came out last week — and it’s fantastic. True to form, Montero is a genre-bending fusion of pop, hip-hop, and Latin beats, with moments evoking everyone from Frank Ocean to Young Thug. Streams now on Spotify.
With tickets on sale again for No Time to Die, Daniel Craig’s final outing as Bond, now is a perfect time to revisit the Craig Bond cannon’s apex — the absolutely stunning Skyfall. (Yes, I know these are fighting words — many of you are camp Casino Royale and picking between them is like choosing between children, but personally, Skyfall takes the biscuit.) Roger Deakins’ luminous cinematography, Craig’s taught performance, and the film’s deep, psychological exploration of Bond’s relationship with M make Skyfall not only my favorite Bond film, but one of my favorite movies of all time. Streams on Hulu and on Paramount+.
About the author: Michael Robin is an LA-based television writer and tutoring company co-Founder. When he’s not working away on his latest pilot script, you can find him scuba diving, hosting Shabbat dinners, or goofing off with his goldendoodle, Biggie Lebowski.