What to Do This Weekend


Welcome. It’s the most wonderful time of the year: “best of” season, when critics of all stripes set forth their favorite books, movies, podcasts, you-name-it of the past 12 months. Everywhere you turn, there’s a list offering a wealth of new recommendations, or one affirming your own good taste or prompting your ardent disagreement, refining your sensibility. I wish everyone I know would send me a best-of list for their year, including the stuff they watched and read and listened to, but also the best advice they received, the best meals they ate, the best things they bought, the best changes they’ve made.

Reggie Ugwu’s list of the best podcasts of 2021 is a good one to start with. It includes “Welcome to Your Fantasy,” the true crime series about the Chippendales dance troupe in the 1980s, as well as “9/12,” Dan Taberski’s (“Missing Richard Simmons”) podcast about how 9/11 affected American culture. (“9/12” is the #1 recommendation on Time’s list, which includes a bunch of podcasts I hadn’t heard of that sound great, as well as one that I loved and recommended a couple of months ago, “The Just Enough Family.” Cross-referencing lists from multiple publications is an essential part of best-of season!)

The Book Review’s 10 Best Books were announced this week (“Intimacies” by Katie Kitamura was already on my list; now it’s at the top). The music critics Jon Pareles, Jon Caramanica and Lindsay Zoladz have selected the best albums of the year (Olivia Rodrigo’s “Sour” and Tyler, the Creator’s “Call Me if You Get Lost” are on all three lists). Eric Asimov has selected the year’s best wine books. The Well desk has a list of the best books on healthy living. You could easily pass the weekend updating your queues and holiday shopping carts with good stuff from these lists.

Of course, there are lots of movies and TV shows to stream (Jane Campion’s “The Power of the Dog,” please) and a full day of college football on Saturday. And you could make at least two of the recipes in our “24 Days of Cookies” collection (or just watch the animation of the cookies rotating hypnotically, which is its own kind of delicious entertainment).


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