Morning Person is a weekly newsletter packed with obsessively-curated recommendations and ideas—let’s get to it!
Although we’re three days into 2023, I’m not quite ready to leave 2022 behind. It was a year of perspective-altering movies (‘The World Person in the World), transportive novels (A House Between Earth and the Moon), and completely original television (looking at you, “Severance”). Before I jump back into fresh content and recs next Tuesday, I’m easing into this new year by sharing a few favorites from last:
🎥 The Worst Person in the World (in theaters and streaming mid-March): I knew I would love this Norwegian film, but was unprepared for how deeply it would impact me as the protagonist Julie navigates relationships and turning 30, and explores figures out who she’s meant to be.
🎥 Cha Cha Real Smooth on Apple TV+: A recent college graduate, Andrew (played by Cooper Raiff, who also wrote the movie) moves back home to New Jersey where he becomes a party pumper on the Bar and Bat Mitzvah circuit and meets Domino (Dakota Johnson) and her daughter, who is on the Autism Spectrum.
🎥 Tár in theaters: This dark psychological thrilled stars Cate Blanchett as the fictional EGOT-winning orchestra conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic, Lydia Tár. Watch if you loved ‘Black Swan’ or ‘Whiplash.’
🎥 14 Peaks on Netflix: The previous speed record for conquering all 14 of the world’s 8,000 meter peaks was was seven years, but Nepalese climber Nimsdai Purja set out to climb them in seven months. More impressive than Purja’s extraordinary strength and bravery is his incredible moral compass. A must-watch for any Free Solo or The Alpinist fans.
🎥 Everything Everywhere All at Once: I’ll keep this brief, so you can experience this movie the same way I did—knowing almost nothing beyond a vague recommendation. Completely surprising and genre-defying.
Also great: ‘Windfall’ and ‘The Lost Daughter’ on Netflix, ‘Anaïs in Love,’ on Hulu, and ‘Petite Maman,’ available to rent on Apple TV, ‘The Menu’
📚 True Biz by Sara Nović: I can’t begin to tell you how much I loved this book, namely the way ASL is woven throughout it, depicted fluently as text or illustrated signs to mimic a Deaf student’s experience of learning the language.
📚 Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin: Shortly after Sam and Sadie reunite on a subway platform in Boston after being childhood best friends, they design a video game together called Ichigo that quickly becomes a smash hit and defines the course of their lives. Fascinating, regardless of your relationship with video games.
📚 A House Between Earth and the Moon by Rebecca Scherm: Set in the near future, the novel alternates between three perspectives while thrillingly imagining the implications of space travel as a means of escape, and the commodification of privacy.
📚 The Latecomer by Jean Hanff Korelitz: The Oppenheimer family was falling apart a long time ago—even the triplets have barely spoken to each other since birth. When they leave for college, their mother Johanna decides to have another child by IVF, throwing the family into an entirely new dynamic that’s unveiled in chapters that read like short stories, with an Edith Wharton flare. (Korelitz also wrote my favorite book of 2021).
📚 Seven Days in June by Tia Williams: A sexy, wrenching story of unrequited love that’s also hilarious and quick from the jump. Worth reading just for the dialogue between Eva and her best friends, but also a fully captivating book I breezed through during a flight and layover.
Also great: The Marriage Portrait by Maggie Farrell, The School for Good Mothers by Jessamine Chan, The Anomaly by Hervé Le Tellier, I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jeanette Curdy, Acting Class by Nick Drnaso, Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo, Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel, This Time Tomorrow by Emma Straub, Good Talk by Mira Jacob, Neruda on the Park by Cleyvis Natera, Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr, Pure Colour by Sheila Heti, Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan, Lucy by the Sea by Elizabeth Strout, How to Fall Out of Love Madly by Jana Casale (it was a good year for books, clearly!)
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