Issue #74: 10 Tips for a Weekend Away with Friends
Obsessed with these granola breakfast cookies.
Morning Person is a weekly newsletter packed with obsessively-curated recommendations and ideas—let’s get to it!
📚 The Rabbit Hutch by Tess Gunty: “On a hot night in Apartment C4, Blandine Watkins exits her body,” reads the first line of Gunty’s viscerally descriptive novel. It isn’t a murder mystery, as you might expect, but a genre-defying web cast from inner lives of the residents in an apartment building in a fictional small Indiana town. I thankfully listened to the audio version, so I didn’t miss any of the descriptions tossed in like jewels: a room of “kicking hearts,” a character “panning the day for peril,” a whole body “coursing with liquid light,” a woman who touches her neck, “disappointed to find it there.” At the heart of the novel is a longer chapter called ‘Variables,’ which depicts an elicit affair between a teacher and his high school student and the devastating impact it has on her—I listened to it twice to be able to absorb it. (Same goes for a show-stopping monologue on social media, which my friend Kelly also pointed out in her newsletter.) I was surprised to learn that many GoodReads reviewers found “just too weird” when I found The Rabbit Hutch to be so deeply human and one of the most interesting things I’ve read in a while.
🎧 “Love, Janessa” BBC Podcast: In this eight-art crime podcast, which came out yesterday, host Hanna Ajala investigates a global catfishing scheme in which an adult entertainment star’s image is being used to scam victims out of thousands of dollars. It’s a story we’re all familiar with by now, but the podcast is worth listening to for the way in which it delves deep into the criminal network while maintaining empathy for those targeted and their willingness to go to any length for the promise of human connection.
📺 “The Last of Us” on HBOMax: It’s safe to say that I am not the target audience for a zombie-apocalypse show based on a video game. And yet! I began this series on Sunday and was immediately sucked into the first scene, in which an epidemiologist tells a studio audience in the 1960s that he is less afraid of a pandemic than he is of fungus, citing cordyceps’ ability to take over and puppeteer ants. Flash forward to 2023 when, guess what!?, the crazy scientist was right. Although it has way more action than the shows I normally gravitate toward, it isn’t over-the-top (it made sense when I read that HBO gave the directive, “Don’t focus on the action.”). As a result, it’s much more Station Eleven than “Walking Dead,” which is to say eerily realistic in its near-future world building. I’m all spore it. (I’m so sorry.)
After work on an exceedingly rainy Friday evening, I piled into a car with friends and headed to the Oregon coast. It took months of coordinating our complicated schedules, but we finally found a weekend to catchup post-holidays and reset before the year ramps up. The moment we booked our Airbnb, the coordinating—food, games, activities—began! Below are a few takeaways from our trip, including the Airbnb we booked and the breakfast cookies inspired by my favorite granola recipe:
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