Events are canceled, so instead we’re offering some of our favorite books, podcasts and movies and TV shows to watch while you’re at home. We’ve also added a section for virtual community events. For ways to help each other out check out our list here. Want to get creative? Check out ways to enjoy art at home here.
Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madame CJ Walker (Netflix)
Octavia Spencer (The Help, Hidden Figures and The Shape of Water) portrays the world’s first self-made woman millionaire with gumption and fitting aplomb. The hip hop-inspired fantasias interspersed in the story are a little jarring, but hey, if that’s what it takes to get the kids interested, so be it. And it’s okay that the four-part drama contrives a feud with fellow African-American hair-care pioneer Annie Malone over colorism. More people need to know about Madame CJ Walker (born Sarah Breedlove), a daughter of slaves who transformed the way black women saw themselves and opened up opportunities for black employment and education at the height of Jim Crow. — Jordan
Don’t tell me what happens in “Ozark” Season 3. The new season of this Netflix thriller dropped on Friday, and I’m already astounded by how many people in my Facebook feed have binged the entire 10-episode chunk. My wife and I have been fans of this show from the start, which sets a mild-mannered accountant (and money-launderer) in rural Missouri to defending himself and his family against a Mexican drug cartel, an outlaw crew of poppy farmers, a family of small-time crooks and the FBI. It’s one of Bateman’s finest acting turns — he also executive produces. His Marty Byrd maintains a mild demeanor while hinting at the excruciating pressure that lies beneath. We’ve been re-watching last season so we don’t get completely lost in the new one. So again, do not spoilt this for us. We’ve been waiting a year for it. — Brian
I See You (Amazon)
Ever since I first watched Se7en in middle school, I’ve been a huge sucker for psychological thrillers. Movies, TV shows, books — you name it. This gem slid under my radar until about a week ago when my brother-in-law recommended it to me. Don’t be fooled by the ridiculously bad looking movie poster. It’s got elements of what seem to be the supernatural merged with true crime. Don’t look up anything about it; it’ll just ruin the twist at the end, which in my opinion, is one of the best I’ve seen on screen in recent memory including the one from Knives Out. If you like darker mysteries from anything like Gone Girl to Get Out, you’ll love this underdog. — Sayaka
(Greensboro and High Point libraries are closed but Scuppernong Books is still taking orders. Forsyth County Public Libraries are still open for pick-up. Readers can also check out e-books using the Libby app if they have a library card)
All You Can Ever Know by Nicole Chung
This memoir has actually been on my to-read list for about a year now. Written by Korean adoptee Nicole Chung, the book plays like a bittersweet love letter to her white parents as well as an explanation to anyone who has ever looked at her family funny because of their mismatched skin. Chung writes with such sharp observation about what it feels like to constantly feel out of place as a person of color in a world structured around whiteness. For her, the issue is doubly complicated by the fact that she was adopted and raised by two loving, white parents who chose to be colorblind and disregarded Chung’s race as she grew up in an all-white town. An important and insightful read that brings up complicated questions of race, belonging and family, this book is for anyone and everyone. — Sayaka
Barkskins by Annie Proulx
I like big books, and I cannot lie. I take them in audio format these days, and anything under eight hours feels like short-shrift to me. So after I knocked out The Nickel Boys during afternoon runs, bouts of yardsmithery and long, aimless drives, I picked up Annie Proulx’s 25-hour epic Barkskins. Proulx, a Pulitzer winner, is perhaps best known for Brokeback Mountain, which I didn’t read (or even see the movie) and The Shipping News, which I did read and really liked. But this one is more dense than either of these — the audiobook comes with a PDF of all the different family trees — and greater in scope, as it documents many generations of these American families. Audible assures me it’s her masterpiece. Half an hour in, I’m inclined to agree. — Brian
“Strange Planet” Comics by Nathan Pyle
It’s important to find things to laugh at these days. And for absurd, hilarious humor that pokes fun at human society, look no further than the “Strange Planet” comics by illustrator Nathan Pyle. The premise is simple: a couple of aliens go about their day-to-day lives doing regular human things like brushing their teeth or exercising, but the way they describe these mundane activities not only sheds light on how absurd some of the things we take for granted are, but also helps us make fun of ourselves in these grave times. Check it out and have a laugh or two. — Sayaka
“1619” by the New York Times
Surely by now, you’ve heard or read a little bit about this award-winning, groundbreaking, project by Nikole Hannah-Jones of New York Times Magazine. Created and released in time for the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first Africans to Virginia, the podcast series accompanies a series of essays written by a number of scholars including Hannah-Jones. While the magazine published 10 essays, which spanned 100 pages, the podcast released six episodes which ranged in topic from the arrival of Africans to the colonies to how the American economy was built on the institution of slavery to the idea that American music has roots in black music and more. The episodes run for about half an hour on average and can be easily found wherever you listen to podcasts. — Sayaka
“Brought to you by…” by Business Insider
You might not think that a podcast created by Business Insider would be all that interesting but this quirky series dives into the history and some of the more interesting bits of popular brands and companies like Crocs and Waffle House. My two personal favorite episodes are #19 (“Kentucky Fried Christmas”) and #43 (“A Tale of Two Spams”). The first delves into the history of why KFC is so popular in Japan during Christmastime while the second one explains why Spam is a punchline in the mainland United States but is one of the most beloved foods in Hawaii. — Sayaka
Tom Petty concert archives (YouTube)
The music of Tom Petty, who passed away in 2017 at the age of 66, has aged better than anyone would have predicted. I’m partial to the pre-Full Moon Fever from the late ’70s through the mid-’80s — an uninterrupted streak of melodic blasts a radio-friendly virtuosity (admittedly a commercial approach that Petty himself came to disdain). Three concerts — Los Angeles, Aug. 6-7, 1985 (captured in the MCA home video Pack Up the Plantation: Live!); Dortmund, Germany, Dec. 18, 1982; and Santa Monica, Calif., Dec. 31, 1978 — capture the evolution of this period well. The wild, kinetic energy of the 1985 concert is peerless, although I hate the gratuitous use of the Confederate flag, which is draped over Petty’s mic. Watch the 1978 concert to appreciate the initial distillation of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers’ magic, and the 1982 performance to see Tom with shorter hair and a sleeker, more new-wave aesthetic. — Jordan
Weekly open mic nights by Carolina Theatre
Starting this Thursday, Carolina Theatre of Greensboro will start live-streaming open mic nights from their stage on Facebook for free. This week’s inaugural lineup includes musicians like Ashley Virginia and the Heard, the Ghosts of Liberty and Owl Like Creature. Viewers can tip the artists involved virtually as they plan and can vote for their favorite performer of the night. Those interested in participating in future events can email a video submission to [email protected]. Show starts at 8 p.m. on Facebook.
Virtual book and author events by Scuppernong Books
Scuppernong Books, Greensboro’s independent bookshop, may be closed to the public but they are continuing their series of events by posting details about them on their Facebook. Events include readings by various authors, writing workshops and more. Next Wednesday, author Taylor Brown will be conducting a reading of her book, Pride of Eden, on Zoom. Check it out online!
Virtual movie watch parties by Monstercade
Starting Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays Monstercade will be posting a link to stream ridiculous films like Samurai Cop starring at 8:30 p.m. Participants will be able to watch the movie in real time with others using Watch2Gether and discuss all the finer points of the films. Learn more on their Facebook page.