Need a great book to read, album to listen to, or TV show to get hooked on? The Flavorwire team is here to help: in this weekly feature, our editorial staffers recommend the cultural object or experience they’ve enjoyed most in the past seven days. Click through for our picks, and tell us what you’ve been loving in the comments.
7 Days in Hell
My staff pick is Andy Samberg’s weirdo HBO tennis documentary 7 Days in Hell. Sometimes in this dark and sobering thing we call life, a person needs a dose of pure, meaningless absurdity — and this 40-minute flick delivered the goods, despite a few misfires. — Sarah Seltzer, Editor-at-Large
Get in Trouble, by Kelly Link
The only copy of Link’s latest story collection available at my local bookstore was a signed hardcover edition, but as of about halfway through, Get in Trouble is totally worth the premium. All of Link’s work contains some element of the fantastic, though as an urban fantasy writer, she’s more interested in the emotional lives of characters at the periphery of the action than world-building. My favorite story so far is told from the perspective of an ordinary(ish) fifteen-year-old girl who just so happens to be in a New York City hotel during a convention of honest-to-God superheroes; another, about two middle-aged movie stars, has next to nothing of the paranormal in it until the ending shocks the reader out of her false sense of security. In the age of Game of Thrones, it’s a cliché to say a fantasy book will appeal even to those who don’t typically go for fantasy, but that’s exactly what I’m doing. — Alison Herman, Associate Editor
The Dead C — Trapdoor Fucking Exit
There are days when you just need a whole lot of scabrous noise music to get through to home time, and hey, today is one of them! As such, I’ve (re-)discovered this record from New Zealand noise rock veterans The Dead C, which sounds like it was recorded in the toilet of a Dunedin pub, and hurts your ears in all the right ways. All together now: “My teeth need attention/ My back is sore!” — Tom Hawking, Deputy Editor
What Happened, Miss Simone?
Netflix’s documentary, What Happened, Miss Simone? vividly portrays Nina Simone’s personal and professional struggle as a woman of color in the States. What I love about this documentary is that it does not aim to flatter Simone as the quintessential “selfless activist.” The film successfully captures her rightful ire towards those who discriminated against her — something she’d encountered in the music world since the beginning of her career as a classical pianist. In one clip, she aggressively demands that an audience member sit down for her to perform, and because Nina Simone was never seeking fans in the first place, it didn’t faze her one bit. She was seeking believers, people who would support her as an unimpeachable activist musical force. If you’re already a fan, this should make it on your movie list. By the end of the film you’ll likely find yourself a believer too. — Rebecca Blandon, Editorial Apprentice
Forsaking True Detective for Twin Peaks
True Detective’s first season was fraught with chillingly odd flourishes, but as so many have now noted, those have given way to dramatic tension that exists not so much between characters, but between actors and vertiginous footage of L.A.’s freeway-scape. Yes, the characters have turned out to be so uninvitingly drab that their biggest enemy is the acting prowess of: streets. And so, this weekend, I had a big choice to make: to continue, or to take a break and seek my dose of cryptic TV crime elsewhere. And so I decided to go back to the source — a source I shamefully had never visited: Twin Peaks. Thus far, the crime, the setting, and the impeccable combination of melodrama, coffee humor, donut humor, pie humor, Grace Zabriskie’s contorting face, “detective jazz,” and total hellishness has validated my impulse to forsake True D, at least until I’ve finished Twin P. — Moze Halperin, Associate Editor