Winter break is a great opportunity for students to make up for the various TV series, books, and songs that they missed out on during the tumultuous first term of the academic year. Here are a few crucial recommendations from fellow students regarding media you may have missed in the midst of exams, according to a few Deerfield artists.
Khanh Nguyen ‘23, an avid reader of historical fiction, is currently reading the novel A Gentleman in Moscow, written by Amor Towles. She strongly recommends this book to anyone interested in the history of the Bolshevik revolution during the early 20th century Russian Empire.
Though it was a required 10th grade summer read a few years ago, Nguyen also suggests All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, especially for war novel enthusiasts who want to read about the crossing of two children from opposing countries during World War II.
Helen Feng ‘20, a passionate lover of literature and music, is also a huge fan of poetry. Feng especially recommends the works of Anne Carson who is, according to Feng, “a really cool classicist [who] translated Sappho, the Greek poet.”
As for the art of sound, Feng is known for her idiosyncratic musical taste; it is thus no surprise that her advice when beginning to discover new songs is to “try to broaden your horizons by listening to something you normally don’t listen to.”
Her personal favorites are the blissfully melodic “Air for Violin” by Aaron J. Kernis and “Fire in My Mouth” by Julia Wolfe, which is “a very cool oratorio musical piece that is based on the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire.”
Katrina Csaky ‘21, who is part of the chorus in the fall term’s theater production, Antigone, has been listening to a new album called Neotheater by one of her favorite bands, AJR.
“The songs are really powerful. They make really good music, and they’re such a humble group of guys. They’re insightful, they’re deep, they’re personal, they’re relatable. You build a connection with them,” said Csaky.
She loves their music and thinks that AJR’s songs are suitable for any mood or activity a student can participate in, whether it be for a peaceful day to relax or for working out.
As for TV shows, Psych (available on Netflix and Amazon Prime) has been a personal favorite of Csaky.
She said, “This TV show is basically about this guy, who’s not really good at a lot of things, but his dad taught him how to memorize things, so he pretends that he is a psychic and gets a job working for the police. I can’t do scary shows, but it’s just so funny. It’s not scary at all.”
Even for those who are not a fan of watching hair-raising shows, give Psych a try as it is a satisfyingly funny way to spend an evening.
Madeline Lee ‘20, a graphic designer and an artist whose works are scattered around campus, strongly recommends The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (available on Netflix) because “it’s a little bit like Harry Potter, except [Sabrina] tries to stay tied to both her human and magic worlds instead of saying ‘My life sucks, I’m moving out.’ It features a strong independent woman, and there’s a lot of character development. There’s also some commentary on religion and how some traditions are meant to be broken. I think that’s a pretty important message for some Deerfield students.”
Lee also recently began watching BoJack Horseman (also available on Netflix), and also recommends it for anyone who likes to watch animations or cartoons.
Staying inside and entertaining the mind is an important process. So, make sure to get plenty of relaxation before taking on the upcoming cold and harsh winter months that lay ahead!