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Recommendations for Pandemic Entertainment from the HTG Team

Our 2020 summer intern, Phoebe Kurth, serves as guest author for this post. Phoebe is a recent graduate from St. Luke’s School in New Canaan and will be attending the Villanova School of Business in the fall. She is interested in pursuing a career in finance or marketing.

As Covid-19 has canceled plans and events for many, we find ourselves with more free time than ever. The HTG team has adapted to a virtual workplace and continues to provide financial advice to clients. In the off-work hours, however, the team likes to stay occupied with books, television series, movies, and podcasts. From our homes to yours, we want to share our best recommendations of what we are reading, watching, and listening to during this pandemic. While we work together every day, our interests vary dramatically, and so we assure you there is something here for everyone!

Allison Donaldson’s picks

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens : “For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl.”
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens: “After eighteen years as a political prisoner in the Bastille, the ageing Doctor Manette is finally released and reunited with his daughter in England.”
The Crown (Netflix): “This drama follows the political rivalries and romance of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign and the event that shaped the second half of the 20th century.”
The Fall (Prime Video and Tubi): “The acclaimed crime series about a grim and gripping battle of wits between a brazen serial killer and a top-notch female detective out to stop him.”

Amy Sheinberg’s picks

When We Believed In Mermaids by Barbara O’Neal: “an emotional new tale of two sisters, an ocean of lies, and a search for the truth.”
Big Lies in a Small Town by Diane Chamberlain: “North Carolina, 2018: Morgan Christopher’s life has been derailed. Taking the fall for a crime she did not commit, she finds herself serving a three-year stint in the North Carolina Women’s Correctional Center.”
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah: “the stories of two sisters, separated by years and experience, by ideals, passion and circumstance, each embarking on her own dangerous path toward survival, love, and freedom in German-occupied, war-torn France–a heartbreakingly beautiful novel that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the durability of women.”
Fauda (Netflix): “A top Israeli agent comes out of retirement to hunt for a Palestinian fighter her thought he’d killed, setting a chaotic chain of events into motion.”
Hunters (Prime Video): “follows a diverse band of Nazi Hunters in 1977 New York City who discover that hundreds of escaped Nazis are living in America. And so, they do what any bad-ass vigilante squad would do: they set out on a bloody quest for revenge and justice.”
Oprah’s Master Class (iTunes Podcast): “Hand-picked by Oprah Winfrey for their unique impact on the world, true modern masters from Academy Award-winning actors, to Grammy-winning musicians, to ground-breaking athletes, share the greatest lessons they’ve learned along the way.”
Fresh Air (NPR Podcast): “Fresh Air with Terry Gross, the Peabody Award-winning weekday magazine of contemporary arts and issues, is one of public radio’s most popular programs.”

Barbara Ollinger’s picks

The Splendid and the Vile by Erik Larson: “how Churchill taught the British people “the art of being fearless.” It is a story of political brinkmanship, but it’s also an intimate domestic drama…”
The Other Einstein by Marie Benedict: “It is the story of Einstein’s wife, a brilliant physicist in her own right, whose contribution to the special theory of relativity is hotly debated and may have been inspired by her own profound and very personal insight.”
Youtube Travel Shows
Clear + Vivid (Apple Podcasts): “Learn to connect better with others in every area of your life. Immerse yourself in spirited conversations with people who know how hard it is, and yet how good it feels, to really connect with other people – whether it’s one person, an audience or a whole country.”

Casey Kaufman’s picks

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: “tells the story of a young Nigerian woman, Ifemelu, who immigrates to the United States to attend university.”
Fishpeople (Tubi): “Meet the brave and eclectic folks who have dedicated their lives to the sea. With all their experience, what has the ocean taught them?”
The Politician (Netflix): “Rich kid Payton has always known he’s going to be president. But first he has to navigate the most treacherous political landscape of all: high school.”
Knives Out (Prime Video): “When renowned crime novelist Harlan Thrombey is found dead at his estate, the inquisitive Detective Benoit Blanc is mysteriously enlisted to investigate. From Harlan’s dysfunctional family to his devoted staff, Blanc sifts through a web of red herrings and self-serving lies to uncover the truth behind Harlan’s untimely death.”

Jeanne Gnuse’s picks

21 Lessons for 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari: “a probing and visionary investigation into today’s most urgent issues as we move into the uncharted territory of the future”
The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds by Michael Lewis: “a compelling collaboration between two men who have the dimensions of great literary figures. They became heroes in the university and on the battlefield―both had important careers in the Israeli military―and their research was deeply linked to their extraordinary life experiences”
Practicing Mindfulness: 75 Essential Meditations to Reduce Stress, Improve Mental Health, and Find Peace in the Everyday by Matthew Sockolov: offers effective, modern meditations and exercises to start practicing everyday mindfulness, today.
Hillary (Hulu): “A remarkably intimate portrait of a public woman, Hillary interweaves revealing moments from never-before-seen 2016 campaign footage with biographical chapters of her life.”
Free Online Yoga Videos
Nightly Met Opera Streams
Carnegie Hall Past and Live Streams

Jennifer Nicasio’s picks

The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes: “set in Depression-era America, a breathtaking story of five extraordinary women and their remarkable journey through the mountains of Kentucky and beyond.”
The Lovebirds (Netflix): “When a couple in the fast lane to splitsville accidentally careens into a murder, they take off on a wild race to find the killer and clear their names.”
How I Built This (NPR Podcast): “Guy Raz dives into the stories behind some of the world’s best known companies. How I Built This weaves a narrative journey about innovators, entrepreneurs and idealists—and the movements they built.”

Kerry Connell’s picks

A Burning by Megha Majumdar: “an electrifying debut novel about three unforgettable characters who seek to rise—to the middle class, to political power, to fame in the movies—and find their lives entangled in the wake of a catastrophe in contemporary India.”
Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland by Patrick Radden Keefe: “an intricate narrative about a notorious killing in Northern Ireland and its devastating repercussions.”
Ozark (Netflix): “A financial adviser drags his family from Chicago to the Missouri Ozarks, where he must launder $500 million in five years to appease a drug boss.”
Why It Matters (Apple Podcasts): “breaks down an issue that is shaping our world’s future. Join host Gabrielle Sierra as she speaks with the leaders and thinkers who are facing these questions head-on.”

Lex Zaharoff’s picks

Exit West by Mohsin Hamid: “In a country teetering on the brink of civil war, two young people meet—sensual, fiercely independent Nadia and gentle, restrained Saeed.”
Uncharted by Kim Brown Seely: “A couple’s epic empty-nest adventure sailing from one life to another.”
Eight Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson: “A chilling tale of psychological suspense and an homage to the thriller genre tailor-made for fans: the story of a bookseller who finds himself at the center of an FBI investigation because a very clever killer has started using his list of fiction’s most ingenious murders.”
Death in Paradise (BritBox): DI Richard Poole is sent to the paradise island of Saint-Marie in the Caribbean to solve an impossible murder. He hates the sun, sea and sand, but no matter- once he’s solved the murder he’ll be heading back to wonderful, cold, drizzly London. He does so, only to discover his boss back home has conspired to keep him there.”
Hidden Brain (NPR Podcast): “Shankar Vedantam uses science and storytelling to reveal the unconscious patterns that drive human behavior, shape our choices and direct our relationships.”
Freakonomics Radio (Podcast): “Each week, Freakonomics Radio tells you things you always thought you knew (but didn’t) and things you never thought you wanted to know (but do) — from the economics of sleep to how to become great at just about anything.”

Robin Sherwood’s picks

Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea by Barbara Demick: “follows the lives of six North Koreans over fifteen years—a chaotic period that saw the death of Kim Il-sung, the unchallenged rise to power of his son Kim Jong-il, and the devastation of a far-ranging famine that killed one-fifth of the population.”
Last Tango in Halifax (Netflix): “Two widowed childhood sweethearts fall for each other all over again when they are reunited over the Internet after nearly 60 years.”
Belgravia (Epix): “a story of secrets and scandals amongst the upper echelon of London society in the 19th Century.”
Left, Right, & Center (NPR Podcast): “Provocative, up-to-the-minute, alive and witty, KCRW’s weekly confrontation over politics, policy and popular culture proves those with impeccable credentials needn’t lack personality.”

Shannon Vizza’s picks

A Woman of No Importance: The Untold Story of the American Spy Who Helped Win World War II by Sonia Purnell: “The never-before-told story of one woman’s heroism that changed the course of the Second World War”
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng: “explores the weight of secrets, the nature of art and identity, and the ferocious pull of motherhood–and the danger of believing that following the rules can avert disaster.”
Dead to Me (Netflix): “Overwhelmed by grief and anger after her husband’s sudden death, acerbic real estate agent Jen meets tenderhearted Judy at a support group.”
Schitt’s Creek (Netflix): Suddenly broke, the formerly filthy-rich Rose family is reduced to living in a ramshackle motel in a town they once bought as a joke: Schitt’s Creek.”
After Life (Netflix): “Struggling to come to terms with his wife’s death, a writer for a newspaper adopts a gruff new persona in an effort to push away those trying to help.”

Sue Lione’s picks

The Masterpiece by Francine Rivers: “a probing tale that reminds us that mercy can shape even the most broken among us into an imperfect yet stunning masterpiece.”
The Dutch House by Ann Patchet: “a dark fairy tale about two smart people who cannot overcome their past.”
The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch: “A lot of professors give talks titled ‘The Last Lecture’. Professors are asked to consider their demise and to ruminate on what matters most to them: What wisdom would we impart to the world if we knew it was our last chance? If we had to vanish tomorrow, what would we want as our legacy?”

Valerie Connolly’s picks

The Lost Girls of Paris by Pam Jenoff: “a remarkable story of friendship and courage centered around three women and a ring of female spies during World War II.”
NCIS (Netflix): “Follow the quirky agents of the NCIS — the Naval Criminal Investigative Service — as they track down terrorists and other high profile criminals.”
Grantchester (Prime Video and PBS): “In Grantchester, a young vicar and a verteran cop join forces to solve baffling murders around a placid English village in 1953.”
Hamilton (Disney +): “Presenting the talk of American founding father Alexander Hamilton, this revolutionary moment in theater is the story of America then, told by America now.”
Rocketman (Prime Video): “This one-of-a-kind musical biopic embarks on the spectacular journey of Elton John in his rise to fame. With incredible performances of Elton’s most beloved songs, discover how a small-town boy became one of the most iconic figures in rock & roll.”
Backyard Birding

See something that interests you? We hope our recommendations will fill some free time and bring entertainment into your life. We look forward to connecting with you, and let us know if you find a favorite off of our list!

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