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Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

Brilliantly crafted, elegantly plotted and full of poignant moments and sparkling insight with just the right amount of delicious surreality, and still, despite all that, overwrought, moralizing, and long. 
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The Brothers by Stephen Kinzer

Stephen Kinzer delivers an excellent biography of the Dulles brothers, those cold warriors that shaped and defined so much of modern history - and altho the book could sometimes have had a little less redundant summarizing and a little more historical detail, it was extremely well written, well researched, easy to read, and fascinating. 

The Haunting of Hill House (2018 on Netflix)

I don’t usually go for horror because I don’t enjoy the feeling of being creeped out, which this miniseries certainly had plenty of (along with some excellent practical effects), but I will say that the story itself was superb, with lots of twists and reveals that had me hooked, and even tho some of the characters’ monologues got a little long and theatrical for my taste, the overall journey was surprisingly fulfilling and heartfelt. 

mating in captivity by esther perel

I appreciate the sentiment and goal here, which is to help long term monogamous couples maintain an erotic spark in their homes, but I must say that this book is so unrigorous, in that it doesn’t attempt to prove or define anything, that it honestly does a disservice to its own thesis. 

the gentlemen (2019)

While this Guy Ritchie movie doesn’t live up to its forebears (in my humble opinion) in terms of snappy dialogue and humor, it was certainly funny at times, and the twists were nice and exciting, and colin farrell’s character was a classic. 

The City Is Up for Grabs: How Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot Led and Lost a City in Crisis by Gregory Pratt

This well-researched and interesting snappy read is a great window into what goes wrong when a leader goes power crazy and then just crazy, but what I really enjoyed was how the author managed the fact that the author himself, as a local reporter, played a significant role in a lot of the drama. 

Casablanca (1942)

For some reason I had an idea that Casablanca would be slow and boring but I was definitely mistaken - it crackles with excellent (and often contemporary sounding) dialogue, wonderful acting, memorable scenes, fast-paced action, and an arresting story. 

the abyss (1989)

As 1980s blockbusters go it’s outclassed by the true greats, but despite weirdly shifting tone (is it fun and feel good, is it creepy thriller, idk), the characters and story succeed and make this a pop-corny good time.