I will soon have free time. What do I do with it?
October 12, 2017 9:06 AM   Subscribe

This winter for the first time in a long time, I expect to have some leisure time with which to read and watch movies. It has literally been years since I've had this luxury, and I need recommendations!

Ideally a mix of hey, this is a great book on personal finance or home repairs or whatever practical topic/useful skill, or this is my favorite novel/book of poetry/history for X reason, or I loved this movie because it was hilarious, and not much is funny lately. What should I not miss? What is worth the time? Interests, if they factor in: gardening (fruits, vegetables), making cakes and chocolates/candy, hiking/kayaking/running, photography and travel. Please suggest away! Also open to suggestions on things I could learn in little bursts 2-3 times a week - I live in a rural area, so nothing requiring city resources.
posted by OneSmartMonkey to Grab Bag (7 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
I've been doing a read-books-that-were-turned-into-movies-and-then-watch-those-movies thing this year, and it has been an excellent use of my time, imo. I know a book is going to at least be entertaining enough that someone could crank a screenplay out of it, and I enjoy watching for the differences between the movie and the source.

Some of my favorites (the actual list is longer but had some duds):

Mildred Pierce (for this one the Joan Crawford movie AND the miniseries with Kate Winslet) | The Martian | Red Dragon (watch the 1986 movie Manhunter, not the crappy one with Ed Norton) | Misery | Jaws | Gone Girl | Kramer vs Kramer | A Simple Plan

And I'm currently reading Contact and so far it's GREAT.
posted by phunniemee at 9:29 AM on October 12 [3 favorites]

OMG, you MUST watch The Great British Baking Show. There are three seasons, and although it's a competition it is so feel-good and positive and wonderful, and for a lover of baking/chocolate I just can't recommend it heartily enough. I've watched all three seasons twice now - it's just that comforting.
posted by sevensnowflakes at 10:29 AM on October 12 [7 favorites]

I'm just now embarking on a reread of Patrick Leigh Fermor's A Time of Gifts, which is a memoir about his travel on foot in the early 1930s across Europe. It's a touch flowery, but really extremely charming.

For photography, Teju Cole's recent essay collection Known and Strange Things contains multiple interesting entries, including what I thought was a very good piece on domestic photography during catastrophe.
posted by praemunire at 10:52 AM on October 12

My dad's favorite cake cookbook is The Cake Bible. He has made many, many delightful cakes from it over the last 25 years or so.
posted by bile and syntax at 11:01 AM on October 12

I subscribed to Skillshare and I love it. They have a lot of content on a lot of different topics, and the courses I've taken (iPhone photography for Instagram, Botanical Drawing, Watercolors) have been great--they also have a Culinary section. You can start and stop the videos and come back to them, so if you only have twenty minutes here or there it's still doable--they do a month free trial and after that it's $20/month. For me it's been easier than trying to weed through tutorials of varying quality on YouTube. Now I'm looking forward to the classes I can take over our winter break!
posted by stellaluna at 11:54 AM on October 12 [3 favorites]

"When Breath Becomes Air" by Paul Kalanithi is a very quick read, but absolutely incredible.

Also, a much lengthier read but worth it for your health/bodily condition in the long run: "Becoming a Supple Leopard" by Dr. Kelly Starrett. This one is more of an encyclopedia/reference book, but it can be read in depth in sections with the guidance of the "how to use this book" section, and is good to have around if/when you ever notice a tweak, crick, or other habitual movement issue.
posted by Urban Winter at 8:11 PM on October 12

I absolutely have been DEVOURING the Revolutions Podcast. AMAZING stuff, and you can listen while on walks or drives.
posted by rebent at 7:58 AM on October 13 [1 favorite]

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