What we’re reading and watching

December 17, 2020
thenewyorker juliasuits

Cartoon credit: Julia Suits for The New Yorker

As temperatures cool and the pandemic persists, you might be finding yourself spending more time inside. If you’re looking for recommendations on shows to watch or books to read, we have you covered. Here is a list of what Lyssn employees are currently watching and reading, including why these selections resonate with them.

What we’re watching

The shows we’re currently queuing up are a mix of comedies, dramas, and sci-fi thrillers. Several of us finished up the final season of Schitt’s Creek and delved into the new Netflix series The Queen’s Gambit.

“It has everything I like: a mysterious plot, unique characters that all look no less important than the main character, and a lot of details that you need to follow in order not to lose understanding and the idea of what is happening by the end. The world created by the author there is a real puzzle, and although the idea of the inevitable faith that follows each character is a bit sad, I like the whole story and the ending.” – Aleksandra Foksman, Server-side Developer

“It’s quick-witted and fun, if sometimes crass and thin on plot. It simultaneously celebrates and pokes fun at rural northern culture like where I grew up.” – Derek Caperton, Qualitative Coder

“Escapism” – Angela Klipsch, Customer Engagement Manager

Schitt’s Creek
“I love that it finds a way to make you to both laugh and cry hard as it uncovers the journey that we all go on at some point in life to re-discover what holds meaning for us.” – John Meade, Front End Developer

“This show is great when you need something short and comedic. And for a show focused on characters I initially couldn’t stand, come the final season I’ve developed a love for them, their personal growth, and the messages the show sends.” – Sarah Stanco, Senior Designer

The Righteous Gemstones
“Danny McBride has finally created his masterpiece. This is the funniest thing I’ve seen all year. Watching him play the spoiled child of a televangelist is exactly the kind of escape we all need in 2020.” – Michael Tanana, CTO

The Queen’s Gambit
“Becoming a master of your craft.” – Tanya Eng-Aquino, VP for Finance & Operations

West Wing
“West Wing is great because it shows how a government operates when empathic and compassionate individuals are in charge.” – Brian Pace, Director of Clinical AI

What we’re reading

Current Lyssn reads span a variety of genres and topics, such as race, female heroes, westerns, historical, adventure, drama, business, comics, and poetry.

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
“Recommended by my 17yo daughter. Americanah is a novel that deals with race and being an African immigrant in America through the eyes of a Nigerian woman (wrapped within and around a love story as well). The novel includes themes of belonging and ‘home’, as well as race and racism across cultures. She writes really well so it is enjoyable to read her prose.” – Dave Atkins, CEO

Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy
“I love Cormac McCarthy, but this particular one is going a bit slow- I haven’t yet connected with these particular Cormac Creations. Some of his books take a while to really come together though, so I’m holding out hope.” – Michael Tanana, CTO

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
“During the pandemic, I wanted to spend more time reading and less time on my computer. I’ve always wanted to go back and read more classics and have read several good books, including ‘The Catcher in the Rye’ and ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude.’“ – Brian Pace, Director of Clinical AI

Dear Girl poetry by Aija Mayrock
“I’m just starting to get into poetry and this book is a collection of love letters to the sisterhood. I’m finding Aija’s poems raw and empowering.” – Sarah Stanco, Senior Designer

High Output Management by Andrew S. Grove
“Reading about the successes and mistakes of others sparks learning! I’m always looking for ways to improve processes and this book provides many techniques for creating highly productive teams. Although the New York Times said this is “a highly credible handbook for organizing work and directing and developing employees,” I can also confirm it works with your kids too!” – Tanya Eng-Aquino, VP for Finance & Operations

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
“I like that it’s an optimist and breezy read about purpose and finding meaning in life. There are some whimsy and some depth and I like that speed.” – Derek Caperton, Qualitative Coder

The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women by Kate Moore
“Innovation often comes at some human cost. This book sheds a light on that cost and tells a story that, like so many others, society would rather leave in the dark. What I love about books like this is it gives us an opportunity to learn from our mistakes and learn to safely innovate and push progress.” – John Meade, Front End Developer

The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen
“I was fortunate to work with a huge dataset from Vietnam Era Prisoners of War for my Graduate Dissertation.” – Angela Klipsch, Customer Engagement Manager

Tales of the Unusual (comic) by Sungdae Oh
“I don’t really like the tension without action that’s why I like reading ‘Tales of the Unusual’. These are super mysterious short horror stories, and they are very entertaining!” – Aleksandra Foksman, Server-side Developer