It is probably safe to say most of us have spent more time at home this year than we ever imagined we would. Shelter-in-place orders had us conducting daily life at home, not leaving the house for much more than purchasing essentials or getting exercise outdoors. I don’t know about you, but the amount of media I consumed this year has skyrocketed due to this newfound time on my hands. Therefore, I wanted to share recommendations for some of my favorite ways I kept myself entertained this year.

TV Series: The Queen’s Gambit

This Netflix miniseries, based on the 80’s novel of the same name, follows an orphan’s pursuit to become the world’s top chess player. Sound boring? It is anything but boring! With its superb acting, beautiful cinematography, and storyline set in the 1950s-60s, it will have you hooked from the first episode and wishing for a second season!  

Movie: The Hate U Give

Based on the book of the same name, by Angie Thomas, this movie came out in 2018, but gained mass attention when it became available to stream for free earlier this year amidst the worldwide racial injustice protests. It is definitely a film relevant to the times, focusing on themes of identity, race relations, injustice, and activism.    

Book: Trejo’s Tacos

Okay, so this is not a novel; it is a cookbook. But interspersed in the pages of delicious recipes, there are anecdotes from author and actor-turned-restaurateur, Danny Trejo. I was introduced to Trejo’s Tacos restaurant while spending time on the West Coast last year. Like many celebrity restaurants, I expected the food could not live up to the hype. But it did, and I could not wait to get my hands on this cookbook when it hit shelves last Spring. Whether or not you are familiar with Danny Trejo, he has an amazing life story, which brings me to my next favorite of 2020…   

Documentary: Inmate #1: The Rise of Danny Trejo

At 76 years old, Danny Trejo has plenty of wisdom to share. This documentary details Danny’s life and transformation from a hardcore criminal in prison into an accomplished actor and mentor. Choosing to turn his life around years ago, Danny reflects on how he has evolved into the man he is today: “Everything good that has happened to me has happened as a direct result of helping someone else. Everything.”   

TED Talk: To overcome challenges, stop comparing yourself to others

After losing the use of his legs in an accident, Dean Furness discusses the importance of judging daily scenarios in the context of your “personal average,” not comparing your progress or setbacks to anybody or anything that is not who you are at that point in time.

Podcast: The Whittaker Report

Whittaker Associates has a new podcast series coming in 2021, and the first episode is out. Listen to Dean Whittaker talk about the 1099 economy and its impact on the future of work.

App: Reface

Have you ever pictured yourself as a movie superhero, famous musician, or athlete? Reface lets you put your face in your favorite clips, pictures, and memes. New content is uploaded daily. Hours of mindless, hilarious entertainment!

What have been some of your favorite ways to pass the time in 2020?

Wishing you a happy, prosperous, and healthy New Year!