Welcome to the second installment of Read, Watch, Binge! our summer recommendation series. As you may recall from last month's list, we were tired of algorithms that only matched books to books or movies to movies. So this month, we've enlisted the help of real live humans to pair books with movies, musicals, TV, comics, podcasts and more. (And to catch up on last month's movie list, click here.)
The Best Of Youth (movie) because it's an addictive and epic Italian miniseries about two brothers that spans generations, weaving the personal and the political together. Sometimes you want to read about Italian cheekbones, sometimes you want to watch 'em. — Barrie Hardymon, Weekend Edition editor
Gomorrah (movie) because the best part of reading Elena Ferrante was learning about the influence the Mafia still holds in Southern Italy, and Gomorrah makes that gritty picture even more clear. — Rose Friedman, arts editor
Grey Gardens (documentary) because if you had a hard time Marie Kondo-ing your stuff, then maybe Big Edie and Little Edie, who lived in a mansion inhabited by fleas and raccoons and filled with garbage, will make you feel better about merely owning three blenders. (Or ... it might just stress you out.) — Samantha Balaban, producer
How Clean Is Your House? (TV series) because both give you the satisfaction of watching inspired gurus clean up cluttered homes, transforming lives in the process. — Katie Daugert, librarian
Unf*** Your Habitat (Tumblr) because if you feel somewhat daunted by the entire Kondo project, UFYH offers accessible little tidying victories. — Petra Mayer, books editor
O.J.: Made In America (TV miniseries), particularly the first hour, which examines the LAPD's long history of brutal treatment of Los Angeles' black community. — Glen Weldon, Pop Culture Happy Hour panelist
Black-ish (TV series) because they're both indispensable in the age of Black Lives Matter. This comedic cousin of Between the World and Me looks at the world Ta-Nehisi Coates describes with pain and brutal honesty, and finds the humor and essential sweetness in it. Plus, you can — and should — watch it with your kids. — Barrie Hardymon, Weekend Edition editor
Like Eleanor & Park? You might also like ...
My Mad Fat Diary (TV series) because it shares the same humor, emotional immediacy and excellent dialogue. — Margaret Willison, book critic
Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist (movie) because falling in love with someone's old mix CDs can sometimes be the same as falling in love with them. — Petra Mayer, books editor
Spring Awakening (musical) because they're both stories about adolescence, sensuality and how the world gets in the way when you're 16 and falling in love. And it's the best thing Duncan Sheik's ever done. — Barrie Hardymon, Weekend Edition editor
The Americans (TV series) because it features a spy who is deeply conflicted about both the enemy and his own side. — Rose Friedman, arts editor
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (1979 TV miniseries) because it's about a postwar mole who tells us more about the culture he infiltrates than the one he's working for. — Rose Friedman, arts editor
Argo (movie) because it's another twisty, 1970s period piece that combines spycraft with film lore. — Neda Ulaby, arts reporter
Bramwell (TV series) because this story of a Victorian woman trying to establish herself in a highly patriarchal profession (medicine) will help you appreciate how far we've come. — Nicole Cohen, arts producer
Confirmation (TV movie) because it is a chronicle of the 1991 Clarence Thomas Supreme Court hearings — Kerry Washington plays Anita Hill, whose single status, Rebecca Traister argues, affected her treatment by the Senate Judiciary Committee and by the nation as a whole. — Beth Novey, arts producer
Heroes (TV series) because it features interlocking stories about a web of people who have something mysterious (and supernatural) in common. — Rose Friedman, arts editor
Sense8 (TV series) because, well, a globe-spanning psychically linked group of people works to combat a malevolent organization, in a story told from a kaleidoscope of perspectives. It's far from perfect, but very Mitchellian in its ambitions and its oddness. — Camila Domonoske, Two-Way blogger
Highlander (movie) because this gleefully cheesy 1986 action film also features a race of immortals locked in endless combat. — Glen Weldon, Pop Culture Happy Hour panelist
Harold And Maude (movie) because it dances along the frontier of love and death, with dark humor as its guide. — Melissa Block, special correspondent
The Task by Olivia Judson (eight-part essay series in The New York Times) because it is also about relationships with aging parents, and managing the belongings they leave behind. — Beth Novey, arts producer
Prime Suspect (1991 TV series) because it's a pleasure to move from a well plotted thriller to an intricately plotted one. And even more of a pleasure to meet Helen Mirren's formidable Jane Tennison, who would eat Rachel Watson for breakfast. — Barrie Hardymon, Weekend Edition editor
Memento (movie) because it's a brilliant twist on the idea of an unreliable narrator. — Petra Mayer, books editor
American Splendor (movie) because it's another comic writer autobiography and, in just the right light, Allie Brosh's fidgety avatar kind of looks like Paul Giamatti's voice. — Andrew Limbong, arts producer
Achewood (Web comic) because it also manages to wring amazing emotional nuances (and surreal flights of fancy) from a relatively limited art style. — Petra Mayer, books editor
Like Station Eleven? You might also like ...
The Leftovers (TV series) because it follows the people who are left behind after a catastrophe shrinks the human population. — Nicole Cohen, arts producer
Rosencrantz And Guildenstern Are Dead (movie) because why wouldn't you want to see a witty, mordant movie that uses Shakespeare as a jumping-off point for all kinds of shenanigans? Young Gary Oldman and Tim Roth are definite attractions, too. (Statement!) — Petra Mayer, books editor
The Act Of Killing and The Look Of Silence (documentaries) because it's a pair of films about the same event: One is told from the perpetrators' perspectives, and the other from that of a victim. — Jessica Reedy, Pop Culture Happy Hour producer
Pacific Overtures (musical) because Stephen Sondheim's underrated and unconventional musical is also about the westernization of an Asian country (Japan) and also follows two friends: one eager to westernize, the other determined not to. — Bob Mondello, movie critic
Like Americanah? You might also like ...
An African City (Web series) because it rebels against what Adichie calls "the danger of the single story," or letting one story (often rife with stereotypes) stand in for everyone in a minority group. An African City also portrays sexy, smart and accomplished African women without apology and with respect. — Alicia Montgomery, Code Switch senior producer
Half Of A Yellow Sun (movie) because it's the adaptation of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's 2006 novel by the same name. Both tell sweeping stories of love and family, set against the backdrop of conflict and change in Nigeria. — Nicole Cohen, arts producer
My Husband's Tumor (blog) because blogger and author Nora McInerny Purmort beautifully chronicled her husband Aaron's death from brain cancer — and is still using her blog to help "awesome people get through awful times." (And she posts a lot of photos of her son, Ralph, who is pretty darn cute.) — Samantha Balaban, Weekend Edition producer
"Randy Pausch Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams" (lecture) because, like Paul Kalanithi, Randy Pausch received a devastating diagnosis, and decided to use the time he had left to share the lessons he'd learned. — Beth Novey, arts producer
Photo Credits: Carnegie Mellon/Screenshot by NPR
Like The Goldfinch? You might also like ...
Great Expectations (TV series) because they're both epic stories of orphan boys and mysterious benefactors, and most importantly, the care and feeding of your moral center. And because it's fun to see Gillian Anderson's take on Miss Havisham — it's a polarizing performance, but nice to imagine a relatively young woman as the famously creepy agoraphobe. — Barrie Hardymon, Weekend Edition editor
Woman In Gold (movie) because it's a story of survival that's set in motion when a work of art is stolen in the midst of conflict. — Lynn Neary, arts correspondent
Like From Scratch? You might also like ...
Iron Chef (TV series) because the original Japanese show was a mainstay of the Food Network's early success, and Chairman Kaga is awesome. — Petra Mayer, books editor
Two Fat Ladies (TV series) because if you liked learning about the history of this traveling British food show, you'll also love watching it. — Rose Friedman, arts editor
Photo Credits: Shizuo Kambayashi/AP
Foyle's War (TV series) because it's a thrilling depiction of the British homefront during World War II, and you'll fall similarly in love with its main character. — Rose Friedman, arts editor
Atonement (movie) because it's a powerful depiction of life during war that also plays with the idea of getting a do-over. — Petra Mayer, books editor
Groundhog Day (movie) because while we recognize there's a little tone whiplash here, you can't go wrong with this cult classic tale of one day lived over and over again. — Petra Mayer, books editor
Like Cat Sense? You might also like ...
My Cat From Hell (TV series) because I never get tired of Jackson Galaxy's combination of feline wisdom and blazin' rockabilly style. He owned a cat named Velouria! — Petra Mayer, books editor
The Aristocats (movie) because science can only tell you so much about what your cats are really up to all day. And if your cats are royalty (whose aren't?) you'll be especially pleased. — Rose Friedman, arts editor
Like Get In Trouble? You might also like ...
The Twilight Zone (TV series) because both fool you into thinking they are set in a realistic world before dropping you in the middle of a surreal fantasy. — Lynn Neary, arts correspondent
The Science Of Sleep (movie) because it also takes place in a surreal, quirky world where the story's reality regularly bends to its creator's will — a man's hands might grow larger than his body or a woman might give birth to a litter of rabbits. — Rose Friedman, arts editor
Like Nimona? You might also like ...
Steven Universe (TV series) because everyone should watch Steven Universe. But also because it's a gorgeously drawn, deceptively simple story that gets deep and powerful as it goes along. — Petra Mayer, books editor
Sky High (movie) because it's also a delightful layer-cake of genres — in this case, a superhero movie pasted on top of a high school drama. — Petra Mayer, books editor
Treme (TV series) because it follows different New Orleanians — a lawyer, a Mardis Gras Indian, business owners, musicians — as they rebuild their lives in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. — Nicole Cohen, arts producer
Spike Lee's When The Levees Broke: A Requiem In Four Acts (TV documentary miniseries) because it's also about New Orleans and Hurricane Katrina, and it takes its title from the classic blues tune "When the Levee Breaks" about the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927. — Bob Mondello, movie critic
Fruitvale Station (movie) because the roots of systemic racism run deep, and, as seen in both works, its brutal fruit can emerge in ways both subtle and violent. — Colin Dwyer, digital news producer
We Live Here (podcast) because it's a post-Ferguson look at how systemic racism affects everyday life in the St. Louis region and in the country. — Nicole Cohen, arts producer
The Supersizers Go ... (TV series) because few things are more fun than watching a couple of charming Brits being forced to wear the clothes and eat the food of various historical eras. NSFV (Not Safe For Vegetarians). — Petra Mayer, books editor
A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur's Court (movie) because both play at time travel and the fallacy of trying to modernize the past. And it's important to remind yourself every now and again that Twain wasn't just a couple of quips and a class you took in college, but an author who can tell a mighty good yarn. (Costumes are better in the former, though.) — Barrie Hardymon, Weekend Edition editor
The Affair (TV series) because both offer a stereoscopic glimpse of a troubled relationship, with each perspective unsettling the truths you thought you knew. — Colin Dwyer, digital news producer
45 Years (movie) because, well, maybe the moral here is never trust a happy relationship. Feel-good works these are not — but man, this movie's good. — Colin Dwyer, digital news producer
The Disappearance Of Eleanor Rigby: Him and The Disappearance Of Eleanor Rigby: Her (movies) because it's a pair of films examining the life of a marriage from each spouse's perspective. — Sarah Knight, librarian
House Of Flying Daggers and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (movies) because author Sherry Thomas has described her book as a wuxia film in book form — wuxia is a Chinese genre involving magic and martial arts — so why not watch these two classic (and swooningly romantic) examples of the genre? — Petra Mayer, books editor
The Expanse (TV series) because it will suck you into a big, well-built universe that mixes spaceship adventure and social consciousness. — Petra Mayer, books editor
Solaris (1972 movie) because it's a slow-paced adaptation of the novel that focuses on identity, memory and conscience. In space. — Genevieve Valentine, book critic
District 9 (movie) because it's a well-told story that touches on xenophobia, apartheid, poverty and humanity in South Africa. — Tanya Ballard Brown, digital news editor
The Harder They Come (movie) because it's a reggae-soaked crime drama that offers up a smaller-scale look at '70s-era Kingston, with striking images and an unforgettable soundtrack. — Camila Domonoske, Two-Way blogger
This is the second of three lists we'll be publishing this summer. Here, we're using recent books as our jumping-off points. In June, we jumped off from recent movies, and in August, we'll do TV. If you have recommendations of your own, please leave them for us in the comments.