The Verge staffers aren't just people who love technology. They're people who love stuff. We spend as much time talking and thinking about our favorite books, music, and movies as we do debating the best smartphone to buy or what point-and-shoot has the tightest macro. We thought it would make sense to share our latest obsessions with Verge readers, and we hope you're encouraged to share your favorites with us. Thus a long, healthy debate will ensue where we all end up with new things to read, listen to, or try on.

Richard Ford — Canada

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This book, which was just published in the end of May, highlights all of the reasons I love Ford’s writing: methodical, almost painful tension, but an absolute joy to read. Just beautifully written with a gripping and heartbreaking story to go along with it. If you’ve never read anything by Richard Ford, this would be a fantastic place to start. Every book of his that I’ve read is excellent, but this one, unlike the others, is a lot more fast-paced. I hate book spoilers so I don’t want to say anything else — read it!

Cat sewing

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Words can’t actually express the depth of my affection for this GIF, which is even more meaningless than most. That only intensifies the joy I take in seeing it. I like to keep it in an open tab most of the time, and just browse on over to it when anything gets me down. A minute or two of watching its hypnotizing motion, and I’m all fixed up. Try it for yourself.

WriteRoom

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I’m a long-time user of TextEdit, mostly because my writing needs are simple and I don’t like any junk text — I need to be able to copy and paste clean text into the CMS (it’s called Chorus, you can read about it here) when I’m ready to go. I also have used it for years simply because it’s there, on my desktop, and I was too lazy to search around for alternatives. Recently, however, I read this post about text editing apps, and it got me thinking that yes, sometimes when I write, I’m a bit distracted by other things like email and Twitter, and maybe my writing suffers or takes longer because I’m not fully concentrating on the task at hand. So, I shelled out $9.99 in the Mac App Store, and started using WriteRoom. It’s stark and clean, and while I could be somewhat delusional, I feel like my writing time is more focused over the past few weeks. In fact, I’m writing this in WriteRoom right now. Isn’t this writing great?

Lapham’s Quarterly

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Even if you’re not a reader of the excellent Lapham’s Quarterly (I am), the podcast is a bit of a different beast altogether, and features a wide array of guests which keep me listening every month. The most recent episode features Jon Gertner, the author of The Idea Factory, which is about the birth of Bell Labs and the technological wonders that came out of it.

Baroness — Yellow & Green

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This album came out just a few days ago, but after two full listens, I can safely say it is exactly what I want to listen to roughly half of each day (the first half). The older I get the less I like describing or justifying my musical habits, but just about every song on this very long, double album is worth the effort of paying attention for 75 whole minutes. “Heavy” rock continues to be one of the few areas of music where extended, epic moods are created and, when successful, there’s nothing more exciting to listen to. Baroness really pulls it off.