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.

The Devil in the White City

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Erik Larson’s Chicago-based thriller was the most popular paperback in the city when I first moved here several years ago — dozens of copies could be spotted on the Metra trains running in and out of downtown every weekday morning and evening — and I’m now getting around to reading it for a second time. It’s equal parts mystery, suspense, and a great history lesson on the World’s Fair and how Daniel Burnham transformed Chicago into one of the most architecturally significant cities in the world.

Country Cow noisemaker

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Colloquially known as my "moo can," this pocket-friendly device produces realistic cow sounds with the flick of a wrist. I keep it on my desk at all times — when I’m feeling down, it takes little more than a moo or two to cheer me up again. What can I say? I’m easily amused.

Light Flow

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The biggest problem about Rage Consulting’s Light Flow is that it makes it very difficult to use phones without full RGB notification lights. The ultra-configurable utility lets you control the LED on your Android smartphone with a ridiculous level of granularity, responding with different colors and pulse patterns to different types of notifications (email, text messaging, and so on). Be warned, though, tweaking it to your complete satisfaction can take a lot of time.

Hybrid — Wider Angle

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The Welsh duo Hybrid has produced some of the richest and most accessible electronic music of the last decade, blending orchestral elements and vocals into distinctive beats that are immediately recognizable. I’ve long been a Hybrid fan but have spent most of the last few years listening almost exclusively to their newer albums Disappear Here, I Choose Noise, and Morning Sci-Fi — it wasn’t until recently that I started really getting into Wider Angle again, which is almost certainly their defining work. (Be sure to skip Wide Angle and go specifically for Wider Angle, which includes an epic live set in addition to the studio album.)

Bodum Chambord stainless steel coffee maker

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The only reason I’m functional from the hours of 7AM to 10AM is because of this device, an ever-present object on my undersized, urban kitchen countertop. Bodum makes literally dozens of French presses, but unlike most of them, this particular model is entirely stainless steel — there’s no glass to crack or shatter. Cleaning it is as simple as running it under hot water for a few seconds.