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.

'A Time Before Crack'

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I discovered this book maybe a year ago, and I keep coming back to it. As a born-and-raised New Yorker, I have a bit of (completely unearned) nostalgia for so-called "Old New York." Jamel Shabazz's photography has that quality, but his lens focuses on life and people at a time before the inner city was swallowed up so utterly by the crack epidemic. I look at these photos and think about Dapper Dan, life in the Boogie Down Bronx, and what it was like for my parents to ride those subways, wondering what it all must have been like.

Nokia Wireless Charging Plate

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I’ve gotten a fair amount of flack for having willingly bought into Windows Phone. I love the platform, even if it completely infuriates me. But one thing I have to give to Nokia beyond their commitment to the OS is putting me onto to wireless charging. It’s such a tiny luxury, but being able to charge my 920 at the end of the day by just plopping it on my bedside table feels so good even a year later. It’s one of a few things I want to go mainstream.

‘Misfits’

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If you’ve seen Heroes, you need to see this show. It’s so much better. Misfits follows a group of delinquents with deeply screwed up personal histories who are endowed with superpowers by a freak lightning storm. They’re not superheroes. They’re really just trying to get by in a world where life is supremely nasty, brutish, and short. The show mines some pretty dark themes, including one episode involving a serial murderer with dairy superpowers. I highly recommend it.

Dan Slott

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Dan Slott writes Spider-Man and Silver Surfer stories for Marvel. That fact on its own would be awesome enough, but I really can’t stress enough how good Superior Spider-Man is. For those not following along, spoiler alert: Peter Parker is dead, and Doctor Octopus took over Peter’s body to become the new and arguably improved Spidey. That premise might sound insane, but Slott has a real gift for scripting stories that make you wonder why no one else had the gall to think this stuff up. Plus he’s really the nicest guy.

Image © Luigi Novi / Wikimedia Commons

‘Thriller’

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I’ve always been a fan of Michael Jackson, so loving this album is already a given. How I came to own it is a better story. One day this past March, my girlfriend and I were walking up to her apartment when we saw the record just lying in the hallway. Just cast aside like so much debris. I lost it. Did someone drop it accidentally? Is this some kind of trap? Who throws away Thriller? After a short talk about how insane I was being, my girlfriend convinced me to leave a note for people to claim it. Because you always leave a note. After three days, no one did. I promptly had it framed.