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Verge Favorites: Vlad Savov

Verge Favorites: Vlad Savov


The Verge editors pick their current favorites in music, movies, books and more.

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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.

Jiro Dreams of Sushi


The Dieter Rams of sushi, Jiro Ono, is the subject of this touching and richly rewarding documentary. Starting off with a playful orchestral soundtrack, Jiro Dreams of Sushi is perfectly paced, ebbing and flowing much like the meticulously prepared menus in Jiro's restaurant. Quiet moments of serenity let you meditate on the precision and discernment required to make the best possible sushi, while the flourishes of string music gently reinforce the image of flavors dancing across the palate. Even the cinematography has an organic quality to it that echoes the traditional, highly manual cooking methods.

More than anything, however, I enjoyed this movie because of its transcendental qualities. Moneyball and Any Given Sunday don't require you to be a sports buff to appreciate them, and Jiro Dreams of Sushi doesn't demand that you like bite-sized rectangles of fish-topped rice. It explores the meaning of a life well lived, the running of a thriving business without a profit motive, and, most deftly, the relationship between a successful father and the sons following in his footsteps — universal themes that will resonate with any audience.

Arts & Letters Daily


I don't bother with reading list apps like Instapaper or Pocket, mostly because any time I want to feel guilty for not reading great online content, I just visit Arts & Letters Daily. This web curator for the enlightened classes sports an extremely basic design — a plus in my book — that spans the whole gamut of subjects, from topical analyses of modern economics to book reviews discussing shark sex. Nothing is superfluous here, you're just given a brief summary, a link, and a pat on the back for seeking to expand your mind.

Sir Terry Pratchett


As witty as he is prolific, Terry Pratchett has penned an amazing 39 Discworld novels over the past three decades. In that time, he has invented a color, thrust a giant turtle into space, and redefined what you can expect to find in the fantasy aisle of your local bookshop. Like most fantasy writers, Pratchett relies on conventional tropes and themes in his narratives, but it's the varnish of wickedly sharp humor that he layers on top that distinguishes this British Knight from the rest. In his own words, "you have to start out learning to believe the little lies" as practice for believing the big ones, "justice, mercy, duty, that sort of thing."

Feed Me — Feed Me's Big Adventure


The first dubstep album that I could listen to and enjoy from start to finish, Feed Me's Big Adventure is an unashamedly over-the-top affair. Some of the tracks on here are tantamount to those YouTube mixes you'll have come across titled "The 10 Illest Dubstep Drops of All-Time." I like the efficiency of having such a highly concentrated dose of electronic sickness, plus I appreciate the mellower moments and carefully tensioned buildups that punctuate it.

Chin-up bar


If you follow me on Twitter, you'll know that exercise and diet are important things in my life. What you might not know is that the only equipment I use is the humble chin-up bar. Strategically installed in the doorway to my bedroom, it leads to a form of ambush exercise: every time I notice it, I use it (which turns out to be quite often). Most workout machines invite visions of a rote, sisyphean struggle, whereas this is something you can do on your way to picking up the iPad from your nightstand.

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