Stroopwafels

This week's staff picks

ASBMB Today Staff
By ASBMB Today Staff
May 30, 2020

Every week, the ASBMB staff shares what we’ve been reading, listening to, watching and doing. As we all weather the COVID-19 pandemic and our new normal of social distancing, we look for ways to cope, connect and entertain ourselves.


Libby (OverDrive)

This app connects you with your local library’s collection of e-books and audiobooks! It’s wonderful —and free. You’re able to read summaries of books and play samples of audiobooks. I love browsing the collections. If a book I want isn’t available, I just place a hold on it and when it’s available to “check out,” the app sends me an alert. Those alerts always brighten my day.

— Ally Frick, multimedia and social media content manager

Girl, Woman, Other (Bernardine Evaristo, Black Cat/Grove Atlantic)

Comfort Dorn

I’ve had a hard time concentrating these last couple of months. Not uncommon, right? So I was surprised how quickly I made my way through this 452-page book.  It won the 2019 Booker Prize jointly with Margaret Atwood’s “The Testaments”  — which I also hope to read one day.  I devoured “Girl, Woman, Other” in a little more than a week, probably because it has nothing to do with viruses and lockdowns.  Also because each chapter is the story of one person, and the chapters form a wonderful web of black British women.  There isn’t much plot (it revolves loosely around the opening night of a play about Amazon warrior women in Africa), but memorable stories, scenes and characters abound.

— Comfort Dorn, ASBMB Today managing editor


Swiss Army Man (Daniels, available on Netflix)

If you're in the mood for a bizarre but heartwarming movie, you should watch "Swiss Army Man" on Netflix. It stars Paul Dano as Hank, a man stranded on a deserted island, and Daniel Radcliffe as Manny, a dead guy with amazing abilities (you read that right) who helps Hank survive. The directors, Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert (collectively known as Daniels), who have also directed a number of music videos, do a beautiful job of integrating the soundtrack with the action in the movie. It's a really, really, weird movie in all the right ways.

Joanna Kotloski, marketing associate

Portraits of New Yorkers in lockdown

I have two recommendations for readers who miss people-watching in the park or just want to reflect on the strange time we’re living through.

This New Yorker article, which ran in print as “Close Quarters,” by Michael Schulman, is an intimate account of how conflict built up among roommates in a home-share in a trendy New York neighborhood as they chafed against each other’s adherence to lockdown rules, argued over a rent strike, and tried to stay safe at work and home.

And this episode from relationship therapist Esther Perel’s podcast, “Where Should We Begin,” tells the story of a couple who were on the brink of divorce — and then forced into lockdown together. It did not go well.

Stay safe, be kind, and try not to steal all of your household’s lockdown snacks.

— Laurel Oldach, science communicator

ASBMB Today Staff
ASBMB Today Staff

This article was written by a member or members of the ASBMB Today staff.

Join the ASBMB Today mailing list

Sign up to get updates on articles, interviews and events.

Latest in Opinions

Opinions highlights or most popular articles

Lessons from plants: A changing environment
Books

Lessons from plants: A changing environment

April 7, 2021

Beronda Montgomery writes about plants adapt to environmental conditions in this excerpt from her new book.

Retracting publications doesn’t stop them from influencing science
News

Retracting publications doesn’t stop them from influencing science

March 28, 2021

The whole purpose of retraction — marking research as poor quality or even as fraudulent — frequently doesn't seem to affect how those papers are read and cited.

How can we recognize and reward innovation in teaching?
Essay

How can we recognize and reward innovation in teaching?

March 25, 2021

“Publications that describe curricular or pedagogical innovations are rarely cited, and their authors get little feedback about their impact.”

Life after one year of COVID-19
Member News

Life after one year of COVID-19

March 25, 2021

In March 2020, we asked ASBMB members how the pandemic is affecting them personally and professionally. We recently asked them how it has changed there lives, one year later. Here are their dispatches.

One year later
Editor's Note

One year later

March 19, 2021

Since mid-March 2020, the way we do everything has been shifted by the COVID-19 pandemic, layered with all the ordinary changes of work and life and coping.

The challenges of antiviral treatments
News

The challenges of antiviral treatments

March 13, 2021

Antibiotics abound, but virus-fighting drugs are harder to come by, and Covid-19 amply shows how much we need them. Fortunately, scientists are getting better at making and finding them.