A guide to the weekend of July 4th

The most reliable way I’ve found to discover books I love is to look for the recommendations of writers whose work I admire. So when I saw Patrick Radden Keefe, the author of the compelling “Empire of Pain,” reviewing his favorite writers in The Times Book Review, I broke out my note-taking app to add Emmanuel Carrère’s “The Adversary” to my always -expansion of the list of titles to read.

It’s a holiday weekend here in the US, and I’ll be spending at least some of it reading, outside weather permitting, indoors in front of a fan if not. If you’re lucky, you’ve been able to get away, perhaps to a place nearby that doesn’t use too much gas, like our reporter who recently cycled around Shelter Island for two days.

Wherever you are, take advantage of the long days. I like to do two-in-one in the summer, days with two different chapters before nightfall. These are the days when you can arrive at the beach in the afternoon and still have enough light for grilling when you get home.

Here’s your menu. Start with a rum punch or nimbu pani, move on to steak and vegetables. Corn on the cob, of course. Macaroni, pasta, potato salads. Edna Lewis’ peach cobbler for dessert. Invite the neighbors if possible. Ask them to bring the coleslaw.

I’ve been eagerly awaiting the film adaptation of Lawrence Osborne’s “The Forgiven,” about a couple who accidentally kill a stranger while driving to a lavish weekend party in Morocco. It will open this weekend. If you prefer something less intense, “Marcel the Shell With Shoes On” looks charming.

The last two episodes of the fourth season of “Stranger Things” just came out, but if you’re a fan, you’ve probably already seen them. You may not have seen “Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed: The Underground Rock Experience,” an animated musical special by children’s book author Mo Willems. And there’s Wimbledon, even though Serena isn’t playing.

I’m looking for podcast recommendations for when I’m doing chores and running errands, so this list of podcasts to make you feel good arrived just in time. “You Are Good,” an exploration of movies through the feelings they evoke, co-hosted by Sarah Marshall of the late “You’re Wrong About” podcast, sounds right up my alley. I’ll listen to it while I make the cobbler.

What new podcast have you enjoyed recently? Tell me about it and maybe we’ll post your recommendation in The Morning. Be sure to include your full name and location.

“Thor: Love and Thunder” (July 8): The most recent Marvel blockbuster, “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” was weird and dark. This one, directed by the ascendant Taika Waititi, is funny and colorful. It really needs all kinds. A tip: You may want to re-watch the second Thor movie, 2013’s “The Dark World,” to remind yourself why Natalie Portman is even featured in these movies.

Macy’s July 4 Fireworks Spectacular (July 4): Oh, let’s say, do you see a nearly half-century-old tradition of celebrating America’s birthday in an exaggerated way? Why yes that is possible! Tune in to NBC at 8:00 p.m. Eastern on Mondays, and turn down the volume if your dog is in the room.

“Girls They’re Writing Songs About” (out now): The friends we make in our twenties — that formative decade when work and family haven’t fully tamed us yet — often see us in our most irresponsible moments. The two friends in this Carlene Bauer novel have a lot of fun when they meet cute and hard in New York City in the late 1990s before experiencing decades of, as critic Molly Young writes, “enchantment, disenchantment, and reenchantment.” ” underwent. Anyone with long-term friends can empathize.

Grilled chicken may be a Fourth of July cliche, but only because it’s pretty spot-on, a crowd pleaser with its mahogany, sticky-crispy skin and smoky, savory meat. And Sam Sifton’s not-too-sweet version is the recipe I keep coming back to. He cleverly calls for thinning the barbecue sauce with water before basting the chicken on the grill. This ensures that the sugars in the sauce do not burn and the meat does not dry out. While he suggests using chicken legs and thighs, I’ve added breasts with bone and skin, and they’ve worked well. (Be careful not to overcook them.) Then break your favorite ice-cold drink and don’t forget to look up – at fireworks, fireflies or the summer sky turning pink at dusk.

A selection of New York Times recipes is available to all readers. Please consider a Cooking subscription for full access.

Phoenix Mercury vs Chicago Sky, WNBA: This game is a replay of last year’s WNBA final. The Sky won that series and this year they look once again as one of the best teams in the league. Growing up near Chicago, veteran striker Candace Parker recently recorded her third triple-double – the most in WNBA history. The Mercury’s season, meanwhile, is being defined by the absence of their all-star center Brittney Griner, who has been detained in Russia since February. 1 p.m. Eastern today, on ESPN.

For more:

  • The US is full of women’s basketball talent. But the WNBA’s small size — it only has 12 teams — makes it difficult to turn pro.

  • The latest on Griner: Russia may be seeking a prisoner swap for a notorious arms dealer known as the ‘Merchant of Death’.

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