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BYT Staff Picks is a weekly column in which we tell you all about the stuff we’re currently obsessed with that we think YOU should be obsessed with, too, from movies to books to music to people. So here goes our inaugural installment, ft. contributions from Svetlana Legetic, Brandon Wetherbee, Kaylee Dugan, Jose Lopez-Sanchez, Megan Burns and Marissa Rubenstein:


  • Don’t Breathe – This robbery-gone-horribly-wrong (and then somehow, even wronger) is the U.S. box office champion for the last few weeks and rightfully saw: it is all the things I look for in a horror movie: fun, scary and with a few legitimate twists that you REALLY TRULY can’t discuss on the internet (and typically I don’t care about spoilers). See it while it is in theatres, which is how horror movies should be seen.
  • Palomas – I know this was a summer of Frose, but the Paloma is the best summer drink you maybe haven’t had yet so you better do it now. Anyone can do this: Put ice into a glass, pour tequila over the ice, pour grapefruit soda (the fancy Italian kind OR Squirt work equally well) over the tequila, add a splash of soda, stir, garnish with some form of citrus if you feel like it (or don’t) and enjoy. Life changing and may have you never having a margarita again.
  • @BYMariAndrew – the instagram illustration equivalent of Daria, all (sort of) grown up – be on the look-out for a feature on Mari on BYT next week.
  • My Bookshelf, Myself series in NY Times – my favorite pastimes (planning what to read ONCE I actually have time to read), and imagining being in a book club with the likes of Tilda Swinton and Marianne Faithful, in the shape of a column. The fact that you find out that Tilda Swinton ALSO loves “Love In A Cold Climate” as much as you is just bonus vindication for all those years you spent shoving Nancy Mitford into people’s hands. Muriel Spark too. God, I KNEW we were soulmates.

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  • The Voyeur’s Motel by Gay Talese – We recommended this is in our Your Best July feature. We were intrigued because of the popular long form New Yorker piece. It had all of the elements you’d expect from a piece about a motel owner that spied on his guests. When Talese disavowed himself from the book, it became intriguing on another level. Was Talese too ignorant to see the truth? Was he complicit and just got caught? Was it all a ruse? After reading the book, it really doesn’t matter. BYT’s Kaylee Dugan also read this work. I told her about how much I was loving it at the start. She wasn’t as kind. After finishing the book, I’m on her side. I’m not recommending purchasing this, but if you’re looking for a not-exactly-light read about a motel owner that spied on his guests, you’ll get what you came for. Also, this is not a good gift for anyone that watches cable news and believes everything they see on cable news. Do not buy this for a paranoid family member.


  • Young Thug, Jeffery  – Lots of ink has already been spilled on how Young Thug is changing the dynamics within rap – both in terms of his flow and delivery, and his personal, gender-fluid style. But let’s keep our eyes on the most important thing: Thugger makes rap music fun. This album knocks and should be the soundtrack to your next book club meeting.
  • Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay– I was called for jury duty this week, so finally had an opportunity to read Roxane Gay’s collection of essays – equal parts heartbreaking, funny, thought-provoking, and probing. Gay is a smart, compelling writer with a finger on the pulse of many things in pop culture. Bad Feminist is revelatory and personal, but also asks a lot of pertinent questions, though at times it can read like a Vulture think-piece. It’s not perfect, but it’s an important read, particularly for those who prefer a little more intersectionality to their feminism than your Caitlin Moran/Lena Dunham (ugh) variety – both of whom are addressed by Gay.
  • English Premier League Football (soccer) – This is becoming more and more of a thing here in the States, and that the English Premier League is finally making large enough waves that each of the “big” clubs have established, rabid fanbases in major cities – combinations of ex-pats, real fans, and glory-hunters (so basically, exactly as normal fans). Now that the the dust of the first international break is over, we can get into the full swing of the season. We have a couple of tasty games this weekend, full of INTRIGUE and NARRATIVE, because NBC believes sports can’t be relevant on their own merit. Personal highlight for this weekend is the Manchester Derby, which in this case simply means that two teams from Manchester (United and City) are playing against each other. These are two of the richest teams in the world, and have both spent heavily over the summer to recruit star players: Manchester United brought on board some names you might casually know (Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba), while Manchester City invested in the future (Leroy Sane, Gabriel Jesus). Adding fuel to the fire, the teams have hire two nemeses as managers – City have Pep Guardiola, architect of sexy football and tiki-taka, while United have brought on Darth Vader himself Jose Mourinho. These two have beef going back over 7 years. Tomorrow morning’s 7:30 am ET kickoff promises to be TASTY.


  • Darling – A week ago I watched this deeply weird, surreal horror film on Netflix called Darling and I can’t stop thinking about it. It’s all shot in black and white and it’s essentially what would happen if Ti West’s The House of The Devil had a baby with The Shining and that baby was set in the middle of NYC at an undetermined time. It’s a little gory and weird and not very original at all, but something about it is just stuck right in my brain.

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  • GBBO Season 7 – I’m obsessed with the Great British Bake Off series as a whole, but now that a new season has begun, I find myself back at it again. (I don’t know what is so magical about watching British people baking in a tent in the countryside, but it is nothing short of fantastic.) We’re three episodes deep at this point, and I am rooting for either Candice and her fierce array of bold lipsticks, or Andrew in all of his gay ginger glory. I’ve been doing YouTube searches on a weekly basis to get access to the new episodes since they’re obviously not aired here in the US (and we only have the one season available to us on Netflix), which has been annoying but effective. Here are episodes: one, two, three. (ENJOY THE FRUITS OF MY DIGITAL LABOR.)
  • Newtown Radio – I’ve never not loved Newtown Radio (based in Bushwick, but available to stream worldwide), although I do go through phases where I listen more frequently than others, this past month being one of those times. For those of you who like the heavily curated aspect of Spotify and other streaming services, you might be skeptical to listen to a radio station that combines a blend of different shows and free form mixes (HOW WILL YOU KNOW IF YOU’RE GOING TO LIKE IT IF A ROBOT DOESN’T PREDICT IT FIRST?!), but trust me, IT IS SO WORTH IT. I’ve discovered tons of music this way (both new and old), and I have rarely turned it on and not liked what I was hearing. Live a little. Bookmark it.
  • Jenny Mustard on YouTube – Jenny Mustard is a Swedish vegan minimalist health goth, and I am OBSESSED with her YouTube channel. Am I vegan? No, not by a long shot, but I do consider myself to be fairly minimalist (and I do appreciate an all black wardrobe), so I think it was the overall style of her videos and her general aesthetic that got me hooked. (I even started eating raw turmeric on a daily basis just because she does.) Worth checking out, even if you just want inspiration for a No Face Halloween costume.

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  • The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls by Anton DiSclafani – Shove a bookmark in whatever you are reading and move this to the top of your reading list. I haven’t LOVED a book like this in awhile. Girl is involved in a family tragedy, family blames girl and sends her away, all set in pre-depression late 1920’s. Seriously. It is great.
  • This Unicorn Emoji Portable Charger. I have never wanted anything so badly in my life.