As we transition from winter to spring, I find myself torn between reaching for familiar, comfortable media and seeking out something new.
It’s so much easier to rewatch “The Office” on Netflix for the fifth time than to click on something unfamiliar. Or to reread a favorite book instead of walking down to the library for something new.
Here are some of my current favorite things, a mixture of beloved classics and new discoveries:
To listen to: “Dolly Parton’s America”
If you aren’t a fan of Dolly Parton before this podcast, I promise you will be after.
The show, hosted by WNYC’s Jad Abumrad, takes a deep dive into the life and legacy of Dolly Parton with expert insight, a look into Parton’s music and history and in-depth interviews with the queen herself.
The show’s nine episodes are funny, heartfelt and fascinating. I kept bombarding my husband with new Dolly Parton facts (Did you know she has composed more than 3,000 songs?). As a bonus, Apple Music offers an excellent companion playlist.
Where to find it: Online at wnycstudios.org/podcasts/dolly-partons-america; on your favorite podcatcher.
To watch: The Bon Appétit YouTube channel
I’ve never been a huge fan of YouTube shows. So many of them are gimmicky or clickbait-y, and it feels like you have to wade through so many mediocre choices before you find something really worth watching.
Bon Appétit made me a believer. The culinary magazine produces videos with its Test Kitchen staff that feel authentic and charming. The content ranges from cooking and baking tutorials to silly challenges to deeper dives into cuisine and techniques.
My husband and I personally love Gourmet Makes, where professional chef Claire Saffitz attempts to recreate junk food to varying results. If you’re new to the videos, I recommend her struggle with recreating Starbursts.
Where to find it: youtube.com/bonappetit.
To read: “Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott
I first fell in love with “Little Women” as a kid. And every few years, I find a new reason to spend time with sisters Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy.
Once you work past the sometimes flowery language of a novel written in 1868, you’ll find a timeless story about female friendship, finding your voice and carving out a place in the world.
As a kid, I idolized headstrong tomboy Jo who just wanted to spend her days reading novels, rambling outdoors and scribbling her own stories. As an adult, I find something to admire in each of the March sisters, from Meg’s devotion to family to Amy’s love of art and beauty.
Now, I look forward to sharing the book with my own daughter. I hope she’ll love it just as much as I do.
Where to find it: starting at about $10 on Amazon; free at your local library.