Unsolicited Endorsements: VI

Because sometimes you just want friends to tell you about cool things… the Brew House team offers up its weekly mix of author-supported goodness.

Movie: “White Christmas”

Before you go any further… yes, I know, it’s pretty early for Christmas movies. But it’s not that early. It’s Dec. 9, and that means you only have 16 more days to watch Chevy Chase and Macauley Culkin and Billy Bob. And, mostly, you need to watch this one. I will confess: This pick, as most of mine tend to be, is definitely a nostalgic choice. My family would watch White Christmas every December. 

The actors became old friends: Bing Crosby. Danny Kaye. Rosemary Clooney. And the other blonde lead; the ridiculously skinny one with the coffee-cup waist. The same scenes would be there every year. I could tell you the plot: Two entertainers (Crosby and Kaye) end up in Vermont, at a financially-troubled ski resort run by their old army general. And to save the place, they plan a real slam-bang show…

But the plot isn’t really important. Just make sure you flip to White Christmas when you’re home for the holidays. — Rustin Dodd

***

Recommendation: Car windows down in the winter

In winter’s past, I didn’t know what to do with myself inside the car. I can’t stand being shut inside one of those things. The music sounds too loud, the outside world feels like just a dream, unavailable to the smell or touch.

This is what happens with closed windows. It sucks. It actually FEELS like winter. I was driving on the highway just outside of downtown Dallas on Thursday and thinking. The sun was shining, I was warm in my car, the trees were green. There was no reason to think it was winter, but I did because my windows were up. It’s like people who need the fan on when they go to sleep. I need it to feel right.

So I put the windows down. Not all the way down. I put the driver’s side window about halfway down, and then I blasted the heater, and I experienced that bipolar, sublime feeling of summer time in the winter time. — Mark Dent

***

Book: Play Their Hearts Out by George Dohrmann

Play Their Hearts Out isn’t necessarily new or under-the-radar, but it is one of the best and most important books about sports published in years. Dohrmann’s exceptionally reported (it took eight years!) and well written piece of journalism chronicles the trials, triumphs and travails of AAU basketball coach Joe Keller, who rides the shoulders of teenage – and sometimes pre-teen – basketball phenoms to fortune. If you’re at all interested in basketball – youth, high school, college or professional – read this book.

At best, it’s an educational and informative peek into the interesting and distressing world of youth hoops, and you’ll come away with a greater understanding of the grace, luck and skill it takes for even the most talented players to navigate toward a college scholarship without becoming just another bust.

At worst…there isn’t a worst. It’s a must-read. — Asher Fusco

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