By Eva Whalen
Leisure time is essential for relaxing and savoring the lighter of life. Books and games will never go out of style, even if we do love the electronic versions — so while away a chill October day with these most original diversions.
Name 5 is brilliant in its simplicity: name five things that make you sneeze, five vegetables beginning with the letter “A,” five Tom Hanks movies, and so forth. This is a variation of the games we’ve played while waiting for planes, trains, and DMV clerks — but now this game has a name, and can be played at parties, when relatives come over for Thanksgiving, and whenever you’re feeling especially savvy. Find it at http://www.endlessgames.com and at http://www.amazon.com.
Reverse Charades is Charades after a triple espresso: teams have 1 minute to re-enact as many words as possible (similar to classic Password in this regard), and they re-enact the words as a team to one “guesser” on their side. If you visit http://www.reversecharades.com, you’ll see video re-enactments of the game, which will convince you all the more that you need it this holiday season. Find it at http://www.amazon.com
Chaotic Connections is a classic connect-the-trail-first to win board game that promises to be fun, and requires both strategy and an elusive element of luck. Crack it out after Thanksgiving dinner, or for post-trick or treat hilarity this Halloween. The object is to connect 4 cities on a map of the U.S. (and proudly made in the U.S.). Purchase it at http://www.chaoticconnections.com, and visit the site for a video recap.
If you’ve ever wondered how the Luddite survives, pickles things, makes bread, cures meat, brews mead and Hooch, smokes trout, embroiders, braids rugs, and dehydrates things, the book The Lost Arts of Hearth and Home by Ken Albala and Rosanna Nafziger Henderson answers these questions and much more. Fascinating! This makes a great gift too, if you can mange to put it down and part with it (just buy two). Available at http://www.penguin.com.
Handwritten Recipes: a Bookseller’s Collection of Curious and Wonderful Recipes Forgotten Between the Pages by Michael Popek is a collection of found recipes in old books, some hand-written and scrawled on napkins or what have you. This recipe books spans everything from pies and casseroles to Italian cookies, springerle, and German dumplings. Intrigued by this unusual concept? Read more about it at http://www.penguin.com.
Have any favorite games or books you’d love to recommend? Email me at http://[email protected] so I can check them out.