The things we watched, listened to, read and streamed as summer changed to fall

ARTISTS ON INSTAGRAM

Most students don’t have the time or desire to go to an art museum, but thanks to social media they don’t have to. Some of my favorite artists who have Instagrams right now are Ron English (@ronenglishart), Romina Ressia (@rominaressia) and Seth Armstrong (@setharmstrongart). You might have heard of English. He is a provocateur of gross renditions of pop culture in the form of sculptures and murals, famous for creating a diabetic Ronald McDonald. Romina is a 20-something devotee of Renaissance portraiture with a twist, adding details like vespa helmets to traditional costumes. Lastly, Armstrong takes after Edward Hopper with voyeuristic cityscapes set in the contemporary era, suggesting we’re as bored as ever. (A.J. Newberry, Cartoonist)

“MODERN LOVERS” BY EMMA STRAUB

It’s a simple story, beautifully told — friends and neighbors, adolescents and adults, falling simultaneously in and out of love. Elizabeth, Andrew and Zoe, 40-something Brooklynite parents, are presented with an opportunity — a large film studio wants to make a movie about their former bandmate, Lydia. Elizabeth and Andrew are now (somewhat) happily married with a teenage son, Harry. And Zoe, mother to wild-child Ruby, is struggling through a deteriorating relationship with her partner Jane. Straub’s novel is as Brooklyn as it gets, from the new age yoga collective Andrew secretly attends to Zoe and Jane’s trendy neighborhood restaurant “Hyacinth.” The idea of fleeting youthful optimism drives Straub’s bittersweet story. (Emily Williams, Managing Editor)

“THE SIXTH EXTINCTION” BY ELIZABTH KOLBERT

Over the last half billion years, there have been five mass extinctions — times when the earth saw a sudden and dramatic decline in biodiversity. Now, scientists are beginning to think that the world may be experiencing another. The culprit? Us. Are humans causing a sixth mass extinction? If so, how? And should we even care? In this 2015 Pulitzer winner for general nonfiction, journalist and author Elizabeth Kolbert introduces the reader to biologists, ecologists and geologists from Peru, Italy, the Great Barrier Reef and throughout history in her attempt to find the answers.  (James Steinbauer, Editor-in-Chief)

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