As we find ourselves with more time on our hands than originally expected, we’re launching Orchard’s Culture Fix – a blog series which shares some of the team’s recommendations on what to read, watch and listen to as Guernsey continues to be in lockdown.
Dan offers his recommendation on what to listen to if you’re interested in American politics, Laura is attempting to play chess and Emily provides a review of one of the books featured on the 2020 Booker Prize longlist.
What our Account Director Dan is listening to
Who: BBC Sounds
Why you should listen: America has drawn the eyes of the world since its November election and, as President Biden spends his first month in office, now is the perfect time to catch up on all the political goings-on. Americast is presented by three of the BBC’s most senior journalists (North America editor Jon Sopel, Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis and senior North America reporter Anthony ‘Zurch’ Zurcher) and provides the stories behind the headlines. Sopel’s on-the-ground reporting is excellent and he and Maitlis‘ obvious chemistry makes this an amusing as well as interesting listen. Zurch brings the analysis as the well as the viewpoint of a real-life American. It’s been essential listening throughout the Presidential race and will continue to be so as President Biden settles into the Oval Office.
What our Account Executive Emily is reading
Name: Such a Fun Age
Who: Kiley Reid
Why you should read: Kiley Reid explores the barriers of race, gender, wealth and privilege from the viewpoints of an early-20s, just out of university black babysitter and her white, middle-class and influential employer. When Emira takes her three-year-old charge to an upscale supermarket, she gets embroiled in a sadly all-too-common in reality altercation when shoppers raise suspicion that she may have kidnapped the child she is babysitting. With alternate chapters flitting between Emira and her employer, it’s a fascinating read into the minds of two very different people from different walks of life with different experiences, and how they relate to each other following that pivotal moment in the supermarket. With thought-provoking behaviour from every character intertwined in the lives of these two people, the story asks us to examine how we relate to others and if we have preconceived biases to people of different socio-economic standing.
What our Account Manager Laura is watching
Name: The Queen’s Gambit
Why you should watch: Towards the end of 2020, Netflix launched ‘The Queen’s Gambit’ which quickly became a cultural phenomenon (and a popular conversation topic within the office). In the first month of its debut on Netflix, the series attracted more than 62 million viewers and has recently received two Golden Globe nominations. However if you’re still looking for a reason to be convinced, then why not simply look at the outcomes and impacts that the show has had on chess.
Not only is The Queen’s Gambit one of the most talked about shows of 2020 (there are more than 8.6 million search results when you google the main character’s name, Beth Harmon), but the show has also been linked to a rise in chess’ popularity. Since launching, sales of chess sets and accessories have increased by 215% on eBay, Google search queries for “how to play chess” has hit a nine-year high and Chess.com saw a stratospheric rise in players while breaking records for the site. If you‘re still not convinced then nothing will persuade you to watch it, but it’s undeniable that the series demonstrates the power of Netflix and the influence a noteworthy show can have on viewers. It also provides an additional excuse to play chess during lockdown.