Summer Reading List: Macrostrategy and Microstupidity

More often than not, summer is a time for students to recharge before a strenuous academic year. Summer’s also a time to catch up on the world and engage in some mindless fun. Of all the things I’ve watched, I figure one movie, one book, one TV series, and one video game are a good way to unwind with some macro-level strategy and micro-level stupidity.

Must Watch: Emmanuel Macron: Behind the Rise

This movie chronicles the campaign of Jupiter himself, French President Emmanuel Macron. From his start as a low-ranking French cabinet minister to forsaking his party to start a new one, Macron is a textbook example of how youth can make a difference in politics. I always love seeing what’s going on behind the scenes in political campaigns- who makes which decisions, how photos for posters are chosen, the thought processes behind it all. It’s exhilarating and inspiring, perfect for a summer to kick-start your motivation. After all, if Macron was able to turn French politics upside down with his brand-new party, who says you can’t get ahead for next year’s courses?

Must Read: Fifth Business, Robertson Davies (Toronto: Macmillan Canada, 1970)

A personal favourite of mine, Robertson Davies’ Fifth Business is the only book I read in high school that I decided to read again. It’s a fascinating story of how one small moment between two friends in rural Ontario at the turn of the 20thcentury turns changes their lives forever. Dunstan Ramsay and his frenemy Percy Boyd Staunton get into an argument, leading Dunstan to throw a snowball at Percy. It misses and hits the pregnant wife of the small town’s minister in the back of the head, causing her to fall and prematurely go into labour. What follows is a truly mystical story, tracing the two through both World Wars and infusing spirituality, Freudian psychology, and Jungian archetypes into an encapsulating novel.

Also Watch: Rick and Morty

I have a tendency to take myself too seriously and Rick and Morty is the perfect antidote. Though the third season came out last summer, this is the kind of show you can easily re-watch at the end of a long day. Chronicling the interdimensional adventures of pre-pubescent Morty, alcoholic genius grandfather Rick, cripplingly insecure father Jerry, popularity-driven sister Summer, and fiercely independent mother Beth, this show takes the edge off of long days and injects some much-needed humour.

Must Play: Sid Meier’s Civilization VI

When I was in elementary school I bought Civilization IV at a Scholastic book fair because it looked cool. Nearly a decade later I’m still playing the Civilization series, with countless hours going into building my empire. Civilization VI is amazing because it allows you to take control of dozens of empires throughout Earth’s history. Civilizations like the Nubian, Zulu, Mongolian, Aztec, and British are at your disposal, each with their own perks. Balancing alliances with warmongering nations to understanding nuances like international trade, tourism, religion, culture, loyalty, nuclear weapons, and natural wonders makes for an exciting strategy game that you can easily spend hours on.

Colin Mitchell is a 4th year Politics (Honours) student and Editor in Chief of The Athenaeum