Home / World News / Chicken Soup for the Weary Soul and the Rise of Mindful Drinking: The Week in Narrated Articles

Chicken Soup for the Weary Soul and the Rise of Mindful Drinking: The Week in Narrated Articles

This weekend, listen to a collection of narrated articles from around The New York Times, read aloud by the reporters who wrote them.

“What excites me in the kitchen, and what provides the most joy, is when I accidentally tap into something old, an involuntary memory,” Eric Kim, a Times food columnist, wrote. “Something I had forgotten in the depths of my mind, like the simple smell of a chicken boiling in water.”

It is this kind of cooking that he wants to do in the new year. Finding joyful moments in cooking can feel impossible after another difficult year, but for him, it’s a worthy resolution.

Written and narrated by Brooks Barnes

Hollywood is down in the dumps. Oscar hopefuls like “King Richard,” “Nightmare Alley” and “West Side Story” have sputtered, and everyone knows that the Omicron variant is only partly to blame. One storied studio, 20th Century Fox, vanished in 2019, and another, the venerable Warner Bros., is slashing theatrical output by almost half. Unless regulators do something unexpected, Amazon will soon swallow Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Streaming services are ending a moviegoing era.

However, there is at least one place where Hollywood feels undiminished. Step into the 88-year-old Polo Lounge and return to a time when movies indisputably commanded the culture.

Written and narrated by Dani Blum

Dry January offers your body and mind a chance to reset and reflect after the seasonal bloat and weariness. For a vocal movement, the approach of scaling back drinking to live more fully in the moment can, and should, happen year-round. Rather than cutting out alcohol entirely, though, a growing number of people are “sober curious,” exploring elements of a booze-free lifestyle without fully abstaining.

“Mindful drinking,” a phrase and philosophy that brings the self-reflection of meditation to a glass of wine or beer, has become increasingly commonplace in recent years.

Here are some tips for becoming more thoughtful about alcohol from experts and “sober curious” veterans.

Written and narrated by Jennifer Szalai

In the year since the rampage at the Capitol, chatter about a 21st-century American civil war has seeped from the fringes into the mainstream.

When Barbara F. Walter began writing “How Civil Wars Start” in 2018, the few people who heard that it was “about a possible second civil war in America” thought it was “an exercise in fear-mongering,” she writes in her acknowledgments, “perhaps even irresponsible.” That “even” gives you a sense of Walter’s cautious inclinations. As a political scientist who has spent her career studying conflicts in other countries, she approaches her work methodically, patiently gathering her evidence before laying out her case.

In the United States, many people with compromised immune systems are sidestepping government guidelines and receiving unauthorized fourth or fifth shots of a coronavirus vaccine.

The Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are in charge of determining when additional doses should be administered, but some patients and their doctors feel that federal agencies have acted too slowly to protect the most vulnerable.

Israel has already begun rolling out fourth shots — Prime Minister Naftali Bennett announced on Sunday that the country would offer additional shots to people age 60 and over, as well as to medical workers, becoming the first country to roll out an additional booster so broadly.

By comparison, the C.D.C. updated its guidelines in late October to say that immunocompromised groups would be eligible for a fourth dose six months after a third. But as new variants like Omicron arise and vaccination rates continue to be sluggish in many areas, worrying those with weak immune systems, many of them are getting extra shots without being certain of whether they are safe or effective.

The Times’s narrated articles are made by Tally Abecassis, Parin Behrooz, Anna Diamond, Sarah Diamond, Jack D’Isidoro, Aaron Esposito, Elena Hecht, Adrienne Hurst, Elisheba Ittoop, Emma Kehlbeck, Marion Lozano, Tanya Pérez, Krish Seenivasan, Margaret H. Willison, Kate Winslett, John Woo and Tiana Young. Special thanks to Sam Dolnick, Ryan Wegner, Julia Simon and Desiree Ibekwe.

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