Some of us take just a few days off over Christmas. Others book in solid weeks of downtime. Whichever way you lean, a little planning can go a long way. Ahead, check out our list of the events, films, concerts, albums and books to pencil into your to-do list this summer. If you’re looking for the LOLs, check out this US teen’s summer bucket list. It’s… ambitious, to say the least.
READ: Gold Dust Woman: The Biography of Stevie Nicks
Much has been written about rock legend Stevie Nicks over the years, but Stephen Davis, America’s preeminent rock biographer, is ready to take his turn with Gold Dust Woman: The Biography of Stevie Nicks. Here, Davis delves into the nitty-gritty details: the relationships that inspired Nicks’ best songs; how Nicks came to join Fleetwood Mac; how Nicks survived years of alcohol and drug dependency. The list goes on. It would be hard to find a rock and roll fan who couldn’t find something to love in this must-read biography.
WATCH: Lady Bird
Not every actress can successfully make the leap into screenwriting and directing, but Greta Gerwig is not every actress. Enter: Lady Bird, Gerwig’s picture-perfect directorial debut. Lady Bird tells the story of strong-willed teenager Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson (Saoirse Ronan) and her family as they navigate Christine’s final years of school before heading off to college. Lady Bird is set in the early 2000s, and even the trailer gives viewers a sense of nostalgia. If that’s not enough to convince you, consider this: the film received a standing ovation when it premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. Add it to your must-see list, STAT.
DO: Sydney’s St. George Open Air Cinema
Held annually in Sydney during January and February, the St George Open Air Cinema is a must-do for filmaholics. You can catch the latest movies (and previews) against a backdrop that includes the Opera House, Harbour Bridge and Sydney’s stunning skyline. Even better, you can enjoy dinner and drinks from leading restaurants – think Aria – making this a great all-around experience.
If you love a heart-warming story, set your sights on Wonder. The film follows August “Auggie” Pullman (Jacob Tremblay) as he prepares to enter fifth grade. Here’s the catch: Auggie was born with a facial difference and has never been to a mainstream school. With the help of his mother Isabel (Julia Roberts) and father Nate (Owen Wilson), Auggie teaches his classmates – and us – that real beauty comes from within.
HEAR: Dirty John
Dirty John is the latest true crime podcast to have everyone talking – with good reason. The compelling story, narrated by LA Times journalist Christopher Goffard, draws us into the world of successful interior designer Debra Newell. Debra has just met John Meehan, a handsome doctor who seems to be everything she ever wanted. But as all true crime podcast enthusiasts know, nothing is ever as it sounds. No spoilers here. Just listen!
READ: The Sun and Her Flowers
The Sun and Her Flowers is the long-awaited and heavily pre-ordered second collection of poetry from Rupi Kaur, the New York Times bestselling author. Kaur got her start on the web, specifically on Instagram, and has quickly risen to fame thanks to her inspiring and pleasingly uncomplicated poetry. This book is a light-hearted “celebration of love,” which couldn’t be a better way to kick off your new year.
DO: Falls Festival
Falls Festival takes place in four different locations – Lorne, Marion Bay, Byron Bay, and Fremantle – over the New Year’s period. Flume will headline the revered music and arts festival, while Fleet Foxes, Foster the People, and Liam Gallagher are the other big-name acts to round out the lineup. Tickets are selling fast, though, so if you’re looking for an excellent way to ring in 2018, get cracking.
SEE: Molly’s Game
Molly Bloom (Jessica Chastain) becomes the target of an FBI investigation when it’s discovered she runs an exclusive high-stakes poker game for celebrities, sports stars, business tycoons and the Russian mob. It sounds like a Hollywood fable, but Molly’s Game, which tells the story of Bloom, is based on a real-life story. Jessica Chastain shines as always and is getting some Oscar buzz for her role. What else can we say?
READ: The Power
If you watched The Handmaid’s Tale earlier this year and found it frightening yet compelling, make sure you pick up a copy of The Power. Author Naomi Alderman will transport you into a world of characters that seem familiar: an ambitious American politician; a tough London girl; a troubled foster kid. Then, the world changes. Teenage girls suddenly become able to release electrical jolts from their fingertips, giving them immense power in the world. A television series based on the book is in the works, but why wait? In Naomi Alderman’s world, women are in charge.