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What to Read and Watch During COVID-19: Recommendations from Indagare’s Global Conversation Speakers

As we dive into our second week of Global Conversations, a Zoom series hosted by Indagare Founder and CEO Melissa Biggs Bradley that features friends and heroes she has met on the road (part of our Indagare Global Classroom virtual travel program), we have been amazed by the insight and inspiration that these sessions have generated. Here, we have gathered the books, films and TV series that guests from the talks have recommended to keep you calm, sane and entertained during this time.

Explore our upcoming Indagare Global Classroom and Global Conversation programming—and email us at content@indagare.com to share your own recommendations and requests for future sessions!

India Hicks

The granddaughter of Lord Mountbatten and daughter of legendary designer David Hicks, India Hicks moved from the UK to Harbour Island and transformed “island living” into an enviable lifestyle. Now, the writer, interior designer and former model is focused on raising her family in the Caribbean and helping to rebuild her home island after the devastation of Hurricane Irma.

What I’m Reading:

“I’ve just read Lady in Waiting by Anne Glenconner, which is highly amusing and very thought-provoking—an example of someone who kept going—and there are funny bits in that. I would highly recommend it.”

What I’m Watching:

“We all had to do Tiger King on Netflix—it is pretty sensational when you think that’s Florida right there, just across the ocean, and that’s going on! And The Night Of on HBO. It’s fantastic.”

What I’m Listening To:

Along with taking care of her five children, who range in age from 12 to 23, India is also producing The India Hicks Podcast (available on Apple Podcasts) with her mother, Lady Pamela Hicks, who, she says, is really the star of the show. “Her comedic timing is just perfect, so I just started posting little snippets of her and then it grew from there. She was confused—Why would people want to listen to her? It’s terribly informal…mostly we just sit and chat….And then I started realizing how valuable her experiences have been…She has a lot to say.” 

Read the full recap of this Global Conversation here.

Martina Mondadori

The founder and editor of design bible Cabana magazine, as well as a published author, Martina is a major figure of the Milan style scene. Two years ago, she co-hosted our first-ever Insider Journeys to Milan, where she welcomed our travelers to her mother’s Renzo Mongiardino-designed apartment, as well as other amazing villas and houses in Milan and on Lake Como. 

What I’m Reading:

“I am re-reading one of my favorite books from my twenties, Love in the Time of Cholera, by Gabriel García Márquez. It feels safe because it is something I know—but it’s also topical. I am reading now with a completely different mindset than I had then, so that has been interesting. I have also been reading a lot about Ottoman culture.”

What I’m Watching:

“[The other night] I watched Four Weddings and a Funeral and tonight it is Notting Hill. I have also been going back to my favorites, like Out of Africa and Gone With the Wind.

Read the Indagare Insider Interview with Martina here.

Elizabeth Lesser

The co-founder of the Omega Institute—a nonprofit, holistic educational organization—and the best-selling author of Broken Open, Elizabeth Lesser has been called “the godmother of mainstream enlightenment” by Indagare CEO and Founder Melissa Biggs Bradley, who has joined her in co-hosting several Insider Journey retreats to Sedona that are focused on mindfulness and personal growth. 

What I’m Reading:

  • A Knock at Midnight: The Great Sermons of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chödrön
  • A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle
  • Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl
  • The Sunday Paper by Maria Shriver (Blog)

What I’m Watching:

“I’m a TV junkie. I love the whole spectrum, from American Idol—so comforting—to a series on Amazon called The Restaurant. It’s amazing.” You can also stream Elizabeth’s live Zoom conversations with thought leaders, authors and philanthropists on the Omega Facebook page

Plus, explore these books by Elizabeth…

  • Broken Open
  • The Seeker’s Guide
  • Marrow: Love, Loss, and What Matters Most
  • Coming Soon: Cassandra Speaks: When Women Are the Storytellers, the Human Story Changes 

Read the full recap of this Global Conversation here.

Meryanne Loum-Martin

Entrepreneur, designer, world traveler and owner of boutique hotel Jnane Tamsna, Meryanne Loum-Martin has helped to put Marrakech on the map for design lovers. Her new book, Inside Marrakech, surveys 30 years of Moroccan style and is out from Rizzoli in October.

What I’m Reading:

Anarchy by William Dalrymple—and I’m hoping to feature him on my new forum AFRƎEculture. The book is thick—I just started—and I think he’s one of the best historian specialists of India. His books are riveting, like a thriller, and the subject of this book is the East India Company.” 

What I’m Watching:

“We just finished watching Uncorked on Netflix. It’s very interesting; it follows an African American family whose son is obsessed by becoming a sommelier, and the rest of his family doesn’t even know how to pronounce the name. His father has a barbecue joint and they feel that they have achieved something, and the son can continue it, but he’s only interested in becoming a sommelier. My family is interested in stories with a clash of culture.”

Read the Indagare Insider Interview with Meryanne here.

Nadine Labaki

Lebanese actress and activist filmmaker Nadine Labaki began her career in front of the camera, but last year she was nominated for a Palme d’Or at Cannes and an Oscar for her film about Syrian refugees, Capernaum. More recently, she has been raising funds with NGOs to focus on her country’s economic crisis. 

What I’m Reading:

“Actually, I’m reading lots of different scripts right now. I’m not reading a specific book. I have like 30 or 40 scripts to read.”

What I’m Watching:

“A few days ago I watched the beautiful series Fleabag, written by Phoebe Waller-Bridge (available on Amazon Prime Video). I really loved it. I also just watched a documentary that I would recommend: Tomorrow, from Mélanie Laurent and Cyril Dion, which is about alternative ways of living and alternative ways of thinking [about sustainable energy].”

Plus, explore these films which either star or are directed by Nadine…

  • Caramel
  • Where Do We Go Now?
  • Capernaum

Read the Indagare Insider Interview with Nadine here.

Norbert Niederkofler

Chef Norbert Niederkofler of the three-Michelin-star Restaurant St. Hubertus at Rosa Alpina in the Italian Dolomites is changing the way the world’s finest chefs think about sustainability. After working at top restaurants in Europe and the U.S, Norbert returned to his native region more than 20 years ago and began earning Michelin stars with a unique focus on regional cuisine. He is also the owner of AlpiNN Food Space and Restaurant. 

What I’m Reading:

  • Le Voyage d’Hector ou la Recherche du bonheur (Hector and the Search for Happiness) by François Lelord
  • On the Road by Jack Kerouac

What I’m Watching:

  • Chef’s Table (on Netflix)

Plus, explore this book by Norbert…

  • Cook the Mountain: The Nature Around You

Josh and Alissa Ruxin

Josh and Alissa Ruxin moved to Rwanda in 2005 to work on improving healthcare and fighting poverty in the early days of a country emerging from “unspeakably dark times.” Their original aim was to provide sustainable employment for orphans of the genocide and to create a gathering place for food-lovers—the restaurant Heaven, which is now a must-visit in Kigali—but the project has since expanded to include the city’s best boutique hotel, the Retreat at Heaven.

What We’re Reading:

  • Alissa: Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance
  • Josh: Let The Great World Spin by Colum McCann

What We’re Watching:

  • Better Call Saul (on Netflix)
  • Insecure (on HBO)
  • Killing Eve (on Hulu)
  • Synonyms (A French-Israeli film directed by Nadav Lapid)

Plus, explore this book by Josh Ruxin…

  • A Thousand Hills to Heaven: Love, Hope, and a Restaurant in Rwanda

Read “The People We Meet Along The Way: Rwanda” here.

Luke Bailes

The founder and Executive Chairman of Singita turned his family’s retreat on the edge of Kruger National Park into a safari ecotourism brand with a 100-year vision for conservation that spans four countries and has protected almost a million acres of Africa’s most pristine wilderness. 

What I’m Reading:

“I’m interested in arts and architecture, and people who have been successful in various fields. I’m a news junkie and I am an avid reader.” 

What I’m Watching:

“I love documentaries. Interviews with interesting people. I’ve been reading David Rubenstein’s interviews on Bloomberg, as well as a documentary on Frank Sinatra [All or Nothing at All]. And Inside Bill’s Brain.”

Hoda Baroudi and Maria Hibri

The founders of Beirut-based design company Bokja have brought together the artisanship and heritage of skilled craftsmen across the Middle East, while creating new ways in which political activism and high design can be woven together in a forward-thinking Lebanon.

What We’re Reading:

  • Hoda: Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf and Go With Me (also known as Blackway) by Castle Freeman, Jr.

What We’re Watching:

  • Hoda: Endeavour (a British series on PBS) and the nightly news
  • Maria: Tiger King and Unorthodox (on Netflix)

Read the Indagare Insider Interview with Hoda and Maria here.

Daniel Katz

Co-founder and former president and CEO of Rainforest Alliance Daniel Katz is a leader in environmental philanthropy, biodiversity conservation and sustainable consumption, as well as the future of ecotourism. 

What I’m Reading:

  • Normal People by Sally Rooney
  • Caffeine by Michael Pollan (on Audible)
  • The Overstory by Richard Powers

What I’m Watching:

“I thought Unorthodox on Netflix was beautifully made. My family is still watching the news a lot, and I’ve watched the series The Boys with my kids (available on Amazon Prime Video).”

Explore our upcoming Indagare Global Classroom and Global Conversation programming—and email us at content@indagare.com to share your own recommendations and requests for future sessions!

– Elizabeth Harvey on April 22, 2020

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