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Last Call is The Takeout’s online watering hole where you can chat, share recipes, and use the comment section as an open thread. Here’s what we’ve been reading/watching/listening around the office today.

Very Bad Poetry

One of the best birthday gifts I received this year was a copy of Very Bad Poetry, an anthology edited by Kathryn and Ross Petras. As the editor of my high school’s literary magazine, I’d already read a lot of very bad poetry—usually involving the word soul and horrible rhyme schemes—but some of the poems included herein take the cake. [Kate Bernot]

Deep Work


This is perhaps the most profound book I’ve read so far this year. Side note: I’m endlessly fascinated by sleep science, and what I’ve learned about deep sleep is that it’s the most restorative of the sleep stages. In that spirit, this fascinating book by author and computer programmer Cal Newport deals with the idea of deep work, a state of intense focus that helps you master cognitively demanding tasks. One of the more eye-opening revelations from Deep Work is the idea that our brains have been wired to reject boredom—we can’t even go to the bathroom without checking our phones. This book, along with my renewed interest in meditation (plus removing Twitter and Facebook from my browser bookmarks) has already made a big difference in my productivity in 2018. [Kevin Pang]