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Stay-at-home survival picks: 5 more things to watch, read and play while you shelter in place

MinnPost staff-recommended picks to tide you over during your coronavirus bunkering.

Mia Goth and Anya Taylor-Joy in "Emma."
Working Title Films

Back in ancient times — otherwise known as a few weeks ago — we put together a list of recommendations by MinnPost staffers to help you get through Minnesota’s stay-at-home order: books, movies and TV shows that are worth your time. Now that Gov. Tim Walz has extended his order, we’ve decided to come back with some additional recommendations. 

Book: “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society,” by Mary Ann Shaffer

I had some real ambitions to read nonfiction and catch up on “good” TV shows while I’m in social isolation. Guess what? I have not. Instead, I’ve found myself gravitating toward escape. This week, I watched the movie adaptation of “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society,” (it was OK) and decided to re-read the book. Sure, it’s kind of a rom-dram, about a book club that formed during the Nazi occupation of Guernsey, an island on the English Channel. But it’s a charming story set in the aftermath of World War II, which is just enough of a reminder that people have lived through much worse than COVID-19 (I hope). —Greta Kaul, data reporter

Movie/book: “Emma.” on Amazon Prime Video, and “Emma,” by Jane Austen

The 2020 film version of Jane Austen’s novel sparkles, with a strong cast (Bill Nighy as Emma’s father is unforgettable), quick pacing and terrific music. One quibble: Mr. Knightley is way too young. I reread the book afterwards and appreciated in retrospect the film’s choice of scenes to carry the story. –Susan Albright, managing editor

Julian Barratt, Olivia Colman, and Leila Hoffman in an episode of "Flowers."
Channel 4 Television Corporation
Julian Barratt, Olivia Colman, and Leila Hoffman in an episode of "Flowers."
Television: “Flowers,” Netflix

If you enjoy British humor — the darker, the better — I invite you to visit the Flowers family. At two seasons and twelve episodes, it’s a quick binge featuring depressed children’s author Maurice (Julian Barratt), his music teacher wife Deborah (Academy Award-winner Olivia Colman), their twin twenty-somethings and Maurice’s senile mother Hattie (Leila Hoffman). Brilliantly written and directed by Will Sharpe (who also plays Maurice’s Japanese illustrator Shun), “Flowers” delves into depression, rage, drunk driving, divorce, suicide, mental illness, and other hilarious topics. Enjoy! —Corey Anderson, creative director

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Game: “Stardew Valley”

Yes, a lot of people are playing Animal Crossing. But instead of that, I recommend trying your hand at farming, fishing, and mining with a few friends. Stardew Valley is, for the most part, a relaxed game where you can exist as a part of a vibrant community, sans-pandemic, from the comfort of your own home. —Gabe Schneider, Washington correspondent 

Game: “Cities: Skylines”

Remember the magic of Sim City (or, even better Sim City 2000)? Cities: Skylines updates those city-building classics with way more flexibility and a borderline-obsessive level of detail. So sure, you’re going to be laying out a street grid and zoning for residential, commercial and industrial, but it goes way deeper. Do you want to pass a law providing your residents with free smoke alarms? You can do that. And while I heartily recommend this game, I have to confess that I haven’t gotten that far in it: I’ve restarted it too many times trying to tweak the layout of my water infrastructure and power grid to achieve maximum efficiency. There’s something really soothing about putting together an orderly little city, particularly in these times. Cities: Skylines is available on Steam and other platforms and there are tons of expansions and mods available. —Tom Nehil, news editor