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MinnPost Picks: on Bruce Willis, plant people and ‘Slow Horses’

Our weekly roundup of recommended reading, listening or viewing by MinnPost’s staff and contributing journalists.

Bruce Willis is stepping away from acting after being diagnosed with the language disorder aphasia.
Bruce Willis is stepping away from acting after being diagnosed with the language disorder aphasia.
REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

“This is not a story about Bruce Willis,” Washington Post
Following the announcement that actor Bruce Willis would be stepping away from the spotlight after being diagnosed with aphasia, Travis M. Andrews interviewed a Maryland landscaper who’s been the actor’s body double in 13 films. After years of rejections and detours, Eric Buarque’s dream of working with his favorite action star came to fruition in 2006 when he doubled for Willis in “Live Free or Die Hard.” —Corey Anderson, creative director

“How to Unionize at Amazon,” The New Yorker
It’s another Amazon unionizing read, but this time from E. Tammy Kim, who I appreciate all the time. She tells parts of the story that I haven’t seen anywhere else. —Jonathan Stegall, user experience engineer

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“The Secrets of the Plant People,” Culture Study
Millennials think they invented being obsessed with house plants, but they didn’t. In this installment of her newsletter, Culture Study, Anne Helen Petersen looks at the house plant boom and the “plant people” of the ’60s and ’70s. And that wasn’t even the first time this happened — it was an echo of the Victorian fixation with house plants. What makes Petersen’s writing fun is that she takes a topic that feels familiar and explores the history and the cultural forces behind it, whether it’s mommy bloggers or Peloton. —Greta Kaul, data reporter

“Slow Horses,” Apple TV+
Andrew PutzConsider yourself warned: “Slow Horses,” a new show about a crew of screwups in the U.K. domestic security service, MI5, is in fact kinda slow, at least if you’re grading on a Shonda-Rhimes-ian curve. And Apple also hasn’t yet dropped all the episodes (Hello, what decade is this?) so maybe it’ll eventually go off the rails. But the first three episodes are fun and funny and le Carré-esque in the best ways — and not just because of Gary Oldman’s exquisitely shambolic turn as the group’s foul-mouthed leader. —Andy Putz, editor