Five good reads: seeing yourself on screen, a nice swamp and funny videos to soothe bad vibes | Australia news

IIt’s New Year’s Eve and you’ve seen yourself on Five Great Reads, a newsletter where we put together a daily reading list to keep you going through the summer. And by “we” I mean Alyx Gorman, the lifestyle editor at Guardian Australia.

“But wait, are not newsletters supposed to appear in my inbox?” I hear you ask. Yes, that’s exactly where they are meant to be displayed, so if you are reading this in a different way and would like to read it as an email, simply enter your address in the box below.

However, Australia is not exactly ready for a big party to see 2021, given the year that saved its highest Covid case figure in the end. How high? Well, Doherty Institute modeling says we can reach 100,000 daily cases in a matter of weeks. So there it is.

But we have at least quick antigen tests to help us make informed decisions now – oh wait, they’re doubled in price. Rats!

Meanwhile, the queues for PCR test clinics are so long and the results are coming so slowly that many potentially Covid-positive people have not been able to get their status confirmed.

With the deeply grim bang of Covid news out of the way, let’s move on to something less contagious.

1. Guardian Australia readers are having a YouTube party

Here is a summary of the funniest things on the Internet that you have chosen, in 2021.

Why should I look at this? It will make you feel better.

How? It features ugly bird names, scary snowmen and a mysterious and scary pastry.

The funniest things, the reader edition 2021
The funniest things, the reader edition 2021. Composed: Jay Karl, Scott Seiss, The Juice Media

2. When ‘which actor would play you?’ is not hypothetical

It can actually be surreal and a little awful when your life story ends up on TV – which these writers who have had their memories adapted to the screen are willing to share.

Remarkable quote: “It would be a lie to say that I can completely depersonalize it,” Dolly Alderton admits. “There were definitely moments in the process of hashing stories where I realized that when I defended Maggie [her on screen character], I actually defended myself. ”

How long does it take to read? About three minutes.

Ben Whishaw as Adam Kay in BBC One's adaptation of This Is Going To Hurt.
Ben Whishaw as Adam Kay in BBC One’s adaptation of This Is Going To Hurt. Photo: Screen Grab / PA

A swamp that does not need to be drained

The town of Goulburn in NSW is no longer just known for the Big Merino, but now has a thriving wetland project, as Nigel Featherstone tells in this delightful story.

Concluding sentence without context: “Thank you,” the dog airs. “We appreciate it so much.”

Goulburn wetlands
Goulburn wetlands Photo: Nigel Featherstone

4. Resolutions: the reading list

Cultural historian Anna Katharina Schaffner chooses her 10 best books on improving oneself.

But I hate self-help. Then this is something for you: The secret does not work here; Dante does.
How long will it take me to read? About three minutes. The books will take a little longer, but no one said the change is coming fast.

5. This year’s ingredients

From the most delicious variety of turnips to a flower that gives a pricey punch, 19 chefs, growers and food writers share their favorite culinary components from 2021.

Kantan flowers - one of 19 ingredients chosen as a favorite in 2021.
Kantan flowers – one of 19 ingredients chosen as a favorite in 2021. Photo: Ellinur Bakarudin / Alamy

What is in it for me? It’s a long read (about 10 minutes or so), but it will make you a better homemade food. I should know that. After I edited it, I immediately adjusted my shopping list.

What else is in it for me? You have to share yours favorite ingredient at the end. Fun!

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