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The Anti-Productivity Suggestions

We are definitely fans of you finishing your thesis or dissertation, but we understand that there are times when you just need a little breather from getting work done. This page serves as a resource from the PROMISE/CIRTL team. We asked our team members to input some information into the categories below. The following recommendations are for slightly less-productive but fun ways to enjoy some time wherever you are. Enjoy!


Book recommendations: 

  • Robin: Wool by Hugh Howey (post-apocalyptic page-turner with a female protagonist)
  • Yarazeth: The Accursed Kings is a series of historical novels by author Maurice Druon about the French monarchy in the 14th century. Easy read, a lot of drama and scandals are involved.
  • Hector: The Martian by Andy Weir (this became a movie in 2015 with Matt Damon)
  • Shawnisha: The Warmest December by Bernice L. McFadden
  • Tracy: The Dry by Jane Harper (mystery based on a mid-western farm community – similar to where I grew up
TV show recommendations: 
  • Robin: Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu)
  • Yarazeth: Grace and Frankie, Ozark, One day at a time (Netflix)
  • Hector: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (Netflix)
  • Shawnisha: Little Fires Everywhere (Hulu)
  • Tracy: War of the Worlds (in Season 1 on EPIX)
Movie recommendations: 
  • Robin: Shawshank Redemption (1994, on Netflix) – old but amazingly still good
  • Yarazeth: Train to Busan (best zombie movie)
  • Hector: Miracle, Limitless (both on Netflix)
  • Shawnisha: Fences
  • Tracy: The Good Liar
Podcast recommendations: 
  • Robin: RadioLab (try the Lost and Found episode)
  • Yarazeth: Modern Figures Podcast (by a UMBC alumni Dr. Kyla McMullen)
  • Hector: Minority Mindset (this is not a podcast, it is a channel on Youtube that talks about finance: real estate, investments, money smarts, etc.)
  • Shawnisha: I don’t have one
  • Tracy: Science Vs (many recent ones on the Coronavirus)