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Weekend Recs: Puzzles and Mysteries

Happy Friday, Wildcats! Falvey Library is delivering you another semester of Weekend Recs, a blog dedicated to filling you in on what to read, listen to, and watch over the weekend. Annie, a graduate assistant from the Communication department, scours the internet, peruses the news, and digs through book stacks to find new, relevant, and thought-provoking content that will challenge you and prepare you for the upcoming week.

As we embark deeper into the semester, workloads and, consequently, stress levels are bound to increase. Sometimes, it is helpful during this time to find activities that allow you to “turn off” your brain, such as talking a walk or watching something “mindless.” Yet, other times, it’s helpful to take time to do an activity that is both fun and stimulating, something cathartic and relieving to get a dopamine boost. Puzzles, riddles, and mysteries are all great examples of this.

A great opportunity for a study break, this weekend’s recs share some ways to take a break from the stress while still engaging your brain. Of course, if you have an actual jigsaw puzzle or a Rubik’s Cube, now’s the time to use them, but here are some recs that require no supplies.

Photo by Sigmund on Unsplash

If you have 5 minutes…and haven’t already solved it, try to solve today’s Wordle.

Bonus: if you’re into puzzles of all sorts, try out some of the other New York Times games, including Letter Boxed, The Mini (Crossword), Spelling Bee, Sudoku, Tiles, and Vertex.

If you have 10 minutes…and good with numbers, try out Killer Sudoku, a slightly more math-oriented version of Sudoku. Don’t let the name fool you, it’s (arguably) easier than regular Sudoku, as long as you’re half-decent at mental math.

If you have 15 minutes…and are looking for a light study-break activity, check out this book of riddles, available online through Falvey. It’ll keep your brain engaged without the stress and pressure that comes along with homework, papers, and exams.

Bonus: check out some of Falvey’s other puzzling holdings, including this book of puzzles for art-lovers, this book of grammar-centric crossword puzzles, these DCDE puzzle poems (featured in Meg Piorko’s Weekly Pic), and this sports trivia book.

If you have 1 hour and 52 minutes…and want to watch a classic mystery thriller, watch Rear Window, available in Falvey’s DVD Collection. The film follows Jeff, a recovering news photographer stuck in his house using a wheelchair after an accident, as he unravels a (potential) murder he believes he witnessed through his window.

Bonus: for more puzzling movie recommendations, check out this list.

Photo by Wonderlane on Unsplash

If you have 4 hours and 14 minutes…and want to solve a less anxiety-inducing mystery, watch Enola Holmes and Enola Holmes 2. Featuring stars like Millie Bobby Brown and Henry Cavill, this series follows younger sister of famed detective Sherlock Holmes as she solves the disappearance of her mother and embarks on her own sleuthing journey.

If you have 5 hours…and want to read a book from famed mystery novel titan Agatha Christie, read And Then There Were None, available through interlibrary loan. Based on a nursery rhyme and set on a mysterious private island where 10 strangers are invited, this standalone novel from Christie is both a good introduction to her work (requiring no prior knowledge of her recurring characters) and a riveting ride of murder and mystery.

Bonus: if you’re interested in reading (and solving) even more Agatha Christie mysteries, check out this collection of novels from her Hercule Poirot series, including the two recent adapted-for-the-screen books, Murder on the Orient Express and Death on the Nile, available at Falvey.

If you have 6 hours…and want to read a puzzling mystery novel, read Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, available through inter-library loan. This relatively recent release will have you solving the mysteries of a puzzling bookstore alongside Clay, the main character.

Annie Stockmal is a graduate student in the Communication Department and graduate assistant in Falvey Library.



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Last Modified: March 31, 2023

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