Good news: you don’t have to go outside for months if you don’t want to. There’s enough good TV, music, books and podcasts being released soon that your cultural appetite could be comfortably satisfied during the winter will nary a need to leave the sofa.

And if you’re not the Netflix generation’s answer to the recluse billionaire Howard Hughes, there is plenty to keep you interested in the outside world, too. From event-level blockbusters to hedonistic hotspots to visit, we’ve rounded up all the cultural highlights you could need to see out winter in style.

What To Read

This Is Going To Hurt, by Adam Kay

Any book with the blurb ‘Hilarious – Charlie Brooker’ has to be good: Brooker might be the funniest man alive who isn’t a comedian. The book’s author, Adam Kay, actually is a comedian, and this memoir of his previous employment as a junior doctor is brutally funny. Asked to examine a man who thought his erection was so powerful it could stop the blades of a fan, Kay looks upon “an aubergine that had been attacked by a tiger” and ponders the poor man’s future, re-christened by all as “Knob-in-fan Persie”.

(Related: The 50 Books Every Man Should Read)

Buy Now: £5.99

Also On Our Radar

Artemis, by Andy Weir – the follow-up to The Martian is a heist caper set on the Moon (14 Nov); All Things Remembered, by Goldie – this memoir from the drum and bass legend is a bit mad and full of stories, not unlike the man himself (2 Nov).

What To Watch

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

No directors were harmed in the making of this movie: quite the surprise, given the sacking of the men calling the shots on Episode IX and the young Han Solo film.

Rian Johnson, who made Looper and the amazing, third-to-last episode of Breaking Bad where H––k d––s, is under no pressure whatsoever, then, directing the most anticipated movie ever. Mark Hamill as old Luke Skywalker is the key to it all, basically (14 Dec).

(Related: The Most Stylish Film Characters Of All Time)

Also On Our Radar

Blade Runner 2049 – the 30-year-on sequel surpasses all expectations (5 Oct). All The Money In The World – 1970s true-crime kidnap recap from Ridley ‘original Blade Runner’ Scott, with Spacey and Wahlberg (5 Jan).

What To Binge

Mindhunter, Netflix

“Without pervs I’d be nothing.” That is David Fincher, director of Se7en, Zodiac, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and Gone Girl, thanking the fans who lap up his killer tales (serial and otherwise) at the movies. His latest murderous enterprise is on Netflix, where he helped birth House Of Cards, and it’s a 10-parter based on true tales of the FBI unit that, in the 1970s, first spoke with convicted killers to help with ongoing cases.

Fincher’s unflashy but super-stylish technique drives a gripping slow-burner that you could say is The Wire meets The Silence of The Lambs – and everyone you told that to would admire your pigeonholing skills.

Also On Our Radar

Black Mirror, Netflix – another six future shocks from the masterful Charlie Brooker, rumoured for December; Stranger Things, Netflix – the second season of splendidly nostalgic sci-fi (27 Oct).

What To Stream

New Energy, by Four Tet

Kieran Hebden, best known by the stage name Four Tet, makes the sort of electronica that both dance fans and head-nodders love equally. It ends up in a thousand Spotify streams, gets playlisted on BBC 6 Music and mulled over by people who still review records for a living.

He is the only man alive who has remixed both Ellie Goulding and Black Sabbath. His new record is terrific: you can run to it, fill a car with it and it lifts a commute without giving you a case of the early-morning raves.

Also On Our Radar

Good Time OST, by Oneohtrix point never – synth soundtrack goodness from US electro wizard (out now); Who Built The Moon?, by Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – does everyone still like a bit of Noel? Yeah, we do (24 Nov).

What Country To Visit


Of course you don’t go to the Syrian border, and you stay on the beaten track in the capital Beirut, and then you have a fantastic time in one of the world’s great old cities.

An hour into the mountains north-east of Beirut is the resort of Mzaar Kfardebian, which has the best snowboarding in the Middle East. Yes, that sounds like bragging about having the best beach in the Arctic Circle, but there’s good snow from December to April and fantastic hotels, many with private lifts.

(Related: 9 Places You Have To Visit In 2017)

Also On Our Radar

Finland – 40 national parks, 20,000-island archipelago, Northern Lights visible on about 200 nights a year, three hours from London; Guadeloupe – this overseas French region is an overlooked jewel of the Caribbean.

What To Eat

Neapolitan Pizza

In Naples, they like football, pizza, pizza and football. And when they say ‘pizza’ they’re talking about the thinnest crust with tomato sauce and mozzarella flashed for a few minutes in a very hot oven. There’s even a trade body, the AVPN, with a rulebook dictating everything from how the pizza folds to what toppings are permitted.

There are two AVPN-approved pizzerias in the UK: A Casa Mia in Herne Bay and Cal’s Own in Newcastle. Our advice is to go to both, as soon as you can.

Also On Our Radar

South Indian food – if you’re trying to be a bit red-meat-free, this almost always is and certainly always is delicious; ‘Healthy’ fried chicken – free-range, fatty-free and popping up in trendy cities worldwide.

What To Listen To

30 For 30 Podcasts

The audio sibling of the magnificent ESPN documentary film series 30 For 30, as seen on BT Sport. The five episodes in season one touch on prison boxing, baccarat fraud, North Pole exploration, Reebok adverts and fan rivalry. Sport podcasts tend to be bantz of varying quality; these are proper radio productions. Outstanding stuff.

(Related: 10 Podcasts That Will Make You A More Interesting Man)

Also On Our Radar

Criminal – before Serial, and after, there is this series of brilliant crime docs and crime culture deep-dives; Homecoming – two seasons of a psychological thriller drama, with a Hollywood cast including Oscar Isaac.

What To Follow

Scarfolk, @scarfolk

On Facebook, Twitter and a good old-fashioned blog, follow the dystopian vision of a northern English provincial town “that did not progress past 1979”. It’s as if The Wicker Man was a documentary, and this is the local council’s newspaper. Excellent modern satire.

Also On Our Radar

@Internetofshit – hilarious Twitter feed exposing dumb, downright wrong tech; @finishedplayers – this where-are-they-now and this-is-them-then round-up of ex-pro footballers is random but all the better for it.