Read, Drink, Listen: June 2018

Read: Alyssa Mastromonaco

Alyssa Mastromonaco was the former deputy chief of staff to President Barack Obama and the youngest woman to have held that position. Funny, chatty and highly entertaining, she gives readers a peek into what life as a White House staffer was actually like, and her unique perspective as a 30-something female in her position is what truly sets apart her approachable memoir, Who Thought This Was a Good Idea?: And Other Questions You Should Have Answers to When You Work in the White House. She primarily focuses on her almost 10 years on Obama’s staff as he went from senator to president, but also covers her path to that position as well as her transition from the White House. And lest any readers be tempted to shy away from a political memoir, Mastromonaco manages to share her memories and inside look into D.C. in such a way readers from any political affiliation can enjoy it. —Raela Schoenherr

Drink: Bordeaux

For June, I’ve chosen a terrific Bordeaux. Whether you are well-versed or just diving into the world of wine, Bordeaux should not remain a mystery. Since it’s from arguably the most heralded wine region in the world, the prices for good Bordeaux can be astronomic, but there are great values to be had as well. La Fleur Peyrabon is a great wine in what you might call the “mid tier,” running at $39.99 for the 2012 vintage. From the Pauillac region in Bordeaux, this is a cabernet sauvignon-based wine, with varying amounts of merlot and cabernet franc rounding out the blend. This is just the wine for lovers of big, bold wine and perfect for barbecue season with red meat. —Kevin Castellano

Listen: Miguel

Miguel was born in Los Angeles and has been hustling in the entertainment industry since age 5, when he wanted to be a dancer. He began making music in his early teens and is now part of the new generation of rhythm and blues prodigies, including the likes of Frank Ocean and The Weeknd. On his fourth studio effort, War & Leisure, Miguel certainly proves he can be as bombastic as fellow neo-soul crooner Bruno Mars, but also shows off his nuance, particularly on the opener “Criminal.” Traces of Prince linger throughout the record, and the diminutive Miguel definitely resembles the late Purple Yoda onstage in his flashy outfits. Miguel’s vocals frequently drift into the rock ’n’ roll realm, always showing off his range and mastery of dynamics. War & Leisure is perfect for a chill backyard barbecue party or boating session on the lake. —Sean Schultz