Whiskey, Wellness, and Wisdom

with Matthew Bachman

As I’m sitting here watching this, I’m keeping tabs on the Coronavirus as it’s inching its way in my direction. Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, which is about 49 miles from me, is on complete lock down. I realized that it is not really a question of if, rather when will I be forced into self-quarantine. When I can, I try to look on the brightside of things and figure that it should be great hance for me to catch up on some reading and movie watching. Then it occurred to me that perhaps some other people may have had the same thought, so I decided to compile a brief list to help you survive the boredom a Coronavirus self-quarantine.


This is a rather obvious book to add to the list. Stephen King’s take on a near world ending virus unleashed upon civilization is haunting to say the least. It introduces the infamous Randall Flagg which has become one of the most iconic villains in literary history. The book is huge which can be a bit intimidating for those that don’t have much time to read (it took me a month). If you haven’t read this book yet, now is the time.

Tick Tock by Dean Koontz

I’m honestly not the biggest Dean Koontz fan, but there was something about Tick Tock that sucked me in and made my skin crawl. The story follows Tommy Phan, a detective novelist, who one day finds a rag doll on his doorstep. That night, a mysterious force emerges from the doll, following Tommy wherever he goes. It’s a race against time to figure what the force is and how to stop it before it consumes him.

From the son of legendary Stephen King, Heart Shaped Box follows death-metal musician Judas Coyne who finds himself stuck in the realm of the supernatural after purchasing an old man’s suit off the internet which still inhabits the man’s spirit. I have not actually finished reading this book on this list, but I’m about a quarter of the way through it and I’m looking forward to seeing how it concludes.


Prodigy cover

The 2017 indie film recieved mix reviews and for the life of me I’m not entirely sure why. The film follows Dr. Fonda, a child psychologist, tasked with evaluating a child held at a military black site. The film makes very good use of its minimal sets and finds a way to engage the viewer not with explosions or gunshots, but with dialogue and acting. For a low budget flick, this movie packs a punch.

Angel Heart cover

This forgotten gem stars Mickey Rourke and Robert De Niro. Harry Angel (Rourke) is hired by a mysterious man named Louis Cyphre (De Niro) to track down a singer named Johnny Favorite who owes Cyphre a considerable debt. The movie is set in WW2 and has some of the most beautiful cinematography I have ever seen. The film can be a bit predictable at times, but the acting, set pieces, ominous atmosphere, and concept more than makes up for it. Silent Hill also happened to draw some inspiration from it, so there’s that.


I was a bit weary of this film when I saw that it had sparkling vampire Robert Pattinson in the leading role and an IMDB star rating of 5.0. But I decided to give it a chance because the film also stared Paul Giamatti and was directed by David Cronenberg. The film is difficult to put into words besides saying that it’s an awkward masterpiece that only Cronenberg could pull off. If you’re looking for a sneak peak of how Pattinson will be as billionaire playboy Bruce Wayne, then give this movie a watch.

That’s my list. There are so many other books and movies that I could add, but I wanted to limit myself to 3 a piece. If you have any suggestions, leave them in the comments.

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