Leslie's List: Spooky Nights, Roast Chicken, and Halloween DIYs

The best things to eat, do, and read this week.
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The best things to eat, do, and read this week.
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This to-do list culled directly from my own calendar and interests. Most everything on the list can be done no matter where you live, but because I live in L.A., my "Do" each week will spotlight a unique L.A.-based event or activity. If you're inspired by any of these tips or have some of your own to add, I'd love to hear about it in the comments below! Enjoy!

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Get prepped for Halloween with a spooky movie or exhibit—like Guillermo del Toro’s (Pan’s Labyrinth and Crimson Peak, among others) retrospective at LACMA in Los Angeles in which he recreates both monsters from his movies and images from lucid dreams he had as a child. The exhibit, which runs through November 27 is just the thing to get in the spirit. If you’re in the L.A. area, you can buy tickets here, or rent his movies on iTunes here.

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Daniel Humm's restaurant at the Manhattan-based Nomad hotel is best known for four things: its dark corners, truffle chicken, tiki-inspired cocktails, and incredible burger. But really, it's all about the chicken. I recently made the recipe from their cookbook, substituting the black truffle and foie gras for black truffle butter (sold at Whole Foods) and it was pretty darn close to the real thing. P.S., If you're in the L.A. area, head to The Line Hotel in Koreatown where the Nomad's first food truck (which launched at Desert Trip) is parked through the end of November.

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When I read Karen Brissette's lukewarm review of the thriller Good as Gone in the L.A. Review of Books, I had already purchased it so I left it on my bedside table, untouched. In the spirit of Halloween, I picked it back up and, to my surprise, devoured it in two days. While it may be uninteresting to someone more familiar with Elizabeth Smart's case (it has a lot of parallels), I found it to be a fun, quick, scary read that provided some relief between denser books. As for my next book, I'll be diving into The Sellout by Paul Beatty, which has also been sitting on my bedside table some time, as it won the Man Booker Prize yesterday—it's the first time an American writer has received the award.

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A coworker turned me onto BBC's Black Mirror years ago, and I've been waiting for the new season to come out pretty much since I plowed through the first two in one weekend. The show had me captivated for its commentary on technology in society, and this season, filmed as a Netflix Original, promises to be more of the same. I've only watched the first stand-alone episode so far, but it portrayed a haunting world where people can "rate" anyone they meet on a scale from zero to five stars (Spoiler: It's a recipe for disaster and superficial interactions.).

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Ever since NPR's "How I Built This" launched last month, I have been ob-sessed (especially since I'm trying to wean myself off of "My Favorite Murder" since—even though I love it—its terrifying subject matter was definitely messing with my ability to sleep). The latest episode, which aired on Monday and features the founder of the L.A.-based skincare brand, Dermologica, is my favorite so far. And if you aren't already saturated with election coverage, this week's This American Life episode is another fantastic listen (I spent a lot of time stuck in traffic this week).

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After you've made Gaby's Chocolate Chunk Butterscotch Cookies (seriously, I made them last night and they're unreal), grab some girlfriends, pour some wine, and make your Halloween party decorations together (if you haven't already made your costume!). I'll be doing exactly that tonight with these and these!